Marketing can be an encompassing term. It’s not quite sales. And it’s not quite advertising. It’s a unique combination of factors that—if executed correctly—can grow your business exponentially. The often-underestimated department is the customer-facing tour de force that makes you different – but that doesn’t mean it HAS to be developed 100% in-house. In some cases, outsourced marketing can work alongside your company and, at the same time, make you better.
Marketing masters leverage blogging, SEO, branding, and design to captivate their audience and put themselves miles ahead of the competition. But harnessing the many hands of marketing takes a little time and a lot of support. Chances are, you do everything you can to magnify your marketing and stretch its positive effects on your business. However, if your company isn’t in the business of marketing, you might not have the luxury of having a full-fledged marketing team in-house.
Your Marketing Manager might be killing it with your social media strategy, SEO, and keeping up with the company blog, but what happens when you’re ready to take your marketing efforts to the next level? This talented employee is already doing the job of three people! So it might be a bit of a stretch to assume they have the bandwidth and skills to build a new website, shoot and edit a new promo video, design an updated company logo, and so on, so forth.
When you’re daydreaming of keeping up the marketing momentum and continuing to soar in your brand awareness efforts, that dream can suddenly lead to a rude awakening when you realize the lack of marketing bandwidth available within your organization.
It is at this very moment you might consider investigating outsourced marketing services. As you should! No matter which business function or department you’re looking to outsource (marketing, IT, accounting, etc.), getting more hands-on-deck allows your internal employees to continue focusing on what they do best. All the while avoiding the pressure of being stretched too thin. You can also leverage a wider pool of incredible talent and skillsets when it comes to:
- Social Media
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Paid Ads
- Graphic Design
- Web Design
- UI/UX Design
- Web Development
- Business Strategy
What Is Outsourced Marketing?
Our workloads are ever-evolving, and there are times when we can barely keep our heads above water. Outsourced marketing is one of the smartest ways companies can expand the temporary marketing power they have under the hood. For instance, if your company only has two graphic designers working on multiple projects that require a hefty illustration workload, you could take on outside help without having to hire another permanent graphic designer. Additionally, outsourced marketing can add some much-needed skills to your teams. None of us are good at everything. So, hiring an outside agency to provide expertise in a particular marketing niche is one of the best ways to get stellar deliverables in front of your clients or customers. Outsourced marketing broadens your horizons. And it allows you to seek more opportunities with a greater project scope. Companies today are adapting to new workflows and a unique talent pool. Luckily our new ways of working have made it easier than ever to hire outside of our companies in a growing pool of freelance, contract, and agency talent. Most simply put, outsourced marketing provides the advantage of temporary and expert help when it comes to working on a variety of difficult marketing tasks.
Why Consider Outsourced Marketing?
Outsourcing marketing efforts is one of the best ways to reduce burnout while helping to maintain an intensely focused workforce. It can bring in knowledgeable new talent to provide fresh insight into your marketing efforts with more specialized experience. If your staff is struggling to service accounts during high-volume seasons, it may be the best idea to start looking for partnerships with marketing agencies that specialize in providing top-notch overflow help. This could be a much more cost-efficient option than taking on more permanent salaried positions.
In-house vs. Outsourced Marketing: Pros and Cons
What are some of the benefits and disadvantages of outsourced marketing? We’ve highlighted some of the main advantages and pain points we’ve experienced ourselves and have heard from our clients over the years.
- Can provide specialized and dedicated relief to certain areas of your marketing plan
- Less overhead expenses and baggage than hiring more full-time employees
- Offers the increased flexibility of by-project personnel with fresh insights
- Provides calculated, expert help when you need it, with no strings attached
- The marketing agency doesn’t understand your culture or brand as well as a full-time employee. However, with branding guides and project briefs, you can communicate your company message well.
- It can be expensive to hire a reputable marketing agency — expert help comes at a premium. But it is much less expensive than burning out your existing teams and hiring new talent on staff.
Is Outsourcing Just Working with an Advertising Agency?
Outsourced marketing isn’t just a fancy term for hiring an ad agency to take care of the creative customer-facing workload. Although marketing and advertising share a few services like graphic design and copywriting, they are different in a few major ways. Advertising agencies are very good at creating advertisements, jingles, copy, and other creative deliverables. However, they can’t provide the same benefits as a full-service marketing agency. Marketing agencies specializing in outsourced work, like Direct Online Marketing, can deploy specialists to work on email campaigns, paid ads, SEO strategy, web design, and the nitty-gritty details that advertising pros won’t touch. Marketing agencies go beyond providing the loose assets that are a part of marketing campaigns. They build strategies, monitor data, code websites, manage outcomes, and much more.
When is the Best Time to Outsource Your Marketing?
The answer to this question will be different for every company. If your teams have too much on their plates and are struggling to meet project deadlines, it could be time to consider outsourcing a particular task to a marketing agency. Here are some other key indicators that could mean it’s time to hire some outside marketing muscle:
- Your in-house marketing team doesn’t have experience in a niche specialty such as web development or email marketing.
