What is Outsourced Marketing, and Should You Be Using It?
Outsourced marketing involves hiring an external agency (like us!) to manage your marketing strategies. Typically, this is a firm that is employed on a contract basis and is not directly affiliated with your business. There are several reasons why a company might choose to outsource its marketing as opposed to having someone on staff or “in house.”
Pros of Outsourced Marketing
A Cost-Effective Way to Build Your Marketing Foundation
Outsourcing your marketing to an independent agency can be a great option, especially for startups and small businesses that cannot necessarily afford a full-time, in-house marketer. It is also a great way to introduce yourself to the world of digital marketing and what that means for your business.
A quality digital marketing firm will be more than willing to explain strategies and tools and why they might be a good choice for you. This information will serve you well in the future when, for example, you are interviewing for an on-staff marketer. You will know what questions to ask and what qualifications you are looking for.
Customized Marketing With Plenty of Options
In addition to being more affordable, you have the option to choose which services you need from an outside agency. Rather than committing to a larger campaign, a la carte options are available to suit your company goals, audience, and budget.
Even larger, well-established companies will often outsource a portion of their marketing. They may choose to hire an independent SEO strategist, for example, who is solely dedicated to optimizing their website for search results.
Whatever options you choose, a good digital marketer will work with you to select the most effective tools for your campaign. He/she/they should also be willing to adapt/amend those choices based on demonstrated effectiveness. Your campaign should never be set-and-forget for the marketer. It should grow and change with your business.
Potential for Faster Results
Many independent marketing agencies are not dedicated to one specific industry; they have experience with lots of different types of businesses and have done the legwork to know which strategies are most successful. While a fair amount of marketing still involves trial and error, a marketer who has a good idea of where to start can save you a lot of time (and money) when you are just starting out.
Drawbacks of Outsourced Marketing
Being an independent digital agency, we tend to be biased towards outsourcing your marketing. That being said, there are a few potential drawbacks when you choose this option.
You Are Not the Sole Client
An independent agency will typically have a list of clients they are helping, which means you may have to wait longer for project turnaround than you would if you hired a dedicated marketer.
You will also necessarily have to arrange time to meet with your outsourced marketer, which may take up additional time from your schedule.
You can avoid these frustrations by choosing a smaller digital marketing agency. This is a good middle ground: they will offer all the benefits of outsourced marketing but, with a smaller client list, they will be able to dedicate more time to you.
Potential for Outsourced, Outsourced Marketing
In some cases, independent marketing firms further outsource their tasks to other contractors. This can be attractive, since it can cut overhead costs for the firm resulting in lower prices for clients.
In actuality, certain tasks become more expensive the farther away they get from the source. Targeting tactics like geofencing, cross-device targeting, CCTV, and OTT can cost as much as three times the amount when outsourced!
There are additional risks to consider when hiring a firm that outsources its marketing tasks, especially overseas. Turnaround times will be even longer, due to time differences and potential language barriers. Small tweaks to a web page or content can take an inordinate amount of time, and you may find the quality of the work inconsistent.
More importantly, you may find yourself not being heard. Like a game of telephone, your brand’s goals and identity could get lost in translation. Your marketer should be well aware of your needs, and having to repeatedly explain yourself is not a good sign.
Of course, there are plenty of quality local and overseas contractors that do great marketing work! Like all types of marketing, you will just want to do your due research before selecting this as an option.
In the end, your marketing style is entirely up to you. The main things to consider are your budget, your goals, and your satisfaction. A good marketer considers your success their success. Even if they are an independent organization, you should feel they are on your team and have your long-term interests at heart.