Back in 2008, when the global financial crisis hit, many businesses were looking for ways to cut down costs – fast. There was a mass-culling of staff and marketing teams were one of the first to be bid adieu.
But those businesses that wanted to keep selling knew they’d need some kind of marketing support. So, they looked for external experts who could help at a lower cost – and outsourced marketing services took off.
Over the last several years, outsourcing has really caught on. It’s gone from something only big companies do to something businesses of all sizes can benefit from. And as we head into another unstable economic period, outsourcing could once again be a smart solution for those looking to save and sell.
Used in the right way, outsourcing can help you maintain service delivery – for a smaller and less risky investment than in-house support. You can outsource nearly anything these days but, here, we’re sticking to what we know: B2B digital marketing services.
There’s a time and a place for outsourcing
There’s a huge spectrum of opinions on outsourcing. From “let’s outsource everything” to “over my dead body”. No opinion is right or wrong – the decision can only be right or wrong for your business.
Before you start to seriously look into outsourcing, you need to know whether it’s the right fit for where your business is right now. While it’s true that big and small companies alike are now successfully leveraging outsourcing, the size and stage of your business should be considered.
Here’s an easy guide on how you should and shouldn’t use outsourcing, based on your annual profits.
In the sweet spot? Great. Let’s dive in.
Looking for a reason to outsource? Here are six.
There are definitely pros to having an in-house marketing team (yes, we can admit it!). They’re connected with the rest of the business, you have immediate access to them, and they really understand both your business and your buyers.
So, why outsource?
1. The cost is lower
Think about how much one in-house hire is going to cost you annually. Then consider if one marketer is enough, of if it’s more of a two or three-person job. And how much experience do you need your marketers to have? All these factors drive up your marketing costs considerably (and that’s just employee costs!). Outsourcing can often give you access to a whole team of specialists for less than the cost of one in-houser.
2. You’ll get more people power
Can one (or just a couple of) internal marketer/s do all the things you need them to? Do they have the experience and knowledge to plan and execute your campaigns? Are they well-versed in all the tactics? With outsourcing, not only do you get more bang for your buck but you get more expertise, too – with easy access to specialists if and when you need them.
3. That’s where the talent is
Good marketing talent is becoming harder and harder to come by. Marketers want to work with other marketers; the best talent is heading to agencies or bigger marketing teams so that they can learn and interact. It’s becoming harder for non-marketing businesses to attract great marketers to be the solo in-house expert.
4. No training required
If you’re not a marketing expert, how do you plan to hire and develop a marketing expert? Unless you’re hiring top-of-the-top senior people, you’ll need to know what to look for and how to develop that talent. If you don’t know good marketing, you can’t train a good marketer.
5. Get flexible support
A full-time internal marketer sitting around with nothing to do will still cost you money at the end of the month. But any outsourced marketing provider worth their salt will offer flexible service options, so you can flex up and down depending on your marketing needs.
6. Remote working is now the norm
Your outsourced marketing team might not be in the next room but, these days, an internal marketer might not be either. As we embrace remote working, it’s no longer necessary to be in the same place to function as a team.
Is there any reason not to outsource?
As we mentioned above, the size and stage of your business growth should be considered before you commit to outsourcing. For some, it just won’t be beneficial – yet.
But, other than that, the only reason not to outsource your marketing is if you’re a marketing business yourself! Never outsource a function if it’s core to what you do or strategic for your capacity to compete.
How to get into outsourcing
Even with its growing popularity, there remains somewhat of a misunderstanding about outsourcing and the value you can get from it. Many businesses still see it as a large overhead with limited value.
But as the way we work and operate continues to change, those businesses will start to see that distance means less, money means more, and expertise is key to getting your marketing working and delivering ROI. And they’ll begin to change their minds.
If you’re looking to up your marketing power without having to significantly up your marketing investment and you think outsourced marketing could be the way forward for your business, you should:
- Do your research – find out what’s out there and what service best suits the needs of your business.
- Ask around – a referral from a fellow business that’s had a great experience with a provider can save you a lot of time and effort.
- Prioritise flexibility – if we’ve learned one thing in 2020, it’s that change can happen quickly. Make sure you look for a service that can move with your business.
Looking for a place to start? Why not check out our range of outsourced B2B digital marketing services.