- Your marketing team isn’t able to keep up with the workflow during a particularly busy season.
- You want to hire on a contract basis for projects to keep your company as lean as possible.
However, outsourced marketing can also help keep a consistent marketing effort year-round for companies with smaller in-house teams. The flexibility of outsourcing is one of its key benefits.
What Projects Call for Outsourced Marketing?
When your marketing team has too much work to handle reasonably, it’s time to seek out targeted relief. If you have team members working long hours on SEO and content marketing, but they don’t have the bandwidth to write a series of blogs, it’s time to outsource a content team. The same could be said for website design, UX overhauls, or almost any other time and labor-intensive project. If you aren’t seeing the kind of results you like from a project, it could also be time to hire expert marketing help from the outside. Maybe your staff doesn’t have a decade of SEO experience, and that’s okay. You can hire an outside SEO master that can show them a thing or two while boosting ROI for your business.
Is Outsourcing Cost-Effective?
Outsourcing is not only a smart play when your teams are backed up — it’s a cost-effective solution that you can use to free up your MVPs. Often, marketing agencies will package services in a way that will reduce your costs and provide a more holistic solution. This is a great way to avoid charges for any add-on items that quickly stack up. Of course, you will have a variety of cost options when it comes to choosing a marketing service. You will want to choose a company that provides quality results at the lowest possible price point, but this can be tricky. Not every outfit will be able to handle your project. Chances are, if you are the marketing department for a high-profile tech company, a small-time agency won’t cut it—as much as they would love the opportunity. It’s all about the balance of marketing aptitude and cost savings. Direct Online Marketing has some of the brightest minds in marketing working to bring you marketing solutions. We have competitive pricing for any project and work with you to provide the best mix of time and budget.
Doing Your Research on Outsourced Marketing Providers
It’s important to do your research on outsourced marketing providers to find the best fit. It’s ideal to find an agency that has worked with similar companies in your industry as they will understand some of your unique problems. Perhaps the biggest drawback to outsourced marketing is a lack of product or service understanding. You will want to make sure that if they don’t already have a rock-solid understanding of what you do, they will study up on what your company offers.
- Online searches will be able to tell you a lot about an agency. Their website should be clean, modern, and most importantly, it should include case studies and a portfolio of past experience that should impress you. However, if you are looking for a quick project fix, you might just need an individual freelance marketer.
- Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful marketing tools there is. When marketing agencies do a good (or bad) job, word gets out. Ask around for recommendations from your peers. Chances are they will be able to provide you with help they’ve used in a pinch when it comes to copywriting, graphic and web design, or any other services.
- Social media and review sites like Clutch will sometimes give you a great lead on an outsourced marketing agency. Also, it’s possible someone has already tried to reach out to you via LinkedIn or email with their services! Now could be the time to revisit your inbox to take an agency up on an offer.
Don’t make the mistake of going with the first outfit you find, unless they really are the best fit. The only way to be sure is to consult with a few companies and ensure you get the best deal when it comes to a balance of price, time commitment, and experience.
How Will You Know Good Marketing Help When You See It?
When you know, you know. Good marketing help will fight for your business and show you all the ways that they align with your project. They have all the credentials, experience, and knowledge to run with a briefing and provide excellent deliverables. A good marketing agency will have a portfolio handy of case studies that show how they helped companies like yours in the past, the end results and ROI.
What Should You Look for in an Outsourced Marketing Agency?
You should look for a marketing agency that can provide specialized services that will help you finish marketing projects as soon as possible. Often, marketing departments will come to an agency with a tight deadline. A good agency will be able to take on the project quickly and get deliverables to you as soon as possible. Turnaround times are a big part of projects. There are always drafts and redrafts and edits that need to take place to ensure a finely finished product. You should ensure that the agency you are looking at can work within your time constraints. Of course, you may need to pay a premium for a bump up on their priority list, but that can be expected.
Keeping An Eye On ROI
ROI is one of the biggest terms in marketing. Word coming from above always wants to hear about return on investment. Outsourced marketing teams can provide a better ROI while keeping costs low and providing more insight and expertise than your in-house teams originally had. An outsourced marketing team shouldn’t only be able to provide you with the results you need, they should be able to measure them and give you numbers that reflect the value of your decision. At Direct Online Marketing, we carefully measure project ROI so you can see your results in hard data and plain English. Once you find the stellar ROIs that we offer our clients, we are certain you will come to us again when your projects demand it.
Outsourced marketing can be the perfect way to free up your in-house marketing teams to perform at their peak. It is a cost-effective strategy to improve your workload while bringing extra expertise onboard to provide their secret sauce. There are a huge number of projects that are ideal for seeking outsourced marketing. If you have a large marketing department or a small in-house team, outsourced marketing can help you deliver better results faster and more cheaply than hiring on more permanent staff.
Everything You Need To Know About Strategic Marketing
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