3 min read –
As we plunge into 2022, the world of marketing continues to evolve. One aspect we’ve noticed is how existing marketers in larger companies are becoming more and more accountable for business results, and therefore the onus on them is to become smarter in how they work. There is constantly ‘more to do’ and therefore naturally marketers are seeking help and resource. One avenue is to consider outsourcing some of your marketing to a specialist but how do you decide whether that’s a good move or not.
In the first article on this topic we looked at the benefits of outsourcing your marketing.
Having examined some of these benefits, and before reaching a conclusion about whether outsourcing would suit your business, this 2nd article considers what type of marketing activities are suitable to outsource.
It is of course possible to outsource your entire marketing activities, and for some companies this is by far the best value and ROI solution. They know the work will be done consistently and as required, and from a cost perspective it is cheaper to have an Agency on call then employ a full-time Marketing Manager.
With regard to content marketing, which is the current growth area across many industries, it is beneficial to consider 3 stages of the sales cycle to give some insight into what should be outsourced.
At the top of the funnel, you have the awareness stage, where potential new buyers are becoming exposed to what you can offer. Content tends to be quite generic, aimed at educating the market, creating brand awareness and answering common questions. Outsourcing this to an industry-aware Agency or specialist is perfectly reasonable and a good way to help resource-allocation. You just need to pick the right Agency and keep a watching brief. Content at this stage tends to be in the form of white papers, video, blogs etc.
As a buyer progresses down the sales funnel (perhaps to the consideration stage) he/she is more likely to need more detailed information on a company’s products and services. There is still scope for 3rd party involvement, but it is more likely they would require existing material (presentations, fact sheets, videos etc) to help them create content. So there is likely more involvement from the company but still the opportunity to save time and resource.
Towards the bottom of the buying process, there is even more requirement for company personnel to be involved from a technical standpoint and so outsourcing this type of content creation is unlikely (but not impossible). Where a 3rd party can support here is in the final creation of the actual marketing piece (video, blog, webinar etc) which can still provide a time and resource benefit to the company.
OTHER MARKETING PILLARS
Other typical marketing pillars that are easier to outsource include those mentioned above (corporate and other complex video and animation, and website build) but also design and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Typical examples of marketing design include your brochures and leaflets, any advertising you may do (online or traditional), elements of your branding (for e.g. your logo) and any exhibition material you may need. The biggest requirement you need to outsource this is an understanding, from the 3rd party, of your company culture and your industry, to ensure the design is appropriate and reflects your company values and messages.
Conducting SEO for your website and other online platforms does require a certain level of specialised knowledge that can be learned but is time consuming. Outsourcing this to a 3rd party can be expensive, but again the value you achieve from this could easily outweigh the cost. A stream of new leads bought about by a coordinated SEO campaign would offer an ROI that is unlikely from many other forms of marketing, and could prove to be your best decision of the year.
What conclusion can we draw then from whether outsourcing your marketing is a good thing or not?
To return to the analogy of the automotive sector, to help them concentrate on their core functions, companies outsource production of smaller components. Whilst still critical to the overall build quality and production schedule, these smaller components can be produced by 3rd parties providing the necessary procedures and checks are in place. Often these smaller components are easier to manufacture and less critical to the overall finished result.
The same rationale can be applied when considering outsourcing marketing. By choosing the right 3rd party (Agency or individual specialist) and ensuring processes are in play that keep a level of trust in place, a company can, and arguably should, enjoy the benefits of outsourcing some or all of its marketing.
Please let us know your experience of outsourcing and whether it’s worked for you.