As a small business, you don’t have an unlimited number of people you can hire. You and your team most likely wear multiple hats. Therefore, if you’re outsourcing some responsibilities, like marketing, it could feel like a weight’s being lifted off your shoulders – if it’s done right.
Unfortunately, digital marketing companies aren’t “set it and forget it.” You need to communicate what you need from your marketing firm. That way, you can be sure you achieve the results you need and garner the return on investment you’re looking for.
Whether you call them a point of contact or formalize the role as a project manager or project coordinator, the function is the same: they work as a liaison with third parties, like your digital marketing firm, to see projects from start to finish.
Why? Here are the benefits of a point of contact
A good, reputable marketing business will give you, the customer, a point of contact to work with. However, it also benefits you to designate a point of contact within your organization to work with this point of contact for a ton of reasons. Here are just a few:
It’s your business.
You may not have the time to wade into your own digital marketing, but you still need to be in control of how your branding is handled, from start to finish. As we covered earlier, your branding is the experiences your customers have when interacting with you as a business. From the colors on your website to the customer journey, everything needs to be cohesive to communicate who you are what your business specifically brings to the table. You need one, coherent message, and that’s even more achievable when the lines of communication are between two, identifiable people.
It centralizes responsibility between you and your digital marketing firm.
A good digital marketing firm will direct you to whoever is handling your project and will hand you a consistent, reliable point of contact. However, your relationship with your digital marketing firm is just that: a relationship. One-on-one communication between two individuals who know your brand and how to present it can achieve stellar results.
It cuts down on miscommunication.
This is common sense. When you’re interacting with one person, you know who to go to for project updates, deadlines, edits, and more. It’s the same answer. When you have to run around for information on what’s happening when, communication “balls” can get dropped. Although a good marketing firm will point you to a point of contact, having one person they can go to helps them help you keep communication efficient.
Unfortunately, a side effect of one point of contact is feeling like you’re in a game of telephone. By keeping communication concise and asking for clarity when you need to – before you pass info up and down channels – you can minimize miscommunications along the way.
Finally, having a point of contact ensures transitions within your company go smoothly. If your point of contact is leaving your organization, it’s easier to track down information and communications and pass them onto the new point of contact.
How to designate a point of contact
1. The Who
To establish a point of contact, you’re looking for someone who knows your business, but isn’t so high up that they should be doing other things. Look for an employee with a few years under their belt, preferably a manager if you have a large enough operation. Specifically, Forbes.com suggests you find someone whose job description already has ties to the task, whether they have a corresponding title or not.
For example, a manager who already handles ecommerce can collaborate with the web designer you hired. The manager who already determines promotions can coordinate with the social media manager you hired. If an administrative assistant is more familiar with your phone system than the CEO, they can coordinate with your on-hold marketing service to craft messages or auto attendant greetings.
2. The What
Working with a digital marketing firm is a collaborative process. Your point of contact doesn’t make the final decisions per se; they act as the messenger between you and your team, and the marketing firm you hired – plus, the point of contact your marketing firm has designated for you. Any messages that need to be relayed to the marketing firm get sent by your point of contact and vice versa.
While being the liaison is a starting point, there’s more to being a point of contact than just passing messages back and forth.
3. The How
Your point of contact will be the one to reach out to the marketing firm you hire. After team meetings, scrums, game plans, and brainstorming sessions, the point of contact is the one to relay the final decisions on copy, design elements, social media schedules, and more. They also report on progress and keep track of deadlines, schedules, and metrics. That way, keeping everyone on task and on time is just a matter of checking with the point of contact – one point of contact per business and one per marketing firm so wires don’t get crossed.