Identifying awesome external teams: Things you need to consider
Publisher support teams can be a great addition to your business, but only if you pick the right people for the endeavor.
Let us say you decided to stick to external help and not hire more people for your media business. Now, how do you choose the proper professionals? Let me tell you a story on how one of our clients found us, what dilemmas they had, and which questions they asked, both themselves, and us, to realize we were the ideal publisher support to solve their woes.
So one of our clients, let us say his name is Bob (his name is not really Bob but let us say it is), complained to one of his friends at a fancy cocktail party, how he is getting overwhelmed with media planning and execution, and tasks such as putting together proposal decks, media plans, spec sheets, screenshots etc.
“If only I could find someone to manage my campaigns, at least for a few weeks,” he said. You see, Bob’s problem was that the scope of work varied so he could not just hire a bunch of people for a fortnight, to weather the storm. At the same time, he needed someone who could hit the ground running and just take over in an instant. Eh, easier said than done, at least from his perspective.
But little did he know that he was talking to another one of our clients, who already knew what he was talking about, and how employing external publisher support agencies, like ourselves, can help him handle the load and sleep tighter.
“Yeah? Sounds interesting. Are they experienced? Should I need to explain what needs to be done, or train them in any way?”
Gosh, no. Publisher support teams come with a sea of experience. Not only will they be able to hit the ground running, but they will also probably be able to teach you a thing or two. After all, with an impressive portfolio and plenty of experience, publisher support teams will have the know-how and the industry standards / best practices to be able to pick up where you left off, basically instantly.
“Ok, ok… cool. But what if sh*t really hits the fan? What if the work just keeps piling up? Will I need to look for more help, to help the helpers? That’s just going to complicate things even more!”
In the words of literally every politician out there: That is a really good question. Also, there is a really simple answer to it, and the answer is – no, you will not need to look for help for the helpers. As a team of experts, you leave the growth and workload troubles over to them. After all, they would love as much work as you can provide – they want to grow, too.
“But they are not magicians… how do they do it?”
Well, publisher support teams are no Houdini, but they do work their magic, in a way. They provide on-demand support and are flexible enough for you to expect quick turnarounds. They can manage your campaigns, direct or programmatic, help with reporting or analytics, put together wrap-up decks- you name it! All you need to do is prepare a detailed input for the team to look at. Within a few moments they will review it and come back with an estimated scope of work. That means you will get a rough estimate on the number of hours required to get any project done. As soon as all is confirmed, the team gets to work and comes back to you with the finished product within the agreed deadline.
“Oh wow, I am almost sold,” Bob proclaimed boldly, already being able to visualize his media empire growing on the back of external helpers everywhere. “Just tell me one more thing: how do these external pros integrate with my in-house team? Is there an ease-in period I should keep in mind?”
“They will fit you like a glove, Bob”, our supporting role concluded. Regardless of the size of the team, you get to pick, a-la-carte, the amount of people you need. Hell, you get to pick individuals from within the team you feel are the best fit. And, as time goes by, you can add more, or cut down on the team as you see fit. You can have a dedicated person using your email alias, which can communicate directly with your clients with ease. Your clients will see that individual (or multiple individuals, right?) as a team member, rather than some outsourced first-aid person. Your clients will never know the difference, and that is one of these teams’ key selling points.
At that point, Bob’s eyes lit up. “You, my friend, are a scholar and a gentleman,” he said jokingly, tapping his company on the shoulder. “And a lifesaver. I guess I can stay for another drink, then.”
The rest is history.
Nobody should struggle to get the work done on their own, but sometimes choosing the wrong people as external helpers can just shove you deeper down the rabbit hole. Deciding to go for an external publisher support team is definitely as equally important as being able to identify what makes that support team better than another external team, or a group of freelancers.
Being able to understand your future helpers’ strong points and unique selling propositions will help you choose the right team for your business endeavors. With that in mind, make sure to consider their previous experience, to see if they are able to pick up the workload almost instantly and to better understand what they are bringing to the table. Ask what amount of work they are capable of handling (ideally – as much as you can throw at them), and how their work process usually goes.
And finally, it is essential to see if they are able to integrate with your in-house team quickly and seamlessly. If they can do all that, then they are a good fit and should definitely be considered.