Why should I outsource my marketing?22nd May 2019
Historically, the word ‘outsourcing’ perhaps hasn’t enjoyed the best of connotations. Businesses might have concerns about losing control, be worried that the work produced won’t be of a high enough quality, or believe that a contractor can’t possibly have the same grasp of how the company ticks and the messages it wants to get across to its target audience as somebody employed internally. And yet, a recent survey revealed that a huge 42% of UK businesses don’t handle their marketing in-house. This blog will take a look at why so many are choosing to outsource, what some of the benefits are, and some things to consider if you’re looking to take the plunge.
All the skills you need in one place
When you outsource to a specialist agency, you’re getting the wide variety of marketing skills you need all in one place, which is something that many businesses would not be able to achieve with an in-house team. While smaller companies might perhaps be able to employ an internal marketing manager or even a small team, they probably wouldn’t be able to justify recruiting an experienced graphic designer, a specialist copywriter or a digital/web design expert – all of whom may be needed to successfully reach your marketing goals.
Understanding of your sector
Especially in niche sectors like financial services, law or accountancy, you’ll need to recruit people who have a good understanding of your industry on top of marketing expertise. Finding an experienced marketer who also understands the ins and outs of compliance and how this affects what you can write in client communications, or what you can post on social media, is no mean feat (and would be potentially very expensive). On the other hand, a specialist marketing agency will employ people with the range of knowledge you need.
Ditch the HR stress
Outsourcing also means saying goodbye to all the time-consuming responsibilities that come as part and parcel of employing someone. You won’t have to offer paid holiday, or find cover when someone is off sick; nor will you have to spend time dealing with HR or disciplinary issues. Recruitment and retention problems, CPD requirements and ongoing training and development will no longer be issues taking up your time, leaving so much more of it free to focus on your business.
A flexible arrangement
When you recruit a full-time staff member, you obviously have to pay them year-round, even as their workload ebbs and flows. Some months you might not need much marketing support; other months you might be undergoing a full rebrand or deploying a big marketing campaign. Outsourcing to professionals gives you the flexibility to only pay for what you need, and can be a much more economic option in the long run.
You might not want to outsource all of your marketing function, either. You may have internal capacity to write your own blogs and manage your social media, and only require external help for the design and printing of your marketing collateral, for example. This is where the flexibility of outsourcing really becomes an advantage, because you can just pick and choose the services you require.
Part of the team
Of course, you can also choose to outsource the entirety of your marketing to a specialist agency, and this has the potential to bring about some really positive results when done properly. When you’re working with an agency long-term, there’s a real opportunity to develop an excellent working relationship and they will get to know your company, values and marketing goals extremely well. At TOMD, we’ve been working with some of our clients for 15 years, and many of them truly consider us to be part of their team – the only difference being that our office is in a different town, not down the corridor.
Making it a success
If you’re considering outsourcing, you should make sure you’re using a ‘true outsourcer’ to get the best possible experience, rather than one who is just used to working for firms on ad hoc campaigns or projects. Your outsourcing firm needs to work in partnership with you and should have a proper grasp of the requirements and realities of true outsourcing. They will need to support the regular, ongoing daily activities that an in-house marketing team would normally take care of, like updating pages on your company website, having new business cards printed or sending out regular marketing emails on your behalf.
Secondly, if you’re looking for an agency to take over your marketing function and carry out the same tasks as an in-house team, they also need to be able to work with you on a much more collaborative level, be proactive in contributing new ideas, and really learn to understand your firm and the way you work.
By Chloe Wingate