Outsourcing is a widespread and successful trend that has had a beneficial impact on a huge number of business areas. From customer service to human resources and almost everything in between, most functions can outsourced for a range of potential savings and gains such as cost and efficiency.
But outsourcing the marketing function to an agency is less common and, seemingly, less well understood - by agencies and clients alike. Yet it offers a range of benefits that can be attractive to businesses of all different sizes.
Read on to find out what we think are the top seven benefits of outsourcing your B2B marketing.
Lower cost and risk
Outsourcing you marketing can be done at lower cost and with less risk than either hiring your own team or working on a project by project basis with an agency.
Hiring your own marketing team obviously comes at great cost and similarly great risk. All of this is worth it if you can occupy those resources fully. However, you have to be of a pretty significant size to fully utilise all the core marketing skills such as graphic design, copywriting, web development, PR, SEO and marketing management.
Agencies that work predominantly on a project by project basis have higher overheads, in order retain staff through quieter times, which they have to pass on to you.
Since outsourced marketing is more affordable, it is much more likely that you will be able to sustain it over a longer period of time.
And B2B marketing that is sustained is more successful - purchases are often complex, take a long time to complete and are the result of repeated interactions between you and your customer, all things that short-lived projects can't achieve.
Outsourcing your marketing means working with an agency over an extended period of time, which enables a high level of knowledge transfer between client and agency. Crucially, your agency will understand this and be primed for it, meaning it happens even quicker.
Marketing professionals cant help but absorb knowledge about their clients. Under an outsourcing model, this absorption is on-going and cumulative. Early on your agency will become familiar with you, your products or services and your industry, shortcutting the need to explain these at the outset of every project. Later they can become your marketing partner helping you plan strategically, autonomously handling small opportunities and even pre-empting your requirements from time to time.
Flexible access to skills
From month to month your marketing requirements will call for a varied combination of marketing skills. Your outsourced agency can provide this.
Although they too have resource utilisation to consider, your outsourced agency will be far more flexible about which skills at which levels are applied to your projects from month to month. The result is that you always have the right team for the job at hand, no matter what it is.
Responsive and adaptable
While your outsourced marketing team should, like any marketing team, be working to a plan, that plan is not set in stone.
Signed up to attend a new event? Spotted a quick win campaign opportunity a month from now? Your outsourced agency team will be able to work with you to factor these into your plan. Perhaps you will postpone some lower priority work, or take some additional days to get it all done with no delay. Either way, you and your agency are a team mutually focused on your success.
Adopt new developments
Just as you strive to stay at the forefront of your industry, so does your outsourced marketing agency.
While project agencies and internal staff will all develop new skills over time, you will feel the benefit of new developments in marketing sooner when working with an outsourced team. They will proactively attempt to identify and introduce the right developments into your on-going plan while avoiding the inappropriate ones.
Access to tools and technology
Your outsourced agency can provide you with access to the best marketing software, at lower cost than you can obtain it directly.
Marketing is becoming increasingly digital and relies more and more upon software platforms. Creative software, Email Service Providers, PR management and website hosting are all examples. Typically, the better of these platforms are costly, but your outsourced agency can normally reduce that cost by sharing it among multiple clients.
So there you have it. Seven great benefits that could be yours if you outsourced your B2B marketing.
Like the sound of these or think I overlooked something? Leave us a comment below.