In 2021, marketing budgets fell to 6.4%, their lowest recorded level in recent history. This is a significant drop from 11% of company revenue in 2020.
Does this mean that the importance of marketing for businesses has dropped too? It’s highly unlikely. Though pandemics, economic upheavals, and other outside factors may shift organizations’ priorities elsewhere, marketing will remain critical for businesses.
Regardless of what’s going on in the world, companies face increasing competition and the need to differentiate themselves. Marketing is a tried and true way to invest in reaching and connecting with customers.
In fact, now more than ever, relationships are everything in business. Customers buy from those they trust, and losing customers’ trust means a loss of revenue or worse.
With so much at stake, some businesses turn to third parties to perform their marketing activities, commonly known as outsourced marketing. In this way, companies can achieve better results while maximizing their marketing investment.
This is especially common within the B2B marketplace. Only 41% of B2B businesses keep all of their marketing tasks in-house.
Should you consider investing in outsourced marketing? Here are the signs that now might be the right time.
Should you consider investing in outsourced marketing? Here are the signs that now might be the right time.
One reason to outsource your marketing is to get expert help. Not only will you benefit from experts’ years of experience and knowledge, but they also can offer a fresh perspective and clarity when tackling your marketing challenges.
Usually, agency teams include multiple specialists with wide-ranging knowledge and experience. Roles might include a creative director, SEO strategists, visual designers, copywriters, and marketing strategists, just to name a few.
But even if your company has a large and talented team handling multiple functions, can you handle each of these areas of expertise in house?
Search engine marketing (SEM)
A/B testing specialist
Social media marketing
Strategic web design
Of course, no single agency could excel in each of these areas. But when outsourcing your marketing, you can choose to partner with a team skilled in the specialties you need.
In addition, the agency itself has a breadth of experience gained over years of working with various clients. They know what works and what doesn’t.
Smaller companies in particular understand the need to reach out for expert help. The smaller the team, the less likely they have all the necessary skills to get their desired results.
Whatever the size and capabilities of your team, relying on specialists’ expertise can greatly expand your marketing reach and help you maximize your marketing investment.
Even a first-rate team may not have enough bandwidth to achieve its desired marketing outcomes. If the team’s capacity is limited, your marketers may struggle to keep up with their usual workload while feeling immense pressure to produce results.
Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common problem.
A lack of staff plus too much responsibility equals tremendous stress for your team, who can’t do their best work under these circumstances. And of course, substandard performance won’t produce optimal marketing results.
Outsourcing your marketing can provide you with the technology you might struggle to afford on your own. At the same time, you gain access to experts who know how to make them produce results for you.
The wide variety of marketing technology (or MarTech) in use today can help you automate functions, reach your customers better, track analytics, and so much more. Here are a few of the most common:
In addition to these technologies, your website is your most important marketing tool, working along with the others to attract and retain customers.
Some MarTech will undoubtedly help improve your marketing results. But how do you know which tools would best help you meet your goals? And how can you keep up with technology that changes rapidly? Many companies decide to outsource their marketing to avoid this problem.
Whether you want to add digital marketing to your traditional marketing strategy, keep up on new technology, or access advanced marketing tools and subscriptions, the right agency can integrate MarTech with marketing tactics for a comprehensive solution.
With the level of expertise and variety of marketing tools available, you might think that the cost of outsourcing would be astronomical—and far outside your budget. But surprisingly, outsourcing your marketing can often save you money and is the main reason many organizations choose to do so.
One way outsourcing your marketing saves money is by reducing overhead. For each FTE on your team, you incur costs not only for salary and benefits, but also for hiring, onboarding, and initial and ongoing training. You also may supply office space and equipment.
These overhead costs can really add up, especially with a larger team.
A look at average marketing salaries can show the significant costs to put together a solid team. By outsourcing, you gain a higher level of expertise than you could afford by hiring your own employees.
And as we’ve already discussed, the cost of obtaining and updating the MarTech you need can be prohibitive. In fact, for many businesses, it’s over 25% of their marketing spend.
But agencies already have access to most of the tools you need and staff who already know how to use them. The savings on technology and training can be enormous. If you can cut costs while improving your marketing ROI, outsourcing makes a lot of sense.
The marketing activities that get results for you today may not work for you tomorrow. Your industry, your customers, and the economy are always changing. But can your marketing plan keep up?
