Should I outsource my marketing?
An effective marketing function is critical to the success and growth of your business. This is true whether you are a large corporation or an SME (Small and Medium sized Enterprises). As a critical part of the business, marketing is often neglected. It usually has the least investment and is understaffed. This can impact your marketing significantly. You find you haven’t got the resources to deliver the strategy. Worse still, it’s seen as the most disposable department during tough times.
Today there are more channels to engage with audiences. This means more data is generated, and more tactics are required to get results, but there isn’t enough time or people with the right skills.
Increased marketing elements mean the marketing department is continually juggling tasks, especially with a smaller team. This can make workloads feel unmanageable and targets unachievable. Marketers are expected to do more with less, a familiar situation.
So, you spend time and effort developing a strategy. But you find it hard to deliver for the reasons stated, essentially selling your business short. So, how do you keep up with the demands of the day?
Outsourcing all or part of your marketing function could be an intelligent solution. I hear you say it’s an added expense that I can’t afford or that I’m just a small business with no budget. Outsourcing shouldn’t be viewed as an extra expense to your bottom line but instead as an investment.
Like anything, there are good and bad third party marketing services out there. There are many benefits to outsourcing. Reduced overheads to gaining access to the latest industry technology and expertise are just some.
Here I have identified eight ways that organisations benefit from outsourcing their marketing:
1. Cost Benefits
A small marketing department can cost a company up to £200,000 per year to run, a significant investment. This includes team salaries in the region of £80,000 per year, software for around £2,500 per year, and a marketing budget.
Marketing departments may find themselves in tricky positions. They may want/need to add new skillsets but can’t afford the expense of adding a new employee. They have too much work for their existing team but not enough to take on a new hire, whether full or part-time.
Outsourcing gives you the skills needed without the added costs an employee brings, such as benefits and training.
2. Access to technology
As said, companies often underinvest in marketing, particularly technology. Teams often use a combination of marketing technology tools that are incompatible with each other. If you are lucky enough to gain some investment in such technology, choosing the right tools for you to be effective can be difficult.
It’s the opposite for agencies; they see this as an investment to best serve their clients. Outsourcing to a marketing agency means that you will gain access to the latest technology. It will be used by experts that can use technology effectively for your busy.
3. Return on Investment
Outsourcing your marketing can be seen as an expense instead of an investment. View it as an investment means you see that you get more than you spend. You gain access to an entire team of experts for a lot less than employing a marketing team.
Marketing strategies need to deliver a return on investment. Even the most competent team can spend the time without delivering. A marketing agency is driven by delivering for its clients. They must be; otherwise, they’ll lose clients. This means they’ll invest time, money and resources in a way that delivers this return on investment. You can also have confidence that projects won’t go unfinished for any reason.
4. Fresh Perspective
When people do the same things the same way over a sustained period, they can get stuck in a rut, which can be a challenge to change.
If you do try and change, it can upset the team, affecting morale and productivity. You may try and change this by introducing new hires; but, they can slip into the teams’ mindset.
Another way to combat this is by outsourcing to an agency. Yes, it is a big decision, but it can be a decision that pays offs. You don’t just gain access to technology and ability; you also gain new perspectives. The existing teams’ mindset does not hamper marketing agencies. This allows them to bring new ideas and be more creative. You gain perspective from an unbiased team of marketing experts.
5. Access to expert knowledge and focus on projects
Marketers have more ways to connect with audiences than ever. This can lead to skillsets not keeping up with the ever-growing tools available to them. Outsourcing part or all your marketing can mitigate against this. Agencies have specialist marketing experts. This means you can fill any skill gaps your teams face without expensive training.
Agencies can also help you use your team’s time more efficiently. They can use different skill sets to focus on a particular project or an ongoing plan. This allows you to carry on with your day-to-day tasks without the extra expense of hiring specialists.
6. Reduce staff absence
Companies face the prospect of losing staff for periods of time. The nature of marketing means staff absence can be stressful to the team. It is deadline-led, absences can impact the ability to do this.
Types of absences present different problems for companies. Short-term illness may come at a critical point for the delivery of a deadline. This means that somebody else must pick those tasks, which means their tasks are neglected. Longer-term absences, such as maternity, mean that the role must be covered. This poses the question about how to cover their position during this time. Do you employ someone on a maternity contract, or do you distribute the workload?
Outsourcing your marketing can help handle to workload while ensuring the team is not overwhelmed with extra tasks.
7. Decrease staff load
Marketers’ workloads are ever growing with less time to deliver. This can lead to juggling tasks. It can impact productivity, increase the chance of burnout, and potentially lose good staff as they look for new opportunities.
Outsourcing your marketing can prevent this and allow staff to focus on their core tasks. This will improve morale, prevent burnout and improve productivity.
8. Increase efficiency/Scaling efforts
Departments within companies often find they are handcuffed by bureaucracy. They have specific processes to follow. For example, they can only use certain suppliers. This can make running marketing activities inefficient and time-consuming. It also makes the ability to act or react to situations difficult.
Outsourcing can remove this.
Agencies have a variety of resources, such as experts and designers at their fingertips. This allows you to get things done without having to go through lengthy processes.
It is important not to view outsourcing as an expense to the bottom line but as an investment. Marketing departments are often limited in the skillsets they can access. They have marketers who have heavy workloads and often have to work across channels.
This doesn’t make them bad at their job. Just that they spread themselves thinly across tasks, this can affect how they are delivered and the results they produce.
Outsourcing helps with this. You gain access to experts that can complete specific projects and tasks. They then report back to you, so you can see the progress of campaigns, and how targets are being achieved.
Often the focus is on tactics, meaning strategy is forgotten or ignored. An agency helps free your time up so you can focus on the company’s strategic activities. You are provided with the opportunity to deliver more with the time that you have.
To find out how Bacon Marketing can support your marketing and see our full range of marketing services, head over to our services page.