Should you keep marketing functions in-house or hire a third party to do it for you? Each option has its pros and cons, and it's up to the manager or chief marketing officer to determine whether a marketing activity would be more affordable and efficient to perform internally or outside the company. If you're having a hard time deciding, consider the following situations when it might be time to work with a service provider.
While your marketing department is not the only factor that drives revenue growth, a service provider can help jumpstart or boost growth by performing some of your in-house marketing activities. One of the measures of a successful marketing campaign is a positive return on investment (ROI). Many vendors use ROI to improve bottom line performance when providing outsourced marketing services. At the very least, your CFOs can understand how much revenues are generated for the amount invested in the outsourcing engagement. If you are already measuring revenue growth in terms of marketing spend and you are still experiencing sluggish growth, working with a service provider may be the best solution.
It's true that any marketing department can throw together a promotional campaign, but often it's not the best one, especially if your staff is overworked and used to cutting corners. Ideally, a marketing campaign is a series of activities that include brainstorming, thorough market research and repeated testing, ending up with the best product that is implemented gradually. If your campaigns are always makeshift or poorly designed, working with an outsourced marketing provider can optimize your marketing process and maximize your resources.
Marketing departments experience slow and busy times. However, if you feel that you and your marketing staff are always stressed and pressured to keep up with deadlines and the constantly high volume of work, it's a good idea to hire outside help. A marketing service provider can perform some of the tasks as well as help you keep up with marketing strategies that drive competitive advantage. You can even hire the marketing firm to perform research and analytics for you so your staff can focus on critical projects.
Many firms only have a few dedicated personnel to perform all marketing activities of the entire organization. As a result, personnel may perform tasks that are outside their purview or expertise, leading to problems such as slow turnaround times and reduced productivity. It makes sense to hire a marketing service provider either to provide additional marketing staff or perform specific marketing functions. If you don't have the budget to hire full-time employees, like many startups and small and medium-sized businesses, you can work out an arrangement with the vendor to provide the necessary talent, resources and expertise based on your current business needs.
If you are seeing a consistent trend of poor results despite putting in your best efforts, it might be time to let an outside expert handle everything. A marketing service provider is easier to work with than a full-time employee. You can end the outsourcing engagement if you still get the same substandard results, whereas you may need to fire a full-time employee that performed poorly and deal with additional issues associated with termination.
Marketing service providers offer a wide variety of contracts and most develop custom solutions that fit your budget and goals. This means that you don't have to choose from ether internal or outsourced marketing; you can choose to farm out certain marketing functions gradually, staring with non-core activities and then moving on to higher-level when you feel comfortable and there is an urgent need to improve processes.
Companies know that they need marketing to move products and generate revenue, but few have the perfect mix of talent, expertise, technology and well-designed strategy to take marketing to the next level, improve the bottom line, and deliver consistent, high-quality results. Some firms believe that a well-run marketing campaign requires a massive budget that only large, established organizations can afford. On the contrary, the best outsourced marketing engagement does not have to tax your limited resources. Besides improving marketing processes and increasing revenue growth, here are top reasons to outsource marketing:
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