Even in relatively stable times, you probably have some variation in your staffing needs. Your in-house team might be more than you need during slow times for your business, while it’s not enough during busier periods.
But outsourcing your marketing means not having to worry about staffing levels. With an agency, you have access to the specialists you need when you need them—no more and no less.
Likewise, while some marketing tools are useful nearly all the time (such as social media scheduling and your website), you may need others only occasionally, such as for an event or special campaign.
With outsourced marketing, you get the flexibility to use only the technologies you need only for as long as you need them.
And of course, paying only for what you need is cheaper than maintaining a full in-house marketing team or platform with many technologies, as many companies seem to recognize.
When outsourcing for a project, you can obtain only what you need for just a limited time. For longer periods, or to ensure the continuity and consistency of your brand and strategy, a retainer agreement with an agency makes more sense.
Such flexibility helps you to balance your company’s expenses and requirements. And over time, this enhances your competitiveness and responsiveness in a changing marketplace.
Your team might have a fantastic marketing plan and ambitious ideas for upcoming projects but can never find the time to follow through. Or you might always be running behind on your initiatives.
Especially for overworked teams, it is critical to avoid wasting time or effort. But many businesses struggle with efficiency. In fact, 22% of small business owners cite a lack of time and resources as their greatest challenge.
One common mistake is focusing on short-term tactics rather than longer-term strategies. When teams don’t invest the time and effort to develop clear strategies, marketing activities can be haphazard and measurement of your ROI can be nearly impossible.
After all, without knowing where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? An outsourced agency can help you develop a roadmap to achieve better marketing results.
Another way outsourced marketing can boost your efficiency is helping projects get up to speed quickly.
If you want to launch a campaign, for example, outsourcing means you don’t have to spend time hiring and training additional employees. You also can avoid the many steps involved in acquiring new technology.
With an outsourced agency, the staff and technology are ready when you need them, a much more efficient approach and one used by a number of organizations.
To get the most out of your time and other resources, outsourcing your marketing is a clear path to greater efficiency and measurable results.
Growth provides opportunities for increased revenue, a larger market share, a stronger reputation, and industry leadership. However, growth also comes with risks. Possible problems include cash shortages, strained relationships with customers, or a decline in the quality of your products and services.
Whether growth happens naturally for your business or you make a conscious decision to pursue it, obstacles are inevitable.
With these and all the other difficulties marketers face, how can any team hope to increase their marketing ROI and do their part to help their company expand?
There is a solution. Instead of focusing on growth, marketing teams should focus on scaling. Scaling happens “when revenue increases without a substantial increase in resources.” Getting more bang for your buck is a common result of outsourcing, and for this reason, many companies choose to outsource when it’s time to scale.
With outsourced marketing, teams can focus on scaling their efforts while they overcome many of the problems we’ve already discussed. They can quickly ramp up their effectiveness without investing in infrastructure. And by improving their marketing ROI, teams can help their company scale as well.
If any of the signs above apply to your situation, now might be a good time to consider outsourced marketing.
What’s the best way to get started?
First, think about how much of your marketing responsibilities you want to outsource. The decision will depend on the size and workload of your team, among costs and other variables.
You may want to keep all of your marketing responsibilities in-house, outsource all of them, or work with some combination of the two. Those who choose a hybrid approach typically spend 10% to 20% of their marketing budget on outsourcing.
Next, decide which of your marketing responsibilities you want to outsource. The possible combinations are endless. For example, you might want to have your team handle day-to-day marketing tasks while working with an expert to refine your strategy, or you might want to outsource everything except lead generation, depending on your team’s strengths.
Social media marketing strategy
Photography, audio and video services
But this list is far from complete. For any marketing activity you want to pursue, you can probably find help or guidance from a reputable agency.
At Hudson Fusion, we’re here to help you talk through this process and decide whether outsourced marketing is right for you.
Whether you’d like us to partner with you on some of your marketing tasks or provide a comprehensive strategy, you will benefit from our more than 20 years of marketing experience.
Our process is centered on active collaboration, meaning our team and yours will work together to achieve powerful, accurate, and optimized marketing efforts that attract your best-fit clients.
Schedule a time to talk with one of our marketing experts about outsourcing your marketing. We’d love to help you find ways to make your company grow.
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