Outsourced marketing is when an organization contracts with external company resources to implement marketing strategies and tactics. This could be for functions like marketing research, development of marketing strategies, and execution of marketing tactics. The most basic logic behind marketing outsourcing is that it provides expertise in each marketing discipline (pay-per-click, SEO, SEM, content writing, website development, advertising and video production) at lower costs than developing internal resources. Additionally, it allows flexibility and scalability for projects and campaigns of any size and scope. It’s this pay-for-service model that compels companies of all sizes to opt for outsourcing, because it allows for the utilization of services for long or short periods of time.
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A key reason organizational management would look to start outsourcing marketing functions is cost management concerns. When hiring in-house staff to promote, price, and package your goods and services, you are adding significant fixed costs to your company overhead. Salaries, benefits, and personnel expenses rise significantly when hiring technically skilled employees. These costs, while not permanent, are much more difficult to scale down when demand for your products starts to
wane. By hiring a marketing agency or freelance talent to manage things like creative work, database management, and pay-per-click
advertising, you shift these potential fixed-costs to variable costs. This change allows company management significantly more flexibility and scalability as they look to grow their organizations commensurate with demand in uncertain market segments. So, look to outsource marketing functions if you need or want the ability to scale up and down quickly and easily.
Another key driver prompting company leadership to outsource marketing is time-to-market. When it comes to strategizing and executing on tactics for launching a new brand, repackaging a product, or developing a content strategy for your organization, timeliness is a chief concern. For an in-house team to be assembled to support these functions would take significant time, effort, and energy. Both human resources and company management would be needed to identify, recruit, hire, and educate new team members to support these initiatives. Instead of going the in-house route of having to hire internal team members to execute on these key functions, business owners should look to hire agencies or freelancers. These agencies will have built in teams with deep domain knowledge on things like SEO, pay-per-click, website development, landing page creation, content marketing, creative, and lead generation. This preassembled agency team allows company executives the ability to execute on essential marketing functions significantly faster than if they had to build an in-house team.
The marketing landscape has shifted significantly, principally into the digital realm. Now, the primary ways of building brand awareness, thought leadership, and leads for your organization are through search engine marketing, web-video production, social media, email nurturing, blogging, and premium content creation. Additionally, the skill sets needed to execute on these tactics have become increasingly technical and precise. Hiring internal staff that have these technical skills can be difficult and highly expensive. In addition to luring employees with this expertise to your organization, helping them maintain their technical skills costs money and resources. The marketing automation platforms, analytics software, and design and development applications necessary to run an effective marketing organization continually change and evolve. Internal hires will need support from executive management to attend conferences, trade shows and industry events to maintain their skills. By hiring external resources like marketing agencies and freelancers, you ensure that you have the highest quality technical talent at all times. Competent agencies ensure that staffers and team members are always up to date and certified on relevant software like marketing automation platforms, design applications, and analytics software. By engaging agencies to run your marketing functions, you ensure top-level technical talent without the expense associated with hiring and maintaining in-house resources.
As organizational growth through company acquisitions becomes more commonplace, the appeal to use outside marketing resources becomes increasingly significant. Specifically, when companies merge, the resulting brands must merge or somehow co-exist under the same corporate umbrella. Additionally, marketing databases need to meld, and other internal systems must converge to assure brand consistency and corporate unity throughout the marketplace. Placing these demands on internal team members who maintain other internal responsibilities can be crippling and lead to bad outcomes. In these circumstances it makes sense to engage with outside professional resources that have experience in seamlessly merging brands together. Agencies can offer support on both the strategic and tactical level when it comes to merging organizations and unifying brands.
For organizations engaged in inbound marketing where there are a plethora of inbound leads coming in from content marketing efforts, outsourcing “low value” follow-up functions can be a wise business decision. For example, when leads are generated from website form submissions, video views, and content downloads, smart marketing organizations are quickly following up on these leads. This responsiveness shows prospects that organizations are engaged and eager to earn their business. However, these functions of lead validation and qualification and appointment booking can quickly swamp internal resources that should be focused on higher value activities. When companies find themselves in this enviable situation, outsourcing these lower value lead follow-up functions can make sense. These functions can be quickly and economically outsourced to agency or freelance talent without significant time investments. Outsourcing these low value follow-up functions will ensure that your internal marketing and sales departments are focused on only high value activities. This is essential for company leadership who need to prioritize employee time on functions that can’t be easily carved up and outsourced to outside talent.
Finally, the competitive landscape is constantly shifting and evolving. New competitors are always entering the market and your company’s position within the market is continually oscillating. This environment necessitates quick movements and constant alterations to assure alignment with demand. By opting for outsourced marketing help, you can assure you have the resources to quickly respond to these competitive market changes in real time. This support helps assist management in achieving market leadership position, or warding off new competitive entrants.
If implemented correctly, outsourced marketing can deliver significant efficiency gains for organizations large and small. It can keep fixed costs low, increase the speed at which marketing results are delivered, keep internal marketing resources focused on high value activities, and help position the company against competitors. Additionally, technology advances and internet connectivity have accelerated and simplified the process of outsourced marketing. As more functions are digitized (such as pay-per-click, creative, website design, and landing page creation), the ability for organizations to efficiently outsource specific tactics while maintaining the quality of the work has become easier.