Whether you’re a fast growth startup, a medium sized business or a large corporation, there are times when outsourcing your marketing activities makes good strategic and economic sense. Often though, it’s difficult to know when you should outsource versus when you should hire a new employee.
Last year, only 38% of B2B organizations said their marketing was effective. So whichever combination of in-house and outsourced marketing you choose, you must ensure marketing is enabling your business, not holding it back. Whether or not you should outsource your marketing all comes down to a key question:
How can you use your resources most effectively to get the best results?
This article will show five times that you should outsource your marketing, and explain why it makes sense to do so.
1) When you don’t have the time to do it yourself
The most obvious time to outsource some of your marketing is if it is distracting employees from what they should be doing. In-house marketing teams can outsource some of the writing, design, or maintenance of specific projects to an agency so that the team can continue to focus on strategic initiatives.
In smaller companies, executives often tend to try to manage marketing on the side until they finally realize they are being spread too thin. Basically, if you’re the President or other executive, you should be focused on business strategy, not updating the website. Once you’ve identified that marketing tasks are stopping you from doing what you should be doing, it's time to look to partner with a local agency.
2) When you need specific marketing skills or expertise
Companies often outsource when they require specific expertise that isn't available in-house. Marketing encompasses a vast amount of activities that each require their own skillset, and it’s often far easier to outsource a specific area to an expert than to try and train existing staff. Plus, because these individuals have made the field their life’s work, you’ll likely get better quality and a deeper understanding of the process than if you try to find someone already on your staff.
Examples of skills to find outside the company could include: Writing, graphic design, web design, video production and editing, search engine optimization, or email marketing.
3) When you don’t have the budget or resources for a full-time marketing employee
As mentioned, marketing has a ton of different components. Finding a single person who is an expert in all of them is virtually impossible. That’s why it makes sense for companies to partner with an agency. This way, you gain access to a wider variety of skills at a lower overall cost.
When you’re making the decision to add headcount, consider if you truly need a full-time employee for each role. Do you have 40 hours a week of design work to do? Are you going to be producing enough content to have a full-time writer and editor? Though you may pay a higher hourly rate to go through an agency, you’ll avoid all the additional costs that come along with hiring someone, and gain a wider variety of skills than if you hire one individual.
4) When you have a specific project
If you have a product launch coming up or you are looking to write a blog post, outsourcing to an agency may make the most sense. Many agencies will work on a project basis to complete a specific task, making them a far more cost-effective and less risky option than hiring and on-boarding new employees. It also brings in outside expertise and avoids dragging employees away from their other tasks to work on the project.
5) When you want a long term relationship
This may sound odd at first, but many companies form close, long term relationships with their marketing agencies. As they become familiar with the company, agencies can become trusted partners who manage longer term initiatives, such as marketing strategy, lead generation programs, lead nurture campaigns, social media and other strategic projects.
The key here is that outsourcing is not necessarily a one-off thing. When the agency you partner with knows your goals, your strategy, and your market, they can be more cost-effective, save employees time and bring in outside expertise, all while driving your marketing in the right direction.
So what should you do?
Making the decision to outsource depends on your business, resources, goals and strategies. There’s no one size fits all solution. Many organizations have a combination of in-house and outsourced marketing teams that work together to develop the best strategies and produce the best results. Outsourcing can bring in experts you wouldn’t otherwise have access to, augment your team’s capabilities and provide you with an additional resource for busy times or specific projects.
Want to discuss your situation? Contact us today and let's chat! We’d love to hear about your company and your needs and discuss whether outsourcing would be the right fit for you!