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How to decide between outsourcing and internal — Live from the Brands-Only Summit

Coverage of this session by Don Vanderslice of Connect with him by following him on Twitter.

10:15 —’s Kurt Vanderah introduces’s Executive Strategist, Adam Brown.

10:16 — Adam explains that he led social at Dell and The Coca-Cola Company before coming to Salesforce.

10:17 — He shares 10 things to think about when it comes to outsourcing:

10:18 — 1) What’s your philosophy on engagement? If you’re really going to engage, you really have to be able to speak on behalf of the company. Do you have a social media certification program?

10:19 — 2) Is there a distinction between publishing content and writing content? Which does your agency do for you? Should you let your content be written by experts?

10:20 — 3) Do your social media management tools allow agency/internal collaboration and content queuing?

10:22 — 4) Is your agency authentic to your brand? Do they embody what you are about as a brand when they are creating content on your behalf?

10:23 — 5) Budget vs. Headcount: Which do you have more of (or which is easier to get). Most brands feel that it’s easier to get budget than headcount/staff. We all have to do Paid, Earned, and Owned, but Paid is becoming more important (especially with the recent Facebook changes). Most companies are spending 7-8% of media buying on social. That number should raise to 12 -14% next year.

10:27 — 6) How important are measurement and ROI? Do your agency folks measure success in the same way as you?

10:28 — 7) Do you “Fish where the fish are” or do you want engagement to come from your team? In other words, are your employees who are experts in a given field empowered to respond and engage in social? It’s always best to get subject-matter experts to be able to engage.

10:32 — 8 ) How involved is your agency in other non-social marketing activities? Can you leverage their other work? The more an agency is working on within a company (beyond social) the more you can use their content. You don’t need to cut and paste it, but since it’s been created for your brand and it’s already there, you should be able to use much of it for your social purposes.

10:33 — 9) Is yours a control-freak brand? If so, it’s harder to get new agencies that are not used by the mothership.

10:33 — 10) If your agency went away, would you be totally screwed? Always have a contingency plan. At some point the relationship with your agency will sour. Be prepared. Make sure you are working with other departments so if/when things do go south you have developed relationships with other departments in your brand.

Q & A:

Q: When things hit the fan, the executive often looks to the team rather than the agency. How do you make sure the buck stops with the team, not the agency?

A: You should be able to mark a clear demarcation between the agency created posts vs. the response those create vs. customer service. Dialogue the derives from that post needs to be covered by corporate — conversations should be done by the brand.

Things will go bad at times and executives need to understand that is part of social.

Q: When do you know it’s time to bring in an agency?

A: When you begin to see that you’re spending 30-40% of your social media budget on paid buys then it’s probably time to start thinking about an agency. Studies are showing that within a few years CMOs are going to have more tech budget than CIOs.

December 10, 2013 0 comments

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