In 2021 the modern marketing manager is overworked.
With time invariably split between core digital marketing activities, devising campaigns designed to grow brand and generate leads and all the ‘other stuff’ in their basket (like supporting the CEO and sales team with presentations and pitch decks, and helping the tenders team on ‘special projects’)…it’s a lot.
While getting on with the day to day marketing is essential, the risk of not developing and implementing strategic marketing planning and planning and managing campaign activity is that revenue growth may be hampered.
The pandemic has further cemented the online environment as our hub of connection – even for those last few remaining B2B buyers that didn’t previously self educate online to choose or shortlist vendors. This has put even more demand and strain on marketing managers, many of which either don’t have the breadth of skills to competently deliver the ecosystem required for positive marketing outcomes, or who are so overwhelmed that important digital marketing work like strategy and planning are giving way to the urgent ‘say afloat’ work that is more reactionary than proactive.
The rise of outsourced business marketing
This new normal has created a demand for marketing services that bridge the gap between inhouse marketing managers (and teams), and marketing agencies. The gap requires a service that is more connected to the business management team, which can work not only on campaign planning and implementation, but also higher upstream on development of strategy to help guide business growth and increase market share and revenue.
This need has seen a rise of outsourced marketing firms and teams of experts who can offer a turnkey service that is truly embedded in the client’s business and focused on its growth. This is especially relevant in B2B markets where buying cycles are longer and typically more complex and there is a need for a more strategic and ‘deeper’ marketing capability.
B2B outsourced marketing has risen to fill the need of SMEs who either can’t afford to hire a marketing team or have a marketing team that is under resourced or doesn’t have the experience and expertise to deliver both strategic thinking and the day to day planning and implementation of digital marketing.
In addition to this, some CEOs and CFOs are questioning if the traditional model of an inhouse marketing manager plus an arm’s length marketing agency is still relevant or the right fit for a fast moving marketing environment where strategic thinking, creative management and technology are all key pillars to success. In response, hybrid outsourced marketing teams have emerged that morph these two roles into one outsourced function.
The old model of marketing manager plus marketing agency may no longer be the best fit for a fast moving marketing environment.
The cost of outsourced marketing is typically less than 75% of the cost of hiring and retaining a full time equivalent senior marketing manager and digital agency, so the savings can also be significant (although a consideration, this shouldn’t be the only driver of your decision).
Outsourced marketing is run via agreed KPIs and metrics. So while creativity and messaging in marketing is undeniably critical to the outcome, outsourced marketers are focused on the results.
The anatomy of an outsourced marketing team
Outsourced marketing teams are typically made up of 2 – 5 team members including generalists and specialist marketers such as marketing strategists, digital marketing experts, analytics experts, creatives and marketing technology experts.
Outsourced marketing firms are different from traditional marketing agencies in that they typically take on fewer clients so they can immerse and work more deeply in each client’s business to develop competitive strategies in partnership with their client. As a result, they tend to be more heavily invested in the realisation of revenue for their client’s business from marketing efforts. They often work both with marketing and the sales team to offer marketing and sales optimisation, including the use of marketing technology such as CRMs and tracking analytics, to ensure the marketing ROI is realised.
Outsourced marketers offer services from strategy to management, and work directly with SME company leadership to develop and deliver strategy and campaigns that drive business growth. Teams include members from specialist areas, including;
- Marketing strategists are the team leaders – they are responsible for the relationship and are typically ex Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) who have experience in growing brands and revenue. They’re focused on your business objectives and ROI.
- Content and creative specialists– brand specialists, designers, copywriters and video specialists and podcasters.
- Web & app developers – specialist programmers, UI and UX specialists.
- SEO & digital ads specialists – paid advertising and analytics specialists.
- Marketing technologists – specialists in understanding, assembling and customising marketing systems, and training teams in using marketing technology.
Are you ready for B2B outsourced marketing?
If you’re thinking of outsourcing your digital marketing, you’re not alone. Post pandemic B2B buyers more than ever make decisions online, and digital engagement with new vendors is now just the norm.
While outsourced marketing isn’t for everyone, it provides the access to a team of specialists that will partner with you, can provide a proven framework for lead generation or brand awareness, will gain a detailed understanding of your business (typically a level deeper than a traditional digital agency) and have capability across not only marketing but also sales enablement and optimisation.
Choosing any provider to take on a critical component of your business success shouldn’t be taken lightly at any stage, but finding the right outsourced marketing partner comes with your level of comfort, their ability to understand the intricacies of your business quickly and their ability to provide strategic value early on in the relationship. Focus on getting this right as on the ground results always take time and there is considerable strategy and planning needed for the action to reap benefits.
Outsourced marketing might be a new concept to many but with the world turned upside down over the past years and the cultural shift toward using external specialists, there’s no doubt many business owners and CEOs will be giving it a serious look.
Are you ready for B2B outsourced marketing?