The Pros & Cons of Outsourcing Your Marketing Team
There’s a way to write the ‘pros and cons’ article which consists mainly of lists – I’m going to try to avoid that. Instead, I’m using 3 business scenarios all of which I’ve encountered in the past year. In each case the business faces a ‘marketing problem’ to which outsourced marketing would provide an answer. But, in each case, there are pros and cons to consider.
1. Let’s Wait for Year End
It’s the mid-year review and whilst sales are rising, growth is too slow. There’s been some return on a couple of marketing ideas and everyone’s full of praise for them. More of the same would be good, but the person driving the strategy is pretty busy. Once again, the need for an experienced marketing person is aired but until the business can be sure of sustained growth, it’s just not realistic. The Chair suggests waiting for year end to see what the situation is then.
This is the ‘dead end’ game where your only choice seems to be ‘a full time marketing professional’, or the status quo. The danger is that marketing drifts endlessly in the shallows of indecision and the business falters.
Pros of Outsourcing Your Marketing Team in the Impossible Choice Scenario
- Movement. It’s a solution which will get the ball rolling.
- Expertise. The business in question needs someone to see what needs to be done and make sure it happens – fast.
- The team members who’ve taken on marketing to date may feel de-motivated and under-valued.
- Investment now needs to be made on the basis of the return it will deliver. Is the business willing to take the risk?
2. They Won’t Do It As Well As Us
You’re developing a new software as a service product and you’ve had some early success. All your work to date, though, is concentrated on two or three clients. It’s clear that a marketing strategy is necessary to find new markets and sell effectively into them. The founders of the company, however, know that the product – being new – is difficult to promote. They believe that they are the best people to decide how to take sales forward.
This is a tricky one because, of course, the founders are right – they do know better than anyone else how to sell their product. But they’re mixing up selling with marketing, to the detriment of the business.
Pros of Outsourcing Your Marketing Team When You Have a New Product
- Clarity. The founders have knowledge but they’re too close. A marketing professional will look at the product objectively and develop strategies for marketing it.
- Experience. An outsourced agency may not know your product, but they will have marketed comparably ‘complex’ products, and have strategies for doing so.
- The founders will have to relinquish some of their control over the product, which is a risk.
- Outsourced marketing professionals will need to sign NDAs as they will be working with a new product.
3. Your Marketing Model Needs to Change
Your business recognised a year back that you needed a marketing team, and you asked an existing employee to take on the task. They are enthusiastic and able, but their background is in selling and they’ve found it difficult adapting to marketing. You’ve invested in training but there’s still a way to go. No-one wants to lose this employee, but it’s clear that they’re floundering.
This is hard because the employee’s been entrusted with a task they’re not up to, but if action isn’t taken it could be disastrous. What’s needed is a solution that brings expertise into the business, whilst also helping the employee to make the necessary leap.
Pros of Outsourcing Your Marketing Team to Support In-House Employee
- Training. Outsourcing professionals are used to working alongside in-house employees and they’ll have no problem with a training, whilst getting tasks done.
- Motivation. Having an expert to work alongside employees takes the pressure off and allows them to grow into their marketing role.
- The injection of marketing expertise will need careful management if it’s to be seen as an opportunity, rather than an accusation of failure.
- If your chosen outsourcing agency isn’t aware of, or cannot deliver on, the training aspect, you could end up losing the employee as a result.
Weighing Up the Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Your Marketing Team
Outsourcing agencies are always looking for a conversation with their clients. They’re in the business of providing solutions for tricky business challenges, and need to know how they can help. Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of what we do at Outsource Your Marketing is finding a way to provide marketing support for clients that have found themselves stuck. Often, the solution is simple, but they’re too close to the problem to be able to see it.