The age-old question that every business owner asks eventually: should I outsource marketing? The answer is contingent on the answers to several other questions. Like…
- Is there a marketing manager on staff now?
- Is that person juggling too many responsibilities to be effective?
- Is there a marketing team in place?
- If so, does the team consist of experts in all marketing aspects?
- Do you have an inkling that something is missing from your marketing strategy?
Deciding whether or not to outsource marketing requires taking a good, hard look at your business and your employees’ strengths. Having worked in the big ad agency environment before becoming a business owner himself, EAG Advertising & Marketing’s founder and CEO, Paul Weber has helped others answer this question for decades. We caught him on his way back from the coffee area to pick his brain on when it makes sense to outsource marketing.
You Have to Think of Marketing as an Investment
“Every time a business owner hires talent, that person’s expertise and salary are an investment in the business. You’re investing in your company’s future success, knowing your new hire has a unique skill or quality that will move the sales needle,” says Weber. “That is true whether the business is one hundred years old or a startup.”
Fair division of labor should be and stay top of mind. Jack of all trades, master of none applies to dividing labor in a way that lets employees focus on the areas in which they excel. Weber explains, “I’m an outsource marketing strategist at heart with a penchant for copywriting. Ask me to set up a digital marketing campaign on social media or Google, and I’d politely direct you to EAG’s digital team.”
Every penny spent on a stapler, a new employee or outsourced marketing is an investment in your business. Choose the best candidate in their respective field for the job and let it work for you.
Hiring the Best Talent is Expensive
You require the occasional doctor’s visit, but you don’t hire a full-time personal physician. You travel, but you don’t buy an airplane and keep a pilot on staff. Professionals in their fields are expensive. On the flip side, you wouldn’t ask your salesperson to check your blood pressure or reserve a pilot to drive you to the airport.
Outsource marketing scales to the marketing task at hand. For example, when you need C-level marketing strategy, your outsourced marketing firm acts as your chief marketing officer (CMO) to guide direction. Experienced CMOs easily command a six-figure salary. Also, when you need a major or minor change to a product or service brochure or a website update, your outsourced marketing firm acts as your graphic designer or web developer. Experienced individuals in these areas can command salaries upwards of $70,000. Sure, you can find a graphic designer, copywriter or web developer in the freelance market, but you accept the fact that your marketing efforts will be fragmented with individuals doing one-off jobs.
Outsourced marketing lets you tap into the best talent without the expense of salary, recruitment, overhead associated employees, training, etc.
Outsourced Marketing is a No Risk, All Reward Proposition
Outsourcing your marketing isn’t the pioneering move it used to be. It’s become a common, accepted practice in the business community with business owners trading the names of their agencies with the same coveted status of their financial advisors.
If you can gain all the benefits of a having an in-house comprehensive marketing department at a fraction of the cost of adding marketing experts to your payroll, why wouldn’t you?
Weber gave a rundown of the rewards from a business owner’s perspective:
- Cost: For less than one full-time executive’s salary, a business owner gets a team of marketing experts, as well as the collective buying power of media, etc.
- Transparency: An aboveboard marketing agency doesn’t hold your data or creative assets hostage, meaning if you end the relationship, you walk away with your website, creative work, databases and all the information you learned from analyzing campaigns.
- Time: Time is valuable. Time is money. Imagine all the other things business owners can do when they’re not saddled with managing marketing efforts themselves or trying the find their unicorn marketing manager.
- Expertise: For those companies with a marketing team, expertise brought in by the outsourced marketing agency will only improve the team’s collective knowledge, making them more efficient and able to identify and take on new opportunities.
“The rewards are endless with no risk,” Weber says. “The alternative, developing a team in-house or hiring a unicorn, is expensive and doesn’t provide the high level of marketing expertise.”
Here’s the Caveat of Outsourcing Your Marketing
For outsourced marketing to work best, you have to find a firm that’s right for your business. Of course, outsourcing marketing isn’t going to be the right call for every company. Your job is to evaluate your needs, budget and expectations.
Outsourcing your marketing team is a big decision for any business owner. Your agency, used wisely, delivers plenty of value for the cost by putting your marketing strategy and efforts in expert hands. The trick is to understand your company and its needs, so you can objectively answer the question many have faced before: should I outsource my marketing?
If the answer is yes, let’s talk.