The Benefits Of An Outsourced Marketing Firm

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Businesses today must keep up in a high-speed world, and the rapid fire of new technology guarantees that we won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Consumers receive information from more channels every day, making it crucial to attract target markets early to stay ahead of competitors.

This makes marketing key for your business’ success. But marketing departments have a lot to juggle: development and reporting on a marketing plan, content creation and distribution, internal and external communications, Internet and social media management, and more. It’s hardly surprising that an in-house team can’t always get everything done. Even the hardest working team is going to drop a ball sometimes, especially if they’re missing a skill set or dividing their time among too many projects.

The solution? Outsource your marketing. The concept is far from new. Companies have outsourced creative marketing functions such as advertising campaigns for a long time, but the time to consider outsourcing all marketing operations has arrived. It often saves money and improves quality, and it’s starting to look like the future as more and more companies begin to benefit from outsourcing.

These companies aren’t just taking a shot in the dark; there are cold, hard numbers behind the need to outsource. A Bain & Co. study of 2,000 companies over 10 years found that only one in 10 companies achieved sustained, profitable growth. The numbers aren’t promising, until you look at what the winners had in common: more effective capability sourcing. 85% of the winning companies used capability sourcing more broadly and innovatively than their competitors. Companies must find new ways to dominate their markets, and the numbers prove that intelligent outsourcing is a good strategy to help your company secure its spot in that 10%.

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Expertise

Effective marketing requires a wide range of expertise. The ideal marketing team includes; strategists, analysts, product specialists, brand managers, communications professionals, event organizers, SEO specialists, search specialists, marketing automation specialists, copywriters, creatives – the list goes on and on. Hiring a large enough staff to cover all bases isn’t often feasible, and it’s expensive even when it is. Given the rapid technology changes of our era, even the best in-house team can fall behind as new areas of expertise become necessary. Finding and maintaining a marketing staff with the right expertise at the right cost point is very difficult.

That’s where an outsourced marketing firm can step in. Suddenly you have marketing experts with specialized skills that you can assemble into a team that is specific to your immediate needs. This team can then be retained for follow-up efforts, adjusted to meet changing needs, or totally revamped if the next assignment requires a markedly different combination of expertise and skill sets. Marketing firms are also often already familiar with your target market from other projects, as well as more aware of the many marketing channels and opportunities available. Your business benefits from the combined experience brought by the marketing team while avoiding the stress and costs of training and retraining a less broadly specialized in-house team.
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Flexibility

Markets are constantly changing in today’s fast-paced world, and you don’t want to be the business left behind. Companies need the strategic and organizational mobility to shift gears at a moment’s notice, and outsourcing allows you to have an instantly prepared and specialized team available whenever a shift requires adapting your marketing strategy. It also enables your company to explore new approaches without a long-term commitment.

This flexibility also extends to hours and staffing. With an outsourced marketing team, you only pay for the services used for the length of time needed. The urgency of marketing naturally ebbs and flows, and your outsourced marketing resources can appear and disappear from your payroll in tandem with your business activity.
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Savings

The fixed payments of outsourcing may appear to be more expensive at the onset, but the money saved is almost always higher. Fixed costs in people, technology, and facilities often account for the largest portion of a marketing budget. The assembly of a modest in-house department is an investment that easily stretches into six figures. It also creates an area of year-round overhead – including retirement benefits, health insurance, vacation pay, etc. – that becomes an immovable, fixed expense. Finding competent executives with the right expertise also takes time and money. Outsourcing will save you both.

By enlisting an outsourced marketing partner, a business can create a lean and focused marketing-team model for about the cost of hiring one mid-level marketing manager. Because you only pay for services used, for the length of time needed, this model can also be adjusted throughout the year in response to changing parameters of seasonal activity, fluctuating cash flow, changing markets, and any other external considerations. Outsourced marketing firms also can often use their expertise to cut paid media marketing costs. End result: your business saves money that can then be invested in further growth.
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Accountability

In today’s economic climate, companies can’t afford to spend money without measurable results. In contrast to an internal hire, an external marketing firm that doesn’t deliver results will quickly be off any business’ payroll. Not only does this mean that successful agencies have been vetted by your peers, it also means that your outsourced team knows that they will be held accountable for the work performed. Without the cushion of a long-term contract, agencies must be results-driven in order to survive.

While there often is less pressure on an in-house team to be accountable for quantifiable progress, an outsourced marketing firm will hold itself fully accountable through executive summaries, marketing dashboards, key performance indicators, and lead generation updates. This embracing of quantification into the core of the marketing process does much more than keep your staff updated. By incorporating measurement and metrics into the heart of the marketing program, outsourced marketing teams establish an infrastructure to monitor and maximize ROI in real time. By making it quantifiably clear what strategies are and are not working, this interactive feedback loop ensures that an optimal mix of solutions and channels is fully in place.
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Cross-Industry Knowledge

Oftentimes, an outsourced marketing firm has a stake in diverse clients and industries, which gives you an advantage. Cross-industry experience allows firms to develop a comprehensive strategy based on observation of a wide sample of businesses and industries. The experience gained from supporting many businesses enables marketing firms to better evaluate how to support yours.

Regardless of your industry, your outsourced marketing partner will have relevant expertise. Every member of your new team spends his or her entire working life in the front lines of the marketing world. This gives firms insight into cutting edge marketing strategies that will function across markets. While a good in-house team will have an in-depth knowledge of your market, they will not have the breadth of knowledge from other industries and markets that an outsourced team has. This could mean missing an opportunity to have a cutting-edge campaign informed by killer campaigns in other industries.
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Objectivity

Successful marketing must shape the company’s image in the eyes of consumers. While a company’s conception of its brand is important, it is prospective consumers’ opinions that ultimately determine the success of a business. Having a fresh perspective enables outsourced teams to see your company as prospective clients see it and engineer a strategic plan centered on the consumer. Because it is much harder for in-house employees to divorce themselves from company politics and groupthink, the objective strategic vision of outside agencies will produce results more reliably. Your outsourced team will say it like it is, and that jolt is often just what a business needs to move to the next level.

Outsourcing your entire marketing effort is the only way to reap the full benefits of outside objectivity. When only a campaign is outsourced, traditional advertising agencies make money through commissions and markups. This incentivizes unnecessarily flashy campaigns because the outsource firm’s income level is directly tied to the size of the media buy and/or production effort. An outsource partner that works on a flat-fee or retainer basis is more closely aligned with your interests. With fully outsourced marketing, the sole focus of both client and partner is the need to make each invested dollar work harder and go farther. Your outsourced team can approach your marketing with an objective viewpoint that results in a comprehensive marketing strategy that maximizes ROI.
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Speed to Market

Time is, quite literally, money. In today’s hyper-competitive market climate, businesses can’t afford to waste time when an opportunity arises. With a larger team and library of resources, outsourced marketing firms can produce deliverables faster than an in-house team. Firms often have enough expertise internally to produce polished deliverables and will have established partnerships to do so if not. The gap in speed to market between in-house and outsourced teams is especially large when pursuing a new model of marketing that your in-house team may be unfamiliar with.

Marketing professionals expect to take the initiative and get the ball rolling. Without expending time and money on management, your business can expect fresh ideas upfront and a lead generation campaign within weeks of hiring an outsourced team. Outsourced marketing teams are ideally positioned to deliver efficient and exceptional performance across your entire marketing effort with minimal exertion and cost for your business; perhaps the better question is why wouldn’t you outsource your marketing.

Learn more about the benefits of our innovative model.