Tag Archives: Millenial

Marketing Process Outsourcing

The New WIMS Inc: Putting In-House Marketing Departments on Notice

Unlike my typical blog posts, this one is certainly going to piss people off, including current and former colleagues, friends, clients, and prospects. While I usually try to avoid that, I can’t any longer as some things just need to be said. Change can be a scary and complicated thing, but there’s just a better way to do business and it’s nothing personal.

Now, the trend of outsourcing is far from a new or innovative concept. Yet companies like professional services firms continue to allocate extremely high budgets of $500,000-$1,000,000 and often much more to their in-house marketing departments. They do this despite the fact that they could spend a fraction of the cost while simultaneously getting significantly better service and results.

Regardless if you prefer to keep your team in house or to use a consulting firm, one thing is constant in either case, you need to DEMAND to see ROI. There are some advantages to keeping the team in-house I’ll admit that, but you should at least be able to make an apples to apples comparison between both approaches.

The way to do that is ROI, the objective metric that evens out all playing fields. I’ve seen many CMO’s apply the “smoke and mirrors” strategy year after year. They avoid accountability by overlooking past failures while waving the amazing, shiny new “marketing strategy” that they’re going to deploy this year. This is often just the old strategy repackaged to appear new however. CEO’s looking to avoid conflict accept it as a cost of doing business and then proceed to kick the can further down the road.

Now while there are plenty of exceptions, as there always are when dealing with people, there’s something I’ve often observed in the corporate world, I call it the “comfort theory.” Essentially, when you’re paying someone a predictable and stable salary it inherently allows most people to start cutting corners and reducing the quality of their work because they can get away with it. Not only is there a reduced quality of work, but why subsidize employee’s internet browsing time and social media addiction when you can just pay for the work that’s actually done. Besides, I doubt they’re going to give you a cut of their fantasy football winnings despite squandering hours a week of your time managing their team.

Don’t just take my word for it, conduct your own experiment and see for yourself. The next time you’re in a meeting with your marketing department demand more out of them or suggest changes, and watch the level of pushback, reluctance, and resistance you get. On the contrary call a consultant about a new project idea and watch them passionately geek out about all the possibilities.

I understand the comfort of familiarity and the status quo believe me, but is it really worth spending $50,000-100,000 on a salary for someone to just write an occasional blog post or article, blankly stare at a twitter feed, or create an occasional ad. You can get the same result or better for a tenth of the cost in many cases.

As another experiment, this Friday afternoon say around 3pm, take a walk around your building and see how empty the offices and cubicles are. The mentality of being an employee and working for your boss vs. being a client and working for your business partner can’t be compared. Working with independent contractors that need your business takes the quality of work to another level. They are mini-CEOs trying to better their lives, they’re not just punching a clock while desperately waiting to leave the office early on Friday afternoon. They’re the ones working at midnight on a Saturday because they’re hungry and ambitious.

You create the best work when you absolutely need to, like when writing a paper the night before it’s due. There’s something about having your life depending on it that generates this hyper-focus of productivity. Imagine having a team of people producing this kind of work every day because that’s how they approach their live, very deliberately.

Typical counter-arguments for in-house departments include things like, “oh but we know the brand so well,” or “what if someone urgently needs a brochure for a sales call?” It may not be a popular sentiment, but people are easily replaceable. We work with various brand guidelines all the time and pick them up very quickly. Also, I’ve seen countless desks with stacks of brochures piled high collecting dust, as much as marketers may try to convince you otherwise, your beautiful brochure is not what’s going to win you new business, relationships are.

Perhaps this post is like that old “Magician’s Greatest Secrets Revealed” show where the masked magician showed you how the tricks were really done and made a lot of magicians extremely angry. If you’re feeling that way right now I hope you take this opportunity to step your game up and prove me wrong.

Changing a decades long mindset of keeping marketing teams in-house is going to require evolution and a rebuilding process, but there’s definitely hope. It will force people to BE BETTER. Think about the Golden State Warriors a few years ago. They were very bad, but they had some decent and promising players, they stuck to their long-term plan to build their team, make a few strategic moves and then a few years later they won a championship. The metaphor is very relative in business as well.

For the sake of full transparency, this long-winded blog post has the additional goal of announcing the new WIMS, Inc. We now offer a complete suite of marketing, CRM, and business development services that are provided for literally a fraction of the total cost you’re paying for your entire marketing department. By leveraging strategic partnerships and a deep team of independent contractors we are now able to offer literally any marketing service, and to any size firm in any industry. If you’re interested in video, we can develop the content, build an entire distribution network, and even create your own online channel. If audio is your thing, we can help with the creation, publishing, and promotion of your own radio show and/or podcast. If you need a website, an ad campaign, online content creation, or social media network, whatever it is you’re looking for, we can help facilitate.

Give us a call or send us an email and we’ll be happy to provide you with a FREE consultation to see if our companies would be a good fit to work together. Part of building strong long-term relationships includes occasionally offering some free advice, which we do happily. What do you have to lose by at least evaluating whether it’s worth pursuing a potential 6-figure a year cost reduction in your marketing expenses?

So I Moved to Charlotte for a Girl…

Well THE girl. And if you knew Claire you’d understand. I like to think she’s the Daisy Buchanan to my Jay Gatsby, except I’m still working on building the fortune of course. The other difference, which is a fortunate one, is that we still have the opportunity for the happy ending Gatsby and Daisy never got.

Mike and Claire

Mike Simmons, CEO of WIMS Consulting, and Claire Hosmann

To make it happen I had to move from the city I love and lived for the past decade, Miami. After nearly 6 months of this new adventure, in hindsight I’d still make the same decision every time. Not only did I take a big chance moving to a new city to be with the love of my life, but it also led me to taking another risk by starting my own business. It’s not every day you get the opportunity to pursue both of your biggest dreams at the same time.

In order to find true happiness you need to take chances on the things that matter. Life is tough though, and it makes holding on to your comfortable and predictable job, or your same circle of friends, the easy and safe choice. But the only way to grow is to get out of your comfort zone and chase after the things you want in life.

Alas, rather than settling for a job working for someone else, and having to start over, I decided to start my own consulting firm. I had been planning on how best to do this for a couple years, yet while having a comfortable and mostly enjoyable job it was tough to work up the courage to take the leap of faith. I found myself over-thinking and second-guessing myself. I kept postponing my dream for tomorrow when I would have more time and money saved, like that would ever happen!

Sometimes you just need to jump and hope for the best; otherwise you risk living a life of regret. To me, that’s a fate far worse than trying and failing. It certainly hasn’t been easy, and it’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but so far it’s been the most fulfilling as well.

Fortunately, with the help of technology, my business can service clients all over the country and even the world. So moving to Charlotte doesn’t mean I have to completely forget about all the relationships I’ve built in Miami. I will absolutely keep working with clients and helping people there too. I’ll even be pursuing business where I grew up in PA and CA as well. I don’t plan on stopping there either. They say you can’t have your cake and eat it too, but I certainly plan to try. And hopefully I can help many other aspiring business men and women to the day same.

I know I have a long way to go, and I haven’t figured everything out yet, but I’ve learned so much along the way that I wanted to start a blog (as if the world needs another blog!) to share my experiences and insight with all you like-minded entrepreneurs and young professionals out there. Who knows, perhaps it will help me finally finish the book I’ve been “planning” on writing for years now too.

The purpose isn’t just to tell you stories or offer suggestions with how to market your business, but to create an open dialogue and share ideas and resources in a collaborative manner. I can admit that I don’t have all the answers, but I believe you can learn something from every single person out there if you’re willing to listen.

The WIMS Guide as I’m calling it, will discuss a wide range of topics that impact the daily (and future) lives of entrepreneurs and young professionals alike. It will feature regular posts from me, along with a variety of featured authors to ensure a well-rounded, dynamic, and fresh perspective. If you have an idea or desired topic you’d like to discuss, or if you’d like to be one of our featured authors, please don’t hesitate to reach out. In the mean time I hope you enjoy and perhaps learn a thing or two along the way!