Should you be outsourcing your marketing?
Should you outsource your business’ marketing or keep it in-house?
You may assume that we would answer this question with a solid ‘outsource your marketing to marketing experts’. But here’s where we might surprise you.
Marketing encompasses everything a organisation does to push sales and promote its brand; from advertising to direct marketing to digital marketing, market research, PR, product development - even distribution methods.
When you consider how rudimentary these elements are to the core functions of any business, the idea of outsourcing the marketing function seems entirely illogical.
You know your business best, you are in it every day and you’re in the best position to develop a cohesive marketing strategy.
At The Marketing Centre, we firmly believe a business’ owner or its senior leadership team should keep in-house ownership of the marketing strategy. But when it comes to delivering that strategy, there can be many benefits to calling in outside help.
Here’s how to achieve the right balance between in-house ownership and outsourced delivery of your business’ marketing.
The advantages of in-house marketing
Marketing is your business. Without buyers or prospects, brand or reach there is no business. It’s mandatory – it’s a business fundamental.
If your marketing strategy isn’t up to scratch, your bottom line will suffer and you won’t achieve your growth potential. That’s why it’s important that there’s someone in-house who owns and oversees your marketing at a senior level. It’s also equally crucial that there’s continuous communication between this individual and the rest of the senior management team. Marketing doesn’t work in a bubble - it needs to be completely integrated with all other aspects of business. Therefore it’s essential that the rest of the team understand and engage with the marketing strategy on an ongoing basis.
If you don’t have a senior marketing expert in-house, you can either hire someone specifically for this role or think about in-sourcing a part-time marketing expert from an organisation like The Marketing Centre.
This is not the same thing as recruiting a marketing consultant.
The Marketing Centre is an organisation of marketing experts who join businesses as part-time Marketing Directors. Rather than presenting a consultant-style approach, they become part of your in-house team, getting actively involved with the day-to-day operations of your business.
As the business leader, it’s likely you are currently the person who runs your marketing. This could be because you are genuinely the best person to do so, but often it’s because you have been managing it from day one, and it’s simply stayed that way.
But if you’re not a marketing professional, hiring someone to come in-house and help develop and execute your strategy will make all the difference in driving business growth. Not only will they have the required skills to implement change but they’ll also be able to view your business objectively. This is different from handing over control, or ownership, of your entire strategy and walking away. You can, and should, still be involved in marketing and remain actively present at a strategic level. An experienced marketing professional will be able to help you structure, implement and drive that strategy forward.
What role does outsourcing play in marketing?
This is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string. It depends on the specifications of your business: your field, your budget, your actual problems, and many other variables.
In general, as long as you have in-house control of your overall strategy, areas like web production, PR and branding are the types of components you may want to outsource.
So, what are the benefits of outsourced marketing?
- You get access to specialists who focus on their particular sphere of expertise every day. Their experience and knowledge can be very valuable if you have specific pain points that you’re struggling to alleviate. For example: if you’re trying to grow your business by creating new leads or if a competitor has disrupted the market and is winning your customers.
- Outsourcing is perfect if you need fast, short term support on a particular campaign or project. For example, if you’re trying to break into new geographical markets but have no understanding of them or if you’re launching a completely new product and need expert advice.
- You can learn competencies from outsourced support which are then passed on to your in-house team. If a marketing expert comes in and designs new processes, this is something that can continue even after they leave.
- Outsourcing components of your marketing allows your existing team to focus on their areas of expertise rather than having to wing it in areas that they’re not so skilled in.
Marketing is the driving force of your business. It’s too important to be left only to juniors in the marketing department or to be outsourced in its entirety. At a strategic level, marketing must be owned and overseen by the CEO or business owner. But that doesn’t mean that the individual parts of that strategy shouldn’t be outsourced. Calling in expert help when needed is, in itself, a tactical move - one which can help your business achieve new levels of growth.
If you want to find out more about how our in-source marketing directors can help your business, drop us a line today.