Looking or thinking to outsourced marketing services to an agency? This article gives you a view of whether or not it makes sense to your current situation.
Now, you may be asking if your in-house marketing division be part of the development of your firm’s strategy and marketing plan or otherwise.
The short answer is Yes, they should.
They should help to build awareness, develop the brand, communicate the value proposition, and drive demand.
Outsourcing can be an effective way to scale your marketing endeavours and boost your bottom line. But it’s essential to carefully evaluate and manage outsourcing strategies to ensure that you don’t let cost savings get in the way of quality and service.
Marketing plays a critical role in creating brand awareness and generating leads for your business.
Most SMEs don’t have an in-house team that can help generate leads and create brand awareness.
Management of a full-time marketing staff can be very expensive. When handling multiple tasks in marketing – like website design, graphic design, email marketing – focus is often diverted away from your core competency.
The traditional methods of selling professional services are changing. For years, professional services firms have used personal relationships, referrals and networking events to get clients.
Today, there’s a new generation of buyers. They expect to be educated for nothing. They expect transparency. And they expect firms that fit their needs.
Today, it is not about who you know. It’s about what you know as customers expect firms that fit their needs and how effective you are in spreading the word.
Enter the Content Marketing Expert
The new concept of a high-profile internet-driven expert is a result of this new trend. They are using content to power their rise to prominence.
The rise of content based promotion has led to outsourcing. There are many skills needed to market a firm. Because of the pace of change, they need a lot of expertise to keep up.
Firms don’t want the hassle of keeping up with all this change. They turn to digital marketing agencies to fill in the gaps. Firms are spending more on outsourcing today than they did two years ago.
What are Outsourced Marketing Services?
Outsourcing your marketing involves hiring a third-party professional company or a professional to perform your promotional activities. This saves you time and energy, and frees you up to concentrate on what you do best — your business.
In order to provide a complete suite of services, both strategic and operational functions can be delegated to a third-party marketing partner with the specialized expertise, tools and professional staff.
The outsourcing partner reports on the performance of the program frequently because it is responsible for it.
Professional services firms rely on different degrees of outsourcing marketing from handling everything in-house to outsourcing every function.
For example, most firms don’t have the expertise to design and develop a website. It’s best suited to a company that builds websites on a daily basis.
Then there are businesses that outsource every aspect of their marketing. Their leadership and professionals are able to focus on their core business.
They rely on their selected agency provider to propose, implement, and report on the strategy. Their marketing firm is crucial in their success.
Which Companies Choose to Outsource and Why?
In all industries, outsourcing is a common practice. Individual experts and practices within large firms often seek outside marketing expertise. Firms outsourcing some or all of their marketing can be a reason.
Here are some of the most common situations:
- A firm that is limited in time and resources needs to improve the quality and consistency of its marketing
- An entrepreneur with a great idea should start a business without a full-time marketer. Hiring an outsource marketer allows you the flexibility to focus on your core competency and your clients.
- Not enough in-house expertise. A solopreneur might know his target audience better than anyone. His knowledge of his business may also enable him to develop a more effective marketing plan. But that doesn’t necessarily make him an expert at implementing that plan. Outsourcing partners will allow him access to a team of skilled veterans from across a wide range of disciplines.
- A large corporation understands that outsourcing certain functions, such as content creation, can be cheaper and higher quality than doing it themselves. It’s cheaper to outsource. In many cases, it’s the price of marketing tools that are the main culprit behind the failure of brand communications. Research suggests that brands spend 20 to 30% of their marketing budgets on marketing technology alone.
- Leadership hires an outside firm to provide strategy, as well as implementation support in areas where their in-house team is weak. This is often a smart move, as professionals are able to provide fresh ideas and keep up with current trends, technologies and techniques.
- Business owners use an outside agency to handle routine, repetitive, or tedious tasks, such as designing and setting up email campaigns. These tasks are often outsourced so that your team can focus their time on strategic activities, such as creating new and analyzing existing ad campaigns and planning them into their calendar.
- You don’t want your firm’s internal team to waste time investing in marketing, but have no idea if they are really getting results. Your agency provides full accountability, measurement and reporting, so they can focus on the core business.
- Leadership hires an outside firm to provide marketing strategy, as well as implementation support in areas where their in-house team is weak. This is often a smart move, as professionals are able to provide fresh ideas and keep up with current trends, technologies and techniques.
