As an experienced marketing professional, I know first-hand how daunting the prospect of building an in-house marketing team can be. Even with a wealth of industry knowledge at my disposal, I see how difficult it is to assess the effectiveness and skills of a marketing applicant on interviews alone, not to mention if the candidate will be a cultural fit for the company.
Yet time and again, for many small to mid-sized companies I have worked with, building their own internal marketing team is their ultimate goal.
They often see working with an agency as a stop-gap until they can afford the budget and time to make internal marketing hires. However, they don't often acknowledge how smart outsourcing their marketing function can be.
I have worked with some of the largest global B2B and B2C brands, some with in-house marketing teams in 30+ countries worldwide, and guess what? With hundreds of in-house marketers, these big companies still outsource some marketing functions. Why? For many reasons, but primarily because it's a great way to leverage external expertise and maximise their marketing efforts.
"Companies that outsourced marketing experienced a 43% increase in efficiency and achieved their marketing goals faster, and at a lower cost, than those that did not outsource."
- Forrester, 2014
For example, senior marketers will often outsource digital advertising budgets to paid advertising agencies to leverage the expertise of Ad Specialists to optimise their campaigns and get the best ROI for their budget. They work with external marketing agencies to bring fresh perspectives and ideas to their product launches and campaigns. They outsource video ads and production to specialised media agencies.
Outsourcing some or all of your marketing function by partnering with a team who are experts and practised at what they do is a very smart investment and often necessary for success in today's competitive landscape.
But is outsourced marketing right for your business?
Yes! With the unique challenges and objectives that niche industrial & engineering companies face, senior-level teams might be hesitant to outsource their marketing efforts for fear that an agency won't understand their target market or 'get' their product. However, I'm here to make a compelling argument that this is simply not the case, and I'm not the only one saying it.
A study by Forrester Research found that companies that outsourced their marketing services experienced a 43% increase in efficiency compared to companies utilising internal marketing teams only. The study also found that companies that outsourced marketing achieved their marketing goals faster and at a lower cost than those that did not outsource.
From cost-effectiveness to proven capabilities, partnering with an experienced marketing agency delivers many significant advantages. Here, I outline five key ones:
1) Cost-Effectiveness & Alignment with Business Goals
As a business owner or senior manager, you know that hiring the wrong person is one of the most costly mistakes you can make. Jeff Bezos once said, "I would rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person."
And he knows what he's talking about. According to this 2019 survey from FORSEE, a bad hire who performs poorly and decreases your team's productivity is estimated to cost 30% – 150% of their annual salary.
A compelling benefit for outsourced marketing is that it is often more cost-effective in the long term, as you're leveraging the proven expertise of a team of professionals without incurring any of the costs of hiring and training full-time employees.
The agency's experience and partnership can also lead to better ongoing support and guidance to ensure that your marketing efforts align with your business goals and objectives, making an agency a valuable partner in your company's success.
2) Diverse Experience & Effectiveness
Agencies bring fresh, outside perspectives to your marketing efforts, helping identify new opportunities and approaches you may not have previously considered. When you partner with an agency, you tap into diverse skills and perspectives. This melting pot of talent can lead to more creative and effective marketing campaigns tailored to your company's unique needs.
An experienced agency boasts a team of professionals specialising in various disciplines, including web development, branding, advertising, public relations, and videography (You can view Maverick's extensive range of brand and marketing services here). This comprehensive approach ensures that your marketing efforts are cohesive, targeted, and ultimately more effective.
For example, it's rare for a small to mid-sized company or start-up to have the budget to hire a strategist, designer, ad specialist and videographer, and it's even rarer still to find one experienced person skilled across all these marketing functions.
According to a 2019 report by Gartner, 29% of marketing leaders outsourced their marketing activities, reflecting the growing trend towards outsourcing marketing services. In addition, Gartner's report highlights that outsourcing helps companies tap into specialised expertise, tools, and resources that may not be available in-house.
3) Flexibility & Scalability
Flexibility is a huge benefit and is often overlooked by smaller businesses. An agency can easily adjust the scope and scale of its efforts to meet your changing needs, providing a higher level of flexibility and scalability than an in-house team, as well as extra personnel when needed.
This is especially true in a downturn or if your company is under financial pressure. When funds are lean, marketing is often one of the first departments to be cut. If you only have an internal marketing team, that will mean choosing between team redundancies or cutting your marketing advertising spend.
While most companies will opt for reducing marketing spend over letting people go, this can result in running ineffective campaigns without sufficient budget or investing in the wrong areas because the work is already done.
If working with an experienced marketing partner in the same senario, the team can guide you on making adjustments for effective spend management. This advice can enable agile decision-making and allow you to redeploy funds where they will matter most. As a result, companies that use tough times to maximise their sales and marketing budgets increase revenues quicker than companies that cut spend. They're also the companies that emerge more robust than ever when markets turn around.
Cutting marketing budgets in a downturn might make sense from an administrative standpoint, but business case studies repeatedly show that it is detrimental to the overall success of a business.
4) Access to Cutting-Edge Resources & Tools
Agencies have access to specialised software, research databases, and other resources that might be out of reach for a small internal team. By outsourcing; your business leverages these tools to drive your marketing efforts forward without breaking the bank or having to invest heavily in them yourself.
Outsourced marketing teams often have long-standing relationships with media outlets, influencers, and other industry stakeholders. By partnering with an agency, you take advantage of these connections to boost the reach and impact of your company's marketing efforts.
A 2018 survey by the Content Marketing Institute found that 56% of B2B marketers outsourced at least one content marketing activity, with content creation being the most common function outsourced.
"If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you're putting yourself out of business."
- Lee Kuan Yew, Founding Father of Modern Singapore
Lee Kuan Yew's quote can apply to the competitive advantage that outsourced marketing services can provide, particularly in the face of increasingly globalised markets and fierce competition.
5) Accountability & Proven Track Record of Success
An experienced agency provides case studies and references to demonstrate its capabilities, instilling confidence that your marketing investment will yield the desired results.
In addition, it's easy to see if the agency has experience working within your industry niche or has successfully completed similar projects to the one you have in mind. Reassurance like this is priceless and much more difficult to gauge when hiring an individual to join your team.
Agencies are also typically required to report on the performance of marketing efforts regularly and often offer a higher level of accountability and transparency than an in-house team.
Experienced agency teams can provide ongoing support and guidance to ensure your marketing efforts align with your business goals and objectives. This advice makes it a valuable partner in your company's success.
Outsourcing your marketing activities to an agency is a wise investment for senior-level teams in any industry. The benefits of an experienced, diverse, and well-connected marketing partner far outweigh the costs, uncertainty and potential roadblocks of building a complete in-house team.
As the saying goes, "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur." Trust me, the right agency partner will bring a wealth of knowledge, creativity, and success to your marketing endeavours, so don't be afraid to make the leap.
Interested in partnering with us?
Get in touch today and let's discuss how our team can help you maximise your marketing investment, scale your business and grow revenue.
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