Our first client hired EAG Advertising & Marketing in a managed services capacity in 2003. Little did we know at the time that serving as their outsourced marketing department fell under the managed service provider (MSP) concept.
Managed services involve outsourcing management responsibilities and functions, as well as a strategic way to improve operations, cut expenses and bring skills and expertise to your organization without the learning curve and financial investment. MSP is widely used in the information technology (IT) field, but applying the term to outsourced marketing is novel.
Yes, EAG is a marketing managed services provider with nearly 80% of our clients hiring us to manage their marketing and customize marketing strategies to their needs and budgets. Even though we are off-site, like MSPs, we provide marketing services to small businesses as if we are their in-house marketing department.
A Closer Look at Marketing as Managed Services
At EAG, marketing as a managed service is equivalent to having a full-service advertising and marketing agency in small, affordable increments, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of a fully-staffed marketing department without the cost of hiring and staffing individual subject-matter experts.
MSP is the next stage for companies that have outgrown handling certain business aspects in-house. Similar to when it’s time to explore MSP for IT services, the same goes for marketing. You can set up a network server and hire a team of IT techs, or choose an MSP to handle everything for you with greater flexibility and less cost. You can hire strategic marketing leadership, a web designer, an SEM specialist, a programmer, a graphic designer and a writer, or have them available on-demand from your marketing MSP. An MSP like EAG is prepared to immediately develop marketing plans and implement campaigns from brainstorming to execution.
The Benefits of a Marketing MSP
You gain an on-demand, full-service marketing department. The managed service provider relationship includes marketing leadership with experienced C-level talent and subject-matter experts from the most effective marketing disciplines. The greatest benefit is that you immediately have access to award-winning talent and leadership without doing it yourself or onboarding any employees – delaying or never hiring staff indefinitely. Greater efficiency results in greater outcomes.
As is the nature of this approach, managed services for marketing is scalable, allowing companies to better manage cash flow and investment. It is the provider’s burden, not yours, to staff talented, creative individuals and stay current on the latest marketing strategies.
The Time is Right to Consider a Marketing Managed Service Provider
Typically, the time is right to engage in a marketing MSP relationship when:
- Your business is dependent on freelancers and independent marketers, and growth has created a disconnect
- You have outgrown do-it-yourself marketing, and your time is better spent as an owner or president rather than an overworked chief marketing officer
- Amidst rapid growth, marketing basics like updating your website are ignored
- You need a brand positioning statement, brand promises and brand standards to define or refine your company’s brand
- You’re comfortable with outsourcing marketing to the experts
- You’re decisive and ready to rely on others’ expertise
Budgeting for a Marketing MSP
Budgeting for a marketing MSP is much like budgeting for any other service provider. Project-based budgeting is probably how you operate today. Meaning, if you need a new website, you budget for that expense accordingly. However, in a marketing managed services provider 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.
Every outsourced marketing service we provide for clients is planned and budgeted for in advance. Just like an internal marketing department – you know what you are spending every month and annually.
10 Reasons Marketing as a Managed Service Works
- Companies in an accelerated growth mode must expand marketing capabilities, but can’t add marketing talent at the same pace. Marketing as a managed service lets companies add incremental support in small, manageable steps so that marketing expenses increase 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. MSP lets you onboard leadership internally and skilled positions externally.
- Companies without marketing leadership, that warrant C-level talent, often can’t afford to make that leap. Marketing as a managed service allows you to bring in C-level leadership at a fraction of the cost of hiring a CMO.
- Marketing is not a single discipline business function anymore. You may need to hire a strategist, writer, designer, web programmer, search engineer, videographer… and so on. Marketing as a managed service solves this problem with access to all these experts without hiring them individually.
- Marketing is part strategy, creativity and technology. In the past, technology needs fell behind other needs in the creative fields. Today marketing expertise is just that – expertise.
- Hiring marketing staff, training and maintaining a full marketing department takes a lot of cash. Companies choose marketing with an MSP to manage cash and gain a greater return on investment for their marketing budget.
- Two heads are better than one. And the fifteen heads at EAG are a full-service marketing department. For many companies, the only way to meet their marketing needs is to outsource the parts they can’t perform with existing staff.
- Today’s marketing specialization requirements are difficult to satisfy via freelance designers and writers. Content must be integrated and strategic. All the pieces and parts must work together toward one goal.
- Outsourced marketing MSPs like EAG have deep category experience. We’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurial-led companies in industries from A to Z. We probably have experience in most business fields or have someone on staff who does.
- When internal marketing is underperforming, an MSP 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 let your staff be more efficient.
If you’re ready for an outsourced marketing department, and want the best value for your investment, let’s talk about marketing as a managed service.