Category Archives: Buzz Newz

Should You Outsource Or Do Your Own Digital Marketing?

Businesses outsource web hosting and development, accounting, and even customer service. Why not digital marketing? Where do you draw the line?

If your industry is highly regulated, the decision is often very clear cut. Regulatory restrictions and very specific use of language can make it difficult for an outside firm to create marketing content – let alone marketing campaigns — unless they have deep roots in the industry. Mining is a good example of a highly-regulated industry. Every press release is examined, every tweet and post scrutinized to make sure the content doesn’t violate standards for disclosure.

For many companies however, the decision is not so straightforward. There are pros and cons for handling your digital marketing in-house, and the same can be said for using an outside marketing agency. Here are some of the essential considerations:

Benefits of In-House Digital Marketing

  • Less time to bring up to speed: Your own team has a better understanding of your company, products, services, and customers than any outsider.
  • Better business intelligence: This is related to domain knowledge. When your own marketing team performs analytics, they have more context when it comes to interpreting your data.
  • Respond quickly to situations: Whether it’s via team meetings or water cooler chit-chat, your own team is up-to-the-minute in tune with what’s going on in your business. They can respond faster to new situations and market conditions, and understand right away which areas of your business are affected. An outside agency can be very responsive, but they only know as much as you tell them – or remember to tell them.
  • Achieve tighter integration: For best results, a marketing program should have offline tactics that support digital campaigns and vice versa. It requires close coordination to get your message out via social media, forums, blogs, print, and advertising. Not all agencies and businesses manage to achieve such close collaboration.

Benefits of Outsourced Digital Marketing

  • More cost-effective: Salaries often represent the biggest percentage of a marketing budget. Digital marketing skills are in high demand and small businesses may not be able to afford a full-time team. Tap into specialized expertise and save on recruiting, training, salaries and benefits – not to mention the cost of tools and setting up systems. An outside agency will have a working environment already set up.
  • More skills: You get experienced talent and a range of skills that would be impossible to hire in-house. A digital marketing agency has experts on board whose job it is to stay on top of the latest in trends and technologies.
  • Better campaign ROI: Part of an agency’s job is to prove they bring value into the process. One of the major challenges for in-house teams is expertise in data-driven marketing and analytics. An agency will set up the metrics and analytics, monitor them closely, and tweak the campaign so that you achieve the best possible ROI.
  • Guaranteed timely delivery: When an agency takes on a project, it dedicates resources to meet your deadlines. If anything happens to team members, it’s their responsibility to plug the gap. When other priorities pop up, an in-house team can get distracted, which puts campaign schedules at risk.
  • Stay focused on core business focus: When it comes to business success, focus is essential. If your core business is not digital marketing, trying to manage campaigns will take a lot out of your valuable time. Agencies with core competencies in digital market can achieve more for you in less time.

There are pros and cons to each approach. It comes down to comfort level, budget, skills, and time. It’s common to see a hybrid model where a client uses outside agencies to fill temporary gaps or work on a specific project. Some of the most common reasons a business will outsource are:

  • Fast deployment: Rebranding, launching a new product, or going to an industry event? When an urgent project adds work on top of existing priorities, it’s faster and easier to work with a ready-made team. A digital consulting agency will do the time-consuming but unavoidable legwork of finding the right channels for reaching a target audience, conduct keyword research for optimizing web content, and manage PPC campaigns.
  • Lack of bandwidth or skills: When a marketing team is already 100% utilized it’s tough finding the resources to run ongoing programs such as a pay-per-click campaign. A digital consulting agency can monitor, analyze, and manage costs to achieve campaign ROI. From creative brief to final execution, an agency gives the marketing manager full visibility into the project — without the project management headaches.
  • Need to develop in-house skills: On-the-job training is a great way to upgrade a team’s skills. Put your own team members on a project where they can collaborate with an agency on a digital marketing campaign. Make learning one of the goals and a good agency will take the time to explain things along the way. Nothing teaches more effectively than seeing how things work in a real-world scenario.

Final word of advice: if you believe an ongoing, long-term relationship with a digital marketing agency would be the best use of your budget and resources, begin with a small project. Use it as an opportunity to find out whether it’s a good fit.

If your marketing plans are slowing down because you lack the skills or bandwidth, do a quick assessment of the issues and decide whether you should bring talent in-house, outsource it, or contact out on a project-by-project basis.

by Ray Wang, February 29, 2016

Paris and Helena are going to Rio!!

Paris Henken got her start in Dana Point Harbor and I was fortunate enough to be the youth sailing director the first year Paris and her twin brother ,Sterling first shared a sabot in the summer sailing program. Now she’s representing the USA in the Olympics! U S A! Stay tune, as we’ll update this page with new articles as they become available.

Click the link below for a full article in our local paper and the environmental challenges their facing reported in the New York Times:

San Clemente Times – February 25, 2016

New York Times – March 3, 2016

Groundhog Day 2016

Our clients in the automotive and boating industries were standing by cautiously last week to see if Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. GOOD NEWS! He did NOT, so prepare yourself for an early spring!

In celebration, Create-a-Buzz Marketing is offering 10% off of an order of 250 or more 30mil plastic wash cards! Cards include customization with one-hour of graphic design, too. Here’s the 2016 price list, not including applicable shipping and taxes:
2016 30mil PRICES

Call or email us with any questions and plan on starting the Spring Wash Season with a brand new promotional campaign to increase your units per day by increasing customer loyalty!

IBS in Las Vegas

2016 has definitely started off on a high pendulum swing in a few short weeks with no cool-down after the holidays! Team Buzz couldn’t resist a few days in Las Vegas to attend the International Building Show. The exhibit floor was MASSIVE and it was difficult to select which educational session was the best way to spend an hour or two. I signed up for a few Master Courses that complimented a new service Buzz is working on with a colleague that we’ll be debuting mid-year. We’re VERY excited to bring this to market and believe it will help the smaller to mid-size builders regain their market share in today’s diverse digital world. I know this is a tease, but I promise we’ll have a lot more to talk about in the upcoming months.

The photo tells it all! We at Create-a-Buzz LOVE Houzz! Their area was jumping the entire show and it seemed they were the talk of the town in several sessions we attended. So happy for this, as our clients were the first builders to jump on the band-wagon three years ago!

Different from BIS and PCBC shows, IBS brought in so many people from all over the world to the point that you couldn’t identify people you knew through the clutter. They were there, because I saw them in photos and on social media, but I didn’t see them walking the floor or in sessions I attended. This lent itself wonderfully to meeting new people and expanding our contact base.

Take aways from our time well spent was the importance of supporting the sales effort with better lead management and a robust online sales process. There you have it…a hint for what we’re developing in 2016.

‘Tis The Season…

There are two seasons that are big in the yachting community, Spring for Opening Day and Winter for Change of Command. For those not familiar, Opening Day is when a yacht club officially determines that the harbor is free of ice and is ready to open for the upcoming yachting season. Being in California, this is more of a tradition since we enjoy year-round boating.

Change of Command is just as one would guess, when the outgoing commodore hands off the watch to the new incoming commodore and all other flag officers move up in ranks, as it is with most yacht clubs and organizations. For most, the event that marks that time is a “Commodore’s Ball” or “Installation Dinner.” Every organization has it’s traditions to follow and it’s usually centered around introductions, speeches, recognizing last year’s achievements and honoring awards during a dinner followed by a big party.

Southern California Yachting Association retained Create-a-Buzz Marketing to design the 2016 Installation Dinner and the incoming commodore is a school teacher with an appetite for for history, cigars and jazz flavor. To compliment his personality, we designed a retro-look with a “Rat Pack” flavor to set the tone for his soirée. This vibe will be carried-out throughout the event in social media, emails, tablescapes, entryway and any other presentation or collateral.

Needless to say, the Commodore is pleased and now very excited for his special day!

“Freak Show” is Coming to Dana Point!

We’ve been working on a Halloween Night production of “Freak Show” that is coming together quite nicely. The live band is on contract, the magician and an artist reserved, and several folks selected to be in the “Freaks” side show. The decorating committee will be transforming the building into a tent with vinyl material draped from the ceiling and black lights with fog will do the rest to create the scary side of carnival life.

Photos to come in November!

Create-a-Buzz is SoCal Award Finalist!

It’s a great day when you find out your efforts have been acknowledged by your peers! Just to be in the same room with so many esteemed icons in the homebuilding industry is an honor for which we at Create-a-Buzz are so grateful! The team has worked hard, and I thank them all for their talent, creativity and dedication! SoCalFinalist

Case Study: Last Homes Standing

Building in a master planned community has it’s benefits…and shortfalls. As a guest builder, private builders like my clients participate in the marketing programs that includes advertising, signage and an identity on websites and collateral pieces. They drive traffic to our sales offices and it’s up to us to close the deal. It’s an upfront expense that a guest builder doesn’t have to take on, but rather pay at the closing escrow for each home between 1%-2% depending on the community.

But what happens when everyone turned off the lights and you’re still sitting there with a few homes remaining? For us, the directional signs were removed, the flags disappeared, the sales office moved on to bigger and better projects…like the new village about to open – along with the website and advertisements. As a guest builder, you’re already paying a nice sum of money for those programs whether they still there or not, so the money isn’t there to go and redesign, redevelop and reinstall what once was even if the developer would allow it…which they wouldn’t. Further the HOA now controls the community and you have to adhere to the rules on signs and such.

ARGHHH!

What we’ve done is market like you’re a real estate broker. Use their resources and play in their parks, so to speak. Become one of them.

We started by having a broker “soiree” with wine and cheese to re-familiarize them with the last remaining homes in the community. Resale opportunities are often priced higher now that the neighborhood is maturing, so we’re poised well in the value department. It’s just getting the traffic to the sales office!

Second, we started hosting weekend Open Houses with the little arrow signs allowed by the HOA. We advertise in the classifieds rather than the New Home Section and attend the weekly broker pitch meetings to get the top brokers excited about the 3% referral commission, explaining that they basically walk away once the contract is signed…easy money!

Social media gives allows us to continue with the messaging to our fan base and virtual tours with amazing photography provides a great touch point when you send a link as a follow up to visitors and inquiries.

Bottom line – you don’t to be scared of the dark and there is light at the end of the tunnel!