Once viewed as a way to cut costs and headcount from an organisation, outsourcing has become a mainstream strategy for businesses to streamline expenditure and create efficiencies to enable growth.
Never has there been a greater need for businesses to cut costs, and rapidly, while continuing to try and eek a market out of what’s currently left standing of the Australian economy.
Flexibility, speed to market of new sales initiatives and new ways of working are critical right now as businesses fight to keep the doors open (metaphorically), to maintain revenue and the jobs of their teams and colleagues. Business owners and leaders are caught between a rock and a hard place of having to cut costs, whilst needing to continue to promote their product or service. Many businesses are having to identify and entice new customers into their world – something that we know is six to seven times more expensive - than retaining their existing ones.
Outsourcing might suit you as the happy medium between having to generate customers and revenue right now, but not wanting to add to your fixed costs. I’ve listed some of the benefits of outsourcing your marketing in more detail below:
Expertise: It’s near impossible for one person to be skilled in all areas of the marketing planning process: to be an expert strategist, a research pro, keep abreast of marketing mix trends (online and offline), maintain media contacts, write professional prose - oh, and make sure it all follows brand guidelines! An outsourced department will divide, conquer and share across the team so there’s always an expert on hand. And you can lean on this.
Cost: Typically, businesses can access an entire marketing department for a year for the same cost as one marketing manager. More bang for the same buck.
Risk: Shift the risk of employment – these are uncertain times, that’s for certain, and the benefit of risk reduction is especially relevant at this time. Headcount is probably going to be difficult to get across the line right now – wage bills are being slashed across the country, and businesses are unwilling to take on additional commitment at this time. Cue outsourcing. No recruitment fees, no personal leave and no office politics!
Idea generation: This is one element of marketing that we know runs best on brainpower. Working with a group of people with valuable insights, up-to-date marketing know-how and knowledge across a variety of industries will produce better results than a one-man-band.
Flexibility: Increase and decrease marketing manpower in line with peaks (ahem) and troughs in the market, seasonal demand, workload, sales budget… you get the picture.
Steps to outsourcing successfully
If you’re looking for an outsource partner, it’s worth doing your due diligence. You might want to spend some time checking out the following:
Check their references: Just as you would a new employee, have a good chat with some of their existing and past clients, ideally ones that are either in a similar field to you, or used the same service type that you are looking to use.
Qualifications: Understand the external qualifications the team has, how they are relevant to you and how the team members keep up-to-date with the changing marketing landscape. (A quick delve into their career past can be beneficial too).
Clearly understand the expectations, deliverables and measurement parameters: You and your agency need to know what success looks like. That might be in the fulfilment of certain tactical deliverables such as a website, brochure or research piece, or it could be in a ROI measurement matrix such as click through rates, engagements or leads. Whichever type it is, make sure you both know what you’re aiming for so you can celebrate success together, and what the milestones are so you can regroup along the way.
Outsource your weaknesses, play to your strengths
If you’re interested in finding out a little more about the possibility of outsourcing your marketing to an agency instead of hiring in-house or engaging a consultant, then please do get in touch.
We would be happy to discuss the possibilities with you, put you in touch with some of our clients and share our experience of how outsourcing could work for your organisation. We have a range of outsourced marketing management packages designed for different businesses’ needs.