Marketing as a Service: the lowdown

Since seemingly everything can be delivered ‘as a Service’ nowadays… why not your marketing?

  • 15th March

Retainers: explained

The trend that’s dominated the IT channel over the last few years is ‘as a Service’. It’s the supply method that ain’t going nowhere, and that’s mutually beneficial to both the service provider and the purchaser. A marketing retainer is just the same. Defined marketing services are provided remotely on an ongoing basis and billed monthly. Likewise, service scope and scale can be flexed according to need. Simple.

Marketing as a Service allows businesses to get all the benefits of a fully-fledged in-house marketing team, without the hassle and expense of having to recruit one, right from day one.

However, it’s important to remember that even with this ‘plug in and play’ approach to marketing, the initial stages of a retainer will always be a bit trial and error, particularly if your marketing is in its infancy. Building up your audience’s trust, interest and affection takes time. Don’t expect to go viral on day one.

Marketing retainers: who needs ‘em?

Retainers should be bespoke, so there’s no starting point too big or small when it comes to kicking off a retainer. They’re designed to fit your needs, regardless of whether your business is just getting started with marketing, or if you’ve dabbled and are looking to develop a more cohesive approach, or your existing marketing team are up-and-running but just short on the time and in need of extra brains.

So, what’s in a retainer?

Essentially, any marketing activity you want can be built into a retainer. We work with our customers to establish what’s important to them, what their goals are, and where the quick wins might be. Once we know this, we can build a strategy that’s designed to hit those goals.

After 10 years (gosh, we sound old!) of tailoring retainers to IT and technology clients, we know how to guide businesses towards picking the right services for their growth. Together, we might decide to include:

  • Social media management – regular posting and daily monitoring.
  • Email marketing – cadence of emails determined as part of the retainer.
  • Website design and maintenance.
  • SEO & SEM marketing – ongoing maintenance that ensures your organisation is hitting the Google listing high notes.
  • Content marketing – blogs, articles, thought leadership and case studies. Whatever floats your boat.
  • Pay per click advertising – spread accordingly across chosen online platforms.
  • Video marketing – origination, production and promotion of original video content.

The 6 big wins of retained marketing:

#1: Strategy

All good retainers start with a plan.

Deciding what to include in a retainer relies on knowing exactly what you want to get out of it. By getting an expert on board, you can decide where you should be headed and the necessary steps to get you there.

#2: Instant expertise

We’re totally immersed in the IT world. You don’t need to waste valuable time (and money!) explaining the nuances of our sector; the knowledge is already there.

We know the people you partner with and are personally connected to many of them (not just in a name-dropping way). With furthering your business interests always in our minds, we easily spot opportunities to share the benefit of our connections, credibility and know-how from day one.

This knowledge and experience is built over decades. Recruiting in at our level is tricky and comes with a sizeable price tag. Retained services get you access to a ‘slice’ of this pre-packaged expertise, making it far more economical.

#3: Cost efficiencies

Retained services mean you can get so much more bang for your buck. By signing on to a service over an extended period of time, rather than as one-off projects, agencies like us are better positioned to offer better rates on repeat activities.

Not only that, but outsourcing your marketing means you can make some hefty savings compared to hiring a full-time marketing team. Alongside the predictability of a defined monthly marketing spend, you can just pay for any additional services you need, when you need them, rather than having bums on seats (and the associated overheads) 24/7.

#4: Scalability

The flexibility of being able to rapidly scale your marketing resource is only achievable via retained services. With a complete team of ready-to-go marketing professionals on-hand that know your business and your industry, you can respond quickly to changing marketing needs and increase the capacity of your marketing function at a moment’s notice. This means bypassing the whole process of onboarding, familiarising and potentially upskilling any new hires.

#5: Consistency

We find that many clients turn to us when developing their marketing has been tacked onto their to do list, but they just don’t have any spare time to manage it. They understand the necessity for consistency, but with it not being their primary focus, they just can’t keep it up, as other more pressing priorities take over. With a retainer, you can guarantee that your essential ‘heartbeat’ marketing activities are always in-hand, no matter what crops up.

#6: Skills diversity

When you work with any agency on a retainer basis, you get access to every member of that team’s skillsets, experience and expertise.

When you work with an agency that specifically serves your sector, you get even more than that. You get a team of well-informed industry specialists that understand the services you provide, your role in the channel and the latest market innovations.

The Asgard approach

You’ll see some agencies out there offering packaged-up retainers with flat fees for each package. We don’t work that way. No two businesses are the same, and so to us no two retainers should be either.

If you fancy finding out more about what a retainer could look like for your business, you know what to do.

Get in touch and see how we can help your business be a success