Like most disciplines, marketing has changed tremendously over the past decade. As I’m sure you are aware, traditional channels such as print, television, and radio are not as effective today as hyper-targeted digital marketing, which has emerged as a vital component of any successful company’s growth.
Is your business prepared to effectively leverage digital marketing as a growth tool with the team you have in-house? Take a look at your return on investment. If the numbers satisfy you, then by all means keep doing what you’re doing. However, if you feel like your current efforts are lacking and not working out the way you envisioned, it may be time to look into outsourcing your marketing. Today, two-thirds of B2B companies are outsourcing at least a portion of their marketing efforts. The winners in the post-COVID world will be the companies that figure out how to maximize the output of distributed teams of remote specialists.
The surge in outsourcing has been fueled by an uptick in the available outsourced marketing resources. Yes, the number of advertising agencies and related outfits has remained relatively stagnant since 2007, but that’s just one marketing component. The rise of gig-work platforms has led to tens of thousands of freelance marketers offering their specific services online for affordable prices.
Gone are the days of the generalist marketer; specialized skills are in demand and crucial for success. You may have your team running your Google AdWords, writing copy, or posting to your social media accounts. However, they are most likely not experts and are almost certainly not telling your story as best it could be told.
You need a content specialist to create targeted, strategic, engaging content that stands out from the rest. Sometimes, just being a good writer is not enough.
That’s where outsourcing comes in: Marketers and agencies exist out there who specialize in one or a few different marketing elements and have vast experience practicing with their clients. From mobile marketing to public relations, there are specialists who can perform for you at a high level, at a fraction of a full-time employee’s cost.
Additionally, marketing technology has grown immensely, providing a plethora of tools to help experts get the most from their campaigns.
In 2014, there were about 150 marketing technology tools on the market. Today, that number has skyrocketed to nearly 7,000 marketing tools and platforms. To find, hire, train, and retain someone fluent in your specific technology stack could prove to be a costly endeavor, but hiring a professional freelancer to plug into a distributed team is a bargain in comparison.
In addition to managing your technology stack, here are some other areas you may consider outsourcing as part of a winning marketing strategy.
Between social media, news outlets, and blogs, millions of posts are published every day for consumers to sift through. You need a content specialist to create targeted, strategic, engaging content that stands out from the rest. Sometimes, just being a good writer is not enough. A worthwhile content specialist will have the industry knowledge needed to deliver in-depth, educational materials that can move the needle for your customers.
Design is one of marketing’s closest companions. If your content, ads, and emails aren’t visually appealing, it doesn’t matter how compelling the actual message is. The look of your marketing materials could be the difference in converting your audience into customers. In this age, design includes a plethora of mediums spanning video graphics, social media graphics, interactive content, and more. Besides knowing these various media, you need talent that genuinely understands how marketing and design work together.
You can create all the blog posts, videos, e-books, infographics, and podcasts you want, but it means nothing if it doesn’t get in front of your audience. You want your marketing tactics to generate leads. In that case, you need someone with a thorough, tested knowledge of distribution methods from the implementation of successful email campaigns to paid and organic social media.
Another factor to consider is marketing leaders’ shifting priorities. The shift in priorities also means a change in budgeting. About 50% of marketing budgets are dedicated to marketing technology and paid media, with the remainder going to manpower and outsourced agencies. A superior strategy is needed now more than ever with the intensifying focus on digital marketing and technology. In addition to an efficient process, experts must execute in areas such as media technology, paid media, email, and SEO. As a result, people who can find new channels, models, and technologies are in high demand to give companies a competitive edge.
Outsourcing your marketing also gives your company more wiggle room. Hiring a contractor instead of a full-time employee offers a level of flexibility comparatively. Suppose an outsourced service provider isn’t performing up to par. In that case, it is less time-consuming and more cost-effective to replace them with a more capable resource than getting rid of an underperforming full-time employee.
You may still think that cobbling together an internal marketing team may be the best route for you. An in-house team will indeed have a more intricate understanding of your company, offerings, and industry. However, does your budget and capacity allow for a team of full-time employees? Considering annual average salaries and benefits, a good marketing team could cost you $500,000 to $900,000 in employee compensation. That number goes higher if you make a hiring mistake or someone leaves the company. Outsourcing would be optimal in a budgeting sense because specialists can be hired on a project-by-project basis, according to need, for whatever time you set. As stated before, they can also easily be replaced.
Distributed teams of remote contractors are the future of work and, by consequence, the future of marketing. Providers all over the world are offering quality marketing services at an affordable rate. While it may be a good idea to have your marketing strategists in-house, hiring a team of outside talent to handle everything else could be the best answer for your bottom line. Do your due diligence to properly vet available providers and enlist the best talent for you. That’s how to win in marketing.