We Didn’t Invent Outsourced Marketing
We Only Made it Better
It was the fall of 2003. Our very first EAG Advertising & Marketing client hired us to be their outsourced marketing department on a monthly recurring basis. We haven’t stopped building and improving on the outsourced marketing model since.
At EAG, outsourced marketing services are one of many advertising services we provide. They are the backbone of all we do. Nearly 80% of EAG clients engage us to be their marketing department, only we don’t take up their office space or resources. But we are always thinking about how to best market their businesses as if we were down the hall.
As Kansas City’s advertising and marketing agency devoted to small business, we’ve worked with companies at every stage of business maturity. Regardless of your industry or how many years you’ve been in business, we’ve been there, done that. Over the years, the most common events or reasons companies outsource their marketing usually fall under these ten:
- Growing, growing, grown. Companies in an accelerated growth mode must expand their marketing capabilities, but can’t add marketing talent at the same pace. Outsourcing enables companies to add incremental support in small, manageable doses so that marketing expenses rise along with sales.
- Companies that have not yet built a comprehensive internal marketing department, but have achieved a level of success find it difficult to build a department from scratch. Outsourcing lets you onboard leadership internally and skill positions externally.
- Conversely, companies without marketing leadership, who have grown to a size to now warrant C-level talent, often can’t afford to make that leap. Outsourced marketing allows you to gain C-level leadership at a fraction of the cost of hiring a CMO.
- Marketing is not a single discipline business function anymore. Need accounting help? Hire a CPA. Need marketing help and you may need to hire a strategist, writer, designer, web programmer, search engineer, videographer… and on and on. Outsourcing your marketing solves this problem because it gives you access to all of these experts without hiring them individually.
- Marketing is part strategy, creativity and technology. In the past, technology needs lagged other needs in the creative fields. Today marketing expertise is just that – expertise. A recent college graduate cannot help you reach the first page on Google. An SEO expert can.
- Cash is king. Hiring marketing staff, training them and maintaining a full marketing department takes a lot of cash. Many companies choose to outsource to better manage cash and gain a greater return on investment for their marketing dollars.
- Two heads are better than one. And a dozen heads are a full-service marketing department at your beck and call. For many companies, the only way to meet their marketing needs is to outsource the parts they can’t complete internally, with existing staff.
- Today’s marketing specialization requirements can no longer be satisfied by hiring a series of freelance designers and writers. Content must be integrated and strategic. All the pieces and parts must work together toward one goal. Independent marketers can’t accomplish this alone.
- Many outsourcing agencies like EAG have deep category experience. We’ve worked with nearly 300 entrepreneurial-led companies in many, many industries. We probably have experience in most business fields or have someone on staff already who does.
- When internal marketing is underperforming, an advertising agency like EAG can often assess the capabilities of your staff and supplement where needed. Maybe you don’t need to fully outsource your marketing functions, just parts that will enable your staff to be more efficient.
Outsource Marketing Q & A
What is marketing outsourcing?
Marketing outsourcing has many different definitions. But it is NOT a temporary service for marketing and advertising. It is not a group of freelance marketers, and it is not an offshore marketing service. At EAG, outsourced marketing is hiring a full-service advertising and marketing agency in small, affordable increments that enables companies to have the benefits of a fully-staffed marketing department without the cost of hiring and staffing individual subject-matter experts.
Let’s say your company has been growing at a rapid pace for several years, and a series of freelancers and independent marketers is no longer meeting your needs. What you need is strategic marketing leadership, a web designer, a search engine strategist, a programmer, a graphic designer and a writer. But you certainly can’t afford to hire all of them. A marketing partner like EAG becomes your external marketing department, fully equipped and staffed to immediately develop and implement marketing plans from brainstorming to execution.
What are the benefits of outsourcing my marketing?
You gain a complete, full-service marketing department. That outsourced relationship includes marketing leadership with experienced C-level talent and subject-matter experts from just about every marketing discipline. The greatest benefit is that you immediately have access to award-winning talent and leadership without ever running a help-wanted ad.
Outsourced marketing is scalable, allowing companies to better manage cash flow and investment. It is our burden to staff talented, creative individuals and to remain current on the latest marketing strategies – not yours.
Most EAG clients delay or completely defer hiring internal marketing staff with us as their outsourced marketing partner. Greater efficiency means greater outcomes.
Am I a good candidate for outsourced marketing?
You are if you answer “yes” to any of these questions:
- Is your business dependent on freelancers and independent marketers?
- Have you outgrown do-it-yourself marketing and your time is better spent as an owner or president rather than an overworked CMO?
- Are you experiencing rapid growth, but marketing basics like updating your website are being ignored?
- Do you need a brand positioning statement, brand promises, brand standards to define your company’s brand?
You aren’t if you are a hands-on, control freak that must be an active part of all activities, including marketing. You’re a “know it when you see it” type.
How is an outsource relationship structured?
We structure our relationship just as you would if you hired a CMO, account manager and staff of subject matter marketing technicians.
We begin with a number of strategic planning sessions that help us understand your business goals and objectives. We’ll build plans and budgets for your review and approval. You’ll meet with the staff and work closely with them as we evolve and mature your marketing programs.
We are your marketing department, so your input helps develop the structure, too.
What services are included and not included in an outsource relationship?
If you can imagine it, we’ve done it. That includes dressing up in full-length dog costumes for a client’s grand opening.
Most of EAG’s marketing and advertising services are completed in-house by our staff of subject-matter experts. There are some disciplines that are so specialized that we will often outsource to trusted freelancers. This might include primary marketing research, database analysis, videography and extensive coding.
How much does it cost or how do you budget for outsourced marketing?
There are any number of ways to approach budgeting for outsourced marketing. Many are no different than budgeting for your normal marketing investments. Here are a few suggestions:
- Project-based budgeting is probably how you operate today. Need a new website? Budget accordingly. In an outsourced marketing relationship, you also will have the knowledge and data to budget for the necessary tools to support your site as a marketing initiative including ongoing content development, search optimization and mobile marketing.
- Looking to hire new marketing staff this year? Budget accordingly. Then consider the alternative in outsourcing the duties of your new marketing employee. Do the benefits outgain the investment, and risk, involved in hiring a new employee? Compare the costs. Link to blog- see below suggestion on moving a section.
Every marketing service we provide for clients is planned and budgeted for in advance. No surprises. Ever. Just like an internal marketing department – you know what you are spending at all times.
How is outsourcing your marketing different than hiring a fractional CMO?
A fractional chief marketing officer or fractional CMO is a part-time consultant to your business. For companies that can’t afford to hire a full-time C-level marketing leader, a fractional CMO is an affordable option.
EAG does provide fractional CMO services on a consultative basis, but that differs from the full-service relationship of an outsourced marketing and advertising agency like EAG. In essence, all of our clients get the benefit of a fractional CMO. Your “team” is led by an experienced marketing leader with Fortune 500 or large agency experience.
If you’re ready for a marketing department, and want the best value for your investment, let’s talk about outsourcing.