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Did your professional services or healthcare business hunker down during the pandemic and pull back spending on things like marketing and advertising? In some law and accountancy firms, for example, employees were furloughed,  impacting their ability to take on new clients or new work. Emerging from the pandemic and now that the furlough scheme has ended, companies are getting back to full strength and are looking again at their marketing.

How much should you spend on marketing?

Leading agency Nuanced Media claims new businesses should set 12-20% of their gross revenue aside for their marketing budget, whilst more established companies should spend 6-12%. As with most business decisions, what you spend on marketing will depend on the type of industry you work in and what you are trying to achieve. A fledgling business is more likely to need to spend more at the early stages to build its brand presence and achieve a place in their target market. However, as a brand becomes more well-known, generating increased customer loyalty, the marketing spend can decrease.

Where do you find good marketers?

The Chartered Institute of Marketing conducted a survey in July/August 2020 and concluded that 9% of marketers had been made redundant, 20% had to take a pay cut and 17.5% were forced to use up their annual leave. The pool of available talent was severely diminished!

Rising costs

You may be surprised to hear that marketing salaries have rocketed in recent months. A report in Marketing Week carried the rather alarming headline “Marketing salaries jump ‘by as much as 50%’ as job market bounces back”! The article highlights the main issue – a lack of experienced and skilled people for the number of jobs available, particularly at senior levels, leading to a “war for talent”. Hiring an in-house marketer appears to have become increasingly challenging and expensive in the current climate.

Good marketing doesn’t have to cost the earth

A while back we blogged about outsourcing marketing and its advantages:

  • Cost-effective – save on the overheads of employing a team member
  • Access to specialists – external support can be brought on board for specific projects
  • External insight and opinion – an independent view of your business and new ideas
  • Return on investment – accountability and trackable results

If lockdown and remote working has taught us anything, it is that workers are capable of getting on with the job without being in the same office. An outsourced marketing department functions in the same way.

There are a range of outsourced marketing options depending on budget, size of the business and its growth aspirations. Larger marketing agencies can take responsibility for the entire development and deployment of a marketing strategy. At the other end of the scale there are single-person consultancies, who could meet some, but possibly not all, of the business’ marketing needs. Or a business could ‘shop around’ and bring on board a number of individuals and agencies, specialists in their field, for specific projects. There are advantages, disadvantages and budgetary implications for each.

How can we help?

Cal Partners worked throughout the pandemic, and continue to do so, as an outsourced marketing department for many clients in the professional services and healthcare sectors. We work in partnership with business owners and management who, busy with the “day job”, lack time, budget and resource to develop and equally importantly actually implement a successful marketing strategy and its component tactics.

About the author

Alison O'Neill

Account Manager, Alison, is a former Forensic Scientist who moved into professional services marketing in 2008 and is a Chartered Marketer and Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (MCIM).

Marketing for Professional Services

Cal Partners

The go-to strategic marketing partner for ambitious professional services