Great news: your business is growing.
Bad news: your business is growing.
While growth means you are doing something right—like attracting and retaining ideal customers—it simultaneously makes for a serious conundrum from a marketing perspective.
When a business first begins, employees must juggle many different hats. Most of the technical jobs are filled fairly quickly to ensure that the business is compliant and the standards are kept on track. For instance, outsourcing the major financial decisions to a CPA or external bookkeeper is often a straightforward decision. There are rules and regulations that can be overwhelming to understand, and the penalties for a bad decision can be devastating.
The same goes for healthcare management. This function is generally easier to outsource to an external organizer who can guarantee that your employees are receiving good coverage and the business is not violating any rules.
But then there’s marketing...
Growth complicates the decision about how your company should facilitate its marketing strategies. Hiring in-house makes for expenses and risks that are not easily redirected; outsourcing can lead to complex communication and organization. With such a strategic role on the line, making the wrong choice can have long-lasting repercussions.
Consider the Basics: What is Marketing?
First of all, marketing is a broad term that many people define differently. So, let’s consider the definition of marketing. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, marketing is defined as “the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service.” (Fun fact: the first known use of the term “marketing” was in the year 1561!)
This definition does not provide clarity on what marketing truly entails, so let’s unpack this definition—
Marketing ultimately includes the following:
- Research – determining the who, what and why of your ideal target audience and defining their buyer personas based on market research and preexisting data (surveys, interviews, etc.)
- Campaign management – developing the best methods for attracting and retaining your ideal targets in the form of an outreach campaign.
- Design – creating a look and feel that will resonate with your target audience. Design can include anything from a website, brochures, ads, business cards, signage, postcards and so on.
- Content management – writing engaging B2B content for all designed elements, including social media strategy and other content marketing tools, that is fine-tuned to your buyer personas.
Ask Yourself the Tough Questions
Knowing all of the facets of marketing that make for a successful strategy, you should ask yourself: Is it necessary to create a marketing department to perform all of these functions? Or might it be better to outsource these functions to an agency?
Hiring an entire in-house marketing department will allow you to have a marketing team that is on-site and therefore close to your sales team and other departments. It will also allow you to drive the direction of their work and priorities.
However, the benefits of having your team on-site can quickly be overshadowed by the expense of hiring a full-time staff. As of January 2018, the average salary of a Marketing Director is $135,744. What’s more, this amount doesn’t include the benefits and payroll taxes—which will generally raise the amount by 20%.
While many businesses will opt to hire a marketing coordinator instead of a director, it will still be a costly decision that may not make sense for your company—especially if you project steady growth from this point forward.
Choosing to Outsource Your Marketing
Many companies opt for outsourcing their marketing needs to an agency—and it is becoming an increasingly common practice. An agency allows a company to leverage the skills and talents of a marketing team at a cost typically less than the salary and benefits of an in-house marketing professional.
If you are a small business, start-up, or organization planning to launch new growth initiatives such as digital marketing tactics or outreach campaigns, it is best to bring in an agency that can execute and strategize across various marketing channels. Hiring an agency will give you all of the perks of having a top-quality (and top-paid!) marketing staff without breaking your budget.
Additionally, outsourcing marketing to an agency includes several other advantages, such as:
- Access: By hiring the right agency for the job, you will still have full access to all of the market research, knowledge, and data in a manner that is entirely transparent and communicable.
- Time: If you’re considering learning the field of marketing yourself or finding the perfect person to coordinate the efforts, stop while you’re ahead. Outsourcing will save you loads of time that you can redirect to another crucial facet of your business, like sales.
- Experience: Marketing agencies will bring along experiential knowledge, including familiarity with your target audiences and marketing skills across various channels, which will bolster your opportunities for new leads and customers.
- Creativity: Having fresh eyes on your projects can never hurt. Outsourcing will illuminate you to success strategies that are rooted in creative, engaging ideas stemming from a range of individuals, like graphic designers, freelance writers, and digital advertising specialists.
With outsourcing, the benefits are endless. Of course, the decision to hire an agency may not be right for every organization, so it is the responsibility of the business owner to ultimately determine the company’s capabilities and long-term goals for success. Used correctly, outsourcing your marketing team can lead to plenty of value, as you will be placing your strategies for promotion and presentation into expert hands.