Looking for Growth? It’s Time to Go Outside!

Looking for Growth? It’s Time to Go Outside!

Nobody can ever know your company, products and services better than you, which is why it can be so difficult to decide if, or when, you should bring in marketing support. To help determine whether you ought to outsource your entire marketing function, hire in specialty skills, or keep everything ‘in-house’, you first need to take an honest, critical look at the capabilities and capacities of your team.

Few companies possess all the marketing expertise they need in-house, especially of the left-brain, analytic variety needed to better understand their customers in today’s information-soaked environment. And vice versa, in some industries the firm may lack talented right-brain, creative types. Which is why most companies already outsource parts of their marketing such as advertising, print design and online campaigns for example. In practice many firms find that outsourcing marketing can lead to better quality and lower costs as well as introducing an important element of flexibility as firms strive to adapt to changing market conditions. As Ben Horsell, Head of Marketing and Business Services, Lombard Odier Investment Managers, comments “We contracted some of our marketing to Isherwood and company during a period when our team was under resourced. Outsourcing for us has been a highly efficient way to expand capacity when we need it and we had the added benefit of being able to leverage Trevor’s extensive experience on this occasion.”

Additionally, the skills required of marketing managers are rapidly changing which is driving even greater for specialty skills from agencies and suppliers. Today, marketing managers are like the conductor of an orchestra and they must understand how to access the skills they need, in-house and from outside suppliers to get the job done. With ever increasing media fragmentation, such outsourcing will become far more common, because companies can no longer rely on mass communication techniques and integrated communication tasks have become much more complicated.

For small and medium sized enterprises, this complexity can lead to missed opportunities and frustration in trying to ‘make marketing work’. Even just keeping up with the trends is hugely time consuming. Today it’s social media, but who knows what will come by the end of the year. “Outsourcing our marketing has had a quick and visible impact on our business. It frees my time to focus on our customers and on new product development. At the same time working with Isherwood and Company has significantly improved the quality and professionalism of our marketing efforts. I have every confidence that Trevor’s contribution will help us meet our ambitious growth targets.” Says Roger Charles, Founder and Director of British Beds Worldwide Ltd. in Yelverton near Plymouth.

In many cases it may be prohibitively expensive for a small firm to hire a highly experienced, well-qualified in-house marketing director who can take charge of things, lead the myriad of suppliers for greatest effect, and aim for the greatest return on marketing investment. However bringing in external senior marketing support on an ‘as needed’ or project basis can be within reach of many firms budgets and should be expected to deliver tangible results. An outsourced marketing team brings a