What value can an external marketing team offer over the in house approach? Is an outsourced marketing agency just another cost or can they deliver real benefits? This post sets out to answer those questions.
Outsourcing marketing to an experienced external marketing team offers a number of advantages including:
- Divorces lead generation from sales.
- Outsourcing delivers a wider range of specialist skills than the in house approach.
- An external marketing team delivers a new perspective.
- Greater flexibility.
- Reduced costs.
Divorces lead generation from sales
The issue of who generates sales leads and how they are generated is the primary reason for the historic conflict between sales and marketing. In some small organisations there may only be one direct sales person whose responsibilities include generating the number of leads they require. In larger organisations there may be both sales and marketing which often leads to conflict as each try to justify their own existence.
Failure to define responsibilities will almost certainly result in sales and marketing conflict. A clear definition of the number and type of sales leads is required (marketing responsibility) plus a definition of the required sales value and close rates (sales responsibility) and a clear line where marketing responsibility ends and sales responsibility begins.
Outsourcing can eliminate the waste of time and effort associated with company politics and deliver the clear division of responsibility between sales and marketing improving efficiency and ultimately sales value.
Outsourcing delivers a wider range of specialist skills
Best practice marketing, particularly internet marketing, is changing at a rapid rate and it can be difficult for a small in house team to keep up. As more businesses in B2B markets recognise the benefits of pull marketingthe problem is compounded as it brings with it the need for a wide range of skills.
A good outsourced marketing agency will work with a range of clients and can therefore afford to employ specialists in a wide range of marketing disciplines deploying them as required to satisfy the needs of clients.
An external marketing team delivers a new perspective
Often business management and members of the marketing team grow up with the business. New employees naturally tend to fall in line with the business status quo to gain acceptance and job security. As a result there is no strong challenge to accepted thinking in the business and market opportunities may be missed.
Identifying the unique difference in any business and building a plan to capitalise on that difference is of critical importance. Another set of eyes can bring out that unique difference and spot opportunities that otherwise may be missed.
The needs of a any business change on a regular basis and it is difficult to resource a marketing department to cover all eventualities. It may be necessary to deliver an important message to the marketplace in the shortest possible timeframe, launch a new product or build a new strategic marketing plan.
Unlike an in house time a outsourced marketing team can be resourced as required to cover any peaks and troughs. Extra resource brought in to cover a peak can simply be dropped when it is no longer required.
Following on from the above the decision to outsource marketing can deliver cost savings as the in house team can be kept to a minimum to simply cover ongoing rather than one off tasks. With the level and range of expertise available in the external marketing team it may also be possible to run the marketing department with a lower level (more administrative) person therefore saving the costs of management and more experienced in house personnel.
A external marketing team can therefore deliver a wide range of benefits but it is important to remember an outsourced team will never have the intimate understanding of customers, products or markets as those employed within the business. A partnership is therefore often the best approach between the external marketing agency and key personnel within the business