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Outsourcing: A Q&A with Tammy Barton, founder and director of MyBudget

Smarter Writer
Smarter Team

The Smarter Team is made up of business and technology journalists who write to offer insights to small and medium businesses about technology, business know-how and emerging trends.

Smarter Writer
Smarter Team

The Smarter Team is made up of business and technology journalists who write to offer insights to small and medium businesses about technology, business know-how and emerging trends.

If you run a business in the digital age, you’re probably aware of the importance of digital marketing. With the online space dominating more of our lives, grabbing an audience’s attention is crucial. Here, we talk to Tammy Barton, founder and director of Australian financial services company MyBudget, about her experience with outsourcing digital marketing. Tammy tells us how digital marketing has helped her scale her business, and how SMBs can also find more customers with the right strategy.

Smarter Business: What was MyBudget’s first experience of outsourcing digital marketing?

Tammy Barton: The very first time we outsourced digital marketing was back in the Yellow Pages days, in 2006. They had a product called ‘Click’, a simple model where you paid $1 per click, a little like pay-per-click on today’s Google Ads.

Smarter Business: What benefits did you gain?

Tammy Barton: Digital marketing is crucial to any business. It provides the ability to reach a global marketplace and understand an audience, while allowing consumers to engage with your product or service. This goes a long way to developing brand trust and loyalty.

Essentially, we were able to track responses to our marketing efforts immediately, which was really helpful. This is really important as it allows a business to get a good sense of the return on investment (ROI) on its advertising dollar.

“Digital marketing is crucial to any business. It provides the ability to reach a global marketplace and understand an audience, while allowing consumers to engage with your product or service.”

– Tammy Barton, founder and director, MyBudget

Smarter Business: Should a business aim to bring digital marketing resources in-house after a certain point?

Tammy Barton: Once you reach a certain size, you should have dedicated internal resources.

A major advantage of in-house digital marketing is that your employees are already familiar with your brand’s mission, goals and vision. They are also aligned with your business’s processes and procedures. When you have an in-house team, you’re also able to contribute to brainstorming sessions and get progress updates on a regular basis.

However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t call on outside resources. We currently run a dual-sourcing strategy with in-house capabilities in certain areas and outsourced ones in others.

For example, while we use external agencies to help with social media ads strategy, we look after our own social media posting to ensure that authenticity and tone are consistent. Controlling your own social is also a good way to stay connected with your clients and marketplace, to gauge what they are saying and feeling about your product or service.

Smarter Business: What is your advice for SMBs looking to outsource digital marketing?

Tammy Barton: Picking the right partner is key. You need someone who understands and cares about your brand (for us, alignment of values is very important).

Further, companies have their own particular strengths, so don’t rule out using different ones for different projects.

Lastly, it’s important that you know what you’re looking for in a partner. Ask yourself: “What skills are missing from my business?” Then be sure to work collaboratively, with clear expectations to make sure all parties are on the same page.

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Smarter Business: Can outsourcing digital marketing help a small business find customers?

Tammy Barton: Absolutely. Digital marketing can help you be hyper-targeted, collect wonderful data and track your ROI. People are on devices all the time, and we need to ensure we’re speaking to them in that space consistently and in a way that resonates with them. At the end of the day, this is what digital agencies do.

Hiring an external agency to carry out your marketing goals can also free up space to focus on other aspects of your business.

“Digital marketing can help you be hyper-targeted, collect wonderful data and track your ROI.”

– Tammy Barton, founder and director, MyBudget

Smarter Business: Should a business aim to bring digital marketing resources in-house after a certain point?

Tammy Barton: Once you reach a certain size, you should have dedicated internal resources.

A major advantage of in-house digital marketing is that your employees are already familiar with your brand’s mission, goals and vision. They are also aligned with your business’s processes and procedures. When you have an in-house team, you’re also able to contribute to brainstorming sessions and get progress updates on a regular basis.

However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t call on outside resources. We currently run a dual-sourcing strategy with in-house capabilities in certain areas and outsourced ones in others.

For example, while we use external agencies to help with social media ads strategy, we look after our own social media posting to ensure that authenticity and tone are consistent. Controlling your own social is also a good way to stay connected with your clients and marketplace, to gauge what they are saying and feeling about your product or service.

Smarter Business: What is your advice for SMBs looking to outsource digital marketing?

Tammy Barton: Picking the right partner is key. You need someone who understands and cares about your brand (for us, alignment of values is very important).

Further, companies have their own particular strengths, so don’t rule out using different ones for different projects.

Lastly, it’s important that you know what you’re looking for in a partner. Ask yourself: “What skills are missing from my business?” Then be sure to work collaboratively, with clear expectations to make sure all parties are on the same page.

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