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Taking Control: When Is Your Company Ready To Run Its Own Marketing Platform?

marketing platform - porcupine fish

 

 

by  Jason Kulpa

 

The ability to convey messages clearly and effectively to your target market can position you as a leader in your industry and drive profits. But knowing the right time to run a marketing platform in-house — and how to implement it successfully — can be tricky.

 

Controlling the platform architecture and integrating it with other services and products will serve your company well as it pivots. Many companies outsource in the earlier stages because their resources are limited, but if you’ve experienced substantial growth, you may be ready to take the wheel and get your own marketing platform.

 

As Michael Hyatt explains, the purpose of a platform is to increase visibility and accessibility. There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing certain parts of the process, but you’ll never discover how far a platform can carry your message if you rely completely on a third party.

 

Here are three major signs that it’s time to move your platform in-house:

 

  1. The Lemon: If your platform is as unreliable as an old car, stop wasting resources on repairs. If the tech team constantly has to add in workarounds or it throws off your sales team’s workflow, you have a lemon. Get a new platform provider or develop your own.
  1. The Never-Ending Wish List: When platform users hit snags, they submit requests for support. Your platform management team then relays it to your third-party provider. If new, quality features are added quickly, everyone wins. But if you’re dealing with a growing wish list and a provider that addresses issues slowly (or not at all), it’s time to make some changes.
  1. The Plateau: Your platform should constantly iterate, drive more business, and increase traffic manageability. To achieve these outcomes, your provider must continuously update your platform. Stagnated progress should be easy to spot. If you see it, talk with your provider and identify the roadblock.

 

The process of creating a remarkable platform requires equally significant in-house energy and resources. If you’re ready to invest in the future of your marketing, below are a few tips that will ensure your success.

 

  • Explore available tools. There are numerous tools that help businesses develop their own platforms. Some are industry-specific, such as MediaAlpha for the insurance industry. Others, including Canva, allow any organization to easily create unique graphics for marketing purposes.
  • Find a sensible balance. Outsourcing is sometimes more realistic than forming your own developer team. Allstate hired us to help create a unique platform that gives agency owners a single place to go when looking for qualified leads from a variety of online sources. Although we offered our developer skills, Allstate still ran the show. In-house or not, make sure your developers are committed to empowering other employees to work with the platform.
  • Devise and execute a clear plan. Most companies overestimate their current outsourced platforms’ performance and underestimate the long-term benefits of developing their own. Try running an accurate cost-benefit analysis, then lay out a precise plan for the initiative that clearly communicates the value proposition, along with the implementation strategy. For B2B partnerships, where an outside developer helps you build your own in-house platform, it’s imperative that you leave nothing up to interpretation.

 

Running things yourself means more freedom and potential benefits than a platform participant, an increased competitive advantage, and significant barriers to entry for your competition. Moreover, customization makes your platform more flexible and responsive while leveraging your unique business and industry knowledge to maximize your ROI.

 

Although not every company may be ready to develop its own platform, taking advantage of it when the time is right can set your company apart from the rest. And that’s a competitive edge I wouldn’t pass up.

 

Jason KulpaJason Kulpa is the CEO of Underground Elephant, one of the fastest-growing performance-based providers of online marketing technology and customer acquisition solutions. Servicing multiple industries, Underground Elephant provides unparalleled cloud-based SaaS marketing technology and platforms that deliver bankable calls, clicks, and inquiries.

 

Photo Credits

lensonjapan | Courtesy of Author

Author : Guest Post

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