Why Engaging an Outsource Marketing B2B Agency is Popular with Professional Firms?
Below are a few compelling reasons for why professional businesses engage external partners:
A. There is a big difference between marketing and advertising, and most professional services firms just don’t have enough marketing talent to fill all of their needs. Professional services firms tend to be run by accountants, attorneys, management consultants, engineers, or other professionals in their fields, not marketers. They may not be inclined to become experts in yet another specialty.
Outsourcing is changing the balance of your valuable resources. Traditionally, professional services firms have relied on their most valuable people to write thought leadership content and do the networking required to generate new business opportunities.
But these demands take away from a professional’s billable time — an unending source of frustration for marketing directors everywhere. Outsourced takes care of those demands so you have more time to focus on your top priorities. An hour-long interview with an expert provides enough information for an entire marketing campaign. This way, your marketing strategies always stay relevant!
So, you see, in order to survive and grow, companies have to constantly adapt their strategies. And that’s where the external digital agencies come into the picture.
They have worked with companies across many different industries. So they know how each industry works, how it evolves, what are the best practices, how to create effective content, how to leverage influencer marketing, etc. So if your strategy isn’t working anymore, consider a fresh approach.
B. Effective marketing requires a growing, diverse skill set. Once upon a time, firms could get by with home-grown talent. Scheduling networking events and attending an occasional trade show require few specialized skills.
Today digital world requires highly developed technical expertise such as search engine optimization, landing page design, offer development, website analytics, persuasive writing and automation — to name just a few.
Your external partner should understand that regular content drives customer engagement. They should ensure that the necessary materials are of the best standards for maximum lead generation. With a detailed knowledge of current trends, your marketing agency should ensure that any digital plan devised, is able to bring your desired results on-time.
With their ability to access a variety of marketing tools and platforms, social networks allows small businesses to quickly promote their brands and enhance visibility.
On the other hand, a large department might not always be able to strategize and execute all the marketing campaigns required regularly. This may slow down their execution process, which could be detrimental to achieving their marketing goals.
C. Outsourcing marketing is cost effective. While the costs for outsourcing may seem high at first, they can, in fact, be quite cost effective.
You get access to a very diverse, high-quality set of skills without having to hire, train and supervise a team of specialists. You are only paying for what you need when you need it. And since you are using the talents of experienced specialists, they are also likely to produce better outcomes.
There are two types of marketing services that you can outsource: Marketing strategies and marketing material. You won’t have to pay for each one of them an individual salary, and you’ll only pay for the type of service you want them to provide.
D. Outsourced marketing agencies focus on generating leads for your business through digital marketing. This means they’re accountable for the results of their efforts.
Outsourced agencies are more than capable of delivering an accurate ROI, and they’re accountable for their deliverables. They send you monthly growth reports.
The rise of digital technology means that tracking is no longer just the domain of advanced statistics. These new tools and techniques can provide an accurate picture of the ROI and marketing outsourcing statistics that has been generated for your campaigns. Clear accountability means that you have one point of contact to hold responsible for results.
3 Risks of Outsourcing
Like any investment, outsourcing comes with certain risks. Here are three of the possible costs associated with outsourced marketing:
- Internal morale and accountability issues. Depending on what functions you will be outsourcing, your existing marketing staff may feel threatened when you bring on a new external partner. In addition, your team may not be used to the pace and pressure of a results-oriented marketing program. To manage these problems, you will need to clearly define people’s roles, let staff know that they are part of a larger team now and explain that success depends on everyone doing their part.
- Less on-site access to your marketing department. In some, but not all, outsourcing situations the team performing the marketing function may be located off site. This arrangement may or may not be new to you, depending on your firm’s remote work policies. Getting used to working with off-site partners on a daily basis may be frustrating and a difficult adjustment.
- Potential higher cost. Most outsourcing advocates report that outsourcing costs less. After all, it allows you to avoid the long-term costs associated with hiring and supervising new personnel. You pay for only the services you need. Some firms, however, find that outsourcing increases their marketing costs. We believe this happens when firms do not sufficiently fund marketing to achieve success. When they began an outsourcing program their costs are higher because they are now paying for the resources it takes to generate results.
Commonly Outsourced Marketing Activities:
A. Market Research
Market research is a thorough study of your business’s market, competitors, and customers. It helps you identify your brand’s unique selling proposition, understand what your customers need, and gauge what your competitors are doing.
It can be extremely tedious and time-consuming when performed in-house. Instead, when you outsource marketing research services, marketing agencies dive into Google and other social media marketing analytics.
And agency provides insight into your SWOT analysis. It will help you strategically plan your branding and marketing.
B. Strategy And Planning
Creating a marketing blueprint is an important first step towards branding. It helps you decide how you want to position yourself in the market and when you want to introduce your brand. Imagine a scenario where you hire a marketing agency to develop a marketing plan and plan for your business.
They will analyze and interpret your current data to create a strategy, which includes positioning, value proposition, growth strategy, choosing the correct platform to market on etc.
C. Marketing Operations
Marketing operations involves overseeing and optimizing your whole marketing process, starting from strategy and deployment to measurement, report generation, and attribution.
In addition, you won’t need to spend the time and money to install the software, as the service provider will already have the newest technology to work more efficiently.
Inside the Outsourced Marketing Department
Typical outsourced marketing teams are structured like this:
A team of people on the payroll that works for you on a part-time basis. They don’t work directly for you, but their work is overseen by someone from your team.
This team of people has more strategic value than individual freelancers, as they’re capable of setting up and managing multiple engagements. A good project manager can really make a difference in the quality of your partnership.
Of course, the outsourcing team will include individuals who do the work. Typically, these will be specialists in critical areas: research, strategy, design, social media, SEO, writing and so on.
There should be QA process that double checks all work before you ever see it. It’s far too easy for embarrassing mistakes to sneak through without it. A critical component of the engagement is reporting. Reporting not only provides an opportunity for the teams to collaborate and monitor progress, it establishes accountability on both sides, as well.
You and your account team should meet on a regular basis—usually once a month—to review work in progress, go over performance metrics and discuss any adjustments or changes in course.
Reporting not only provides an opportunity for the teams to collaborate and monitor progress, it also establishes accountability on both sides, as well as builds the sense of teamwork among the sales and support staff.
When should you consider Outsourcing Your Marketing?
A. Hiring An In-House Marketing Team Is Costly For Your Business
Some businesses can’t afford an entire in-house department right from the start. The average base pay for a marketing manager is $70000 – $120,000 per year, so it can be difficult to find a marketing manager for a startup or SME.
Even though you might be able to afford a marketing manager, your budget is restricted to a certain number of marketing executives. When you want to boost your business reach quickly, having a really small marketing branch is not a good idea.
That’s why most new businesses choose outsourcing over hiring and maintaining an internal promotions team.
B. Your Current Marketing Strategy Doesn’t Work
There are many reasons why marketing strategies fail. Lack of market perspective, low awareness of new trends and outdated marketing tools are just a few of the possible reasons.
If you have an existing digital marketing plan that isn’t working, consider outsourcing. Through outsourcing, you get the expertise of a team of professional digital marketing experts to assist you in the best possible way to achieve your marketing goals.
C. You Want To Shift Your Focus To Maximizing Growth
You Want To Shift Your Focus To Maximizing Growth – Most businesses perform multiple marketing trials to see what works. And while testing through trial and error can help you figure things out, it takes a lot of time and usually requires a decent amount of investment.
On the flip side, with the help of an outsourced agency, you get data-driven marketing plans, strategies and marketing materials from the start. Through consistent efforts, they help you instantly build your online brand image for maximum growth in a minimum amount of time.
Should you Engage Outsource Marketing Services?
Professionals often use outsourced services to help them keep up with the pace of change in the marketplace. Some firms use it to address distinct, short-term needs. Others turn to outside firms to provide the sophisticated, powerful and performance they cannot achieve with in-house resources alone.
Competition for new business is fierce. Many firms are struggling to keep up. Others want to outsource non-core functions. And yet other firms are looking to outsource key tasks that aren’t core to their businesses. In addition, there is an increasing number of firms that are moving towards a subscription-based model for their services.
As you review your programs. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is this activity central to your core business?
- Can you make time to learn how to do it yourself?
- Does it have a steep learning curve if you were to do it yourself?
- Do you have the in-house talent and can you manage the talent?
- Can you afford the fixed overhead cost?
It’s probably safe to say that if you’re reading this article, you have already outsourced, or at least you know you need to. As you think about your own marketing needs, feel free to contact us at Blazing Conversions. We offer the complete suite of outsourcing services.