To Outsource Your Marketing or Not to Outsource: What’s Better for your Business?
The last few years have been challenging for business leaders – inflation is high, a recession may be looming, and customer demands continue to evolve amid a constantly changing environment. In this climate, it is no wonder businesses are struggling to keep pace with the changing landscape and remain competitive. According to Forrester’s research of 154 marketing leaders, two-thirds are facing difficulties responding to competitive pressure in the current economic environment, and 62% say a lack of desired skills remains a core concern. (1)
Add in increasing uncertainty and staffing constraints, and businesses are feeling the squeeze from every angle. And while there’s not much you can do about the economy, ensuring your business has the needed resources and expertise to thrive is within your control. Like many businesses, you can turn to outsourced marketing service partners to fill some of the gaps.
What is an Outsourced Marketing Company and Why Do Businesses Hire Them?
Working with an outsourced marketing firm or outsourced marketing agency means hiring external partners to handle some or all aspects of your company’s marketing efforts. This can include tasks such as creating and executing marketing strategy, social media management, search engine optimization (SEO), campaign management, branding, website development, public relations, and content creation, among others.
It’s a popular choice for businesses looking for high-quality, cost-efficient marketing support. Research conducted on 100 small- and medium-sized businesses has shown that a significant proportion, nearly 60%, work with a third-party marketing agency to some extent – and 6% completely outsource their marketing function to such agencies. (2)
There are many, varied reasons why business leaders pursue outsourced marketing services. With so many straining to respond to competitive pressure, many also suffer from a lack of in-house resources and expertise.
There are many advantages to outsourcing your marketing department including:
- Flexibility to scale
- A streamlined marketing infrastructure
- Improved marketing performance
- Access to specialized expertise
- Cost savings
- Fresh perspective, creative ideas, and data-backed insight
When Not to Outsource Your Marketing
Despite the growing trend towards outsourcing, more than 40% of businesses do not outsource at all, for a variety of reasons, including concerns over the potential cost of outsourced marketing, loss of control, and perceived communication barriers. Some business owners have had negative past experiences with outsourcing, while others believe that an outside marketer may not have the level of focus required for their needs. (2)
While many of these thoughts may stem from incorrect assumptions, there are some good reasons to avoid it if you are considering outsourcing your marketing, including:
- You lack resources to manage the outsourced partner. Outsourcing your marketing will remove a heavy burden on your team and place it on skilled professionals who can lighten your load. But no one can, or should, work in a vacuum. You will likely need to be available for regular check-ins, be able to provide needed information, and approve their efforts. The time commitment you need to manage your outsourced service providers depends on your relationship with them, but no agency can offer you a totally hands-off approach. And you should be skeptical of any firm that tells you they can.
- You feel passionate about keeping it in-house. While some company leaders would rather focus on other facets of their business, others love being heavily involved in marketing. If you love doing it, and you have a system in place that works for your company, there’s no reason to interrupt that flow by outsourcing your marketing. This may be especially true if you are looking to outsource your marketing for your small business.
- The partner isn’t a good culture fit. Marketing is both an art and a science, and the art part of it makes it highly subjective. Additionally, no outsourced digital or print marketing services partner is going to know your company as well as you do, especially when your relationship is new. As good as their reputation may be, if an agency is not the right fit, it’s not the right fit.
Over the past few years, marketing has undergone an evolutionary series of changes, particularly in the post-pandemic era. To stay competitive and support business growth, marketers need to operate with speed, innovation, and agility. However, the emergence of new technologies, mediums, and platforms make it harder to keep up with the rapidly changing environment, which requires marketers to constantly adapt and embrace new strategies to effectively reach and engage their target audiences. Meanwhile, the costs associated with maintaining an in-house marketing team have skyrocketed, adding further complexity to the situation.
Outsourcing your marketing efforts to a third-party partner can help you address these challenges. By partnering with Paradigm, you gain access to a comprehensive and fully operational team right from the outset, ready to boost your marketing efforts cost-effectively and efficiently. As a full-service marketing, design, and workflow solutions agency, we combine creativity, technology, and strategy with data-backed insights and a fierce drive for flawless execution to help your business grow and maximize profit potential. Ready to elevate your marketing to new heights? Schedule a strategy session with one of our experts.