Reasons to Outsource More of Your Marketing for Channel Expansion

More companies are outsourcing their marketing functions – and with good reason. Marketing channels have multiplied and become more diverse than ever. Companies also find they may not have the marketing resources to respond to rapid or unexpected change in the business or a sudden increased volume of marketing campaigns.

Michael Shanker, CEO and director of Extraprise, has some good tips on when the best time to outsource your marketing. We’ve listed a few below and included our own thoughts.

You Lack a Specific Expertise

Since effective marketing often requires a wide range of expertise, organizations often find they don’t have the marketing professionals with the right skill sets to meet all the necessary marketing programs. Some of the common areas of marketing weakness for many companies are marketing analytics, database marketing and data hygiene, says Shanker. Plus, many marketing organizations do not have the skills to use marketing automation tools optimally or even effectively.

Cost Management

Costs related to people, systems and facilities are often the largest portion of a marketing budget. But when a marketing department needs to adapt to sudden changes in customer demographics and markets, outsourcing provides a greater level of flexibility. While the initial costs of outsourcing might appear higher than doing it yourself, there are hidden costs in maintain fixed marketing assets including absorbing delays caused by changing priorities, attrition, lack of support, etc.

A retainer agreement for a year or more may seem similar to a fixed cost contract, the level of service provided can scale as marketing needs change. An oursourced marketing company also holds much of the risk that changes in strategy produce.

You Can Learn Best Practices

When outsourcing your marketing functions, your marketing team will gain experience from specialists in that particular area. Many outsources also package their best practices in data models, process flows, or partnerships. “Engaging an expert provides immediate access to expert people and institutional knowledge that can be transferred immediately,” says Shanker.

Rapid Growth

When a company undergoes a high growth phase it is usually cheaper and fast to outsource new staff or processes. Hiring new staff can be time consuming and costly, while outsourcing resources adjust to a company’s growth. A hybrid insourcing/outsourcing approach is a popular way to take advantage of the benefits of outsourcing while still developing and maintaining internal capabilities.

A New Launch or Customer Channel

A new marketing channel requires a level of expertise that many companies simply do not have, which makes outsourcing them or using outside resources to supplement internal resources a good idea. Multi-touch campaigns that span point-of-sale, advertising, PR, direct mail, e-mail, and the Internet require particular care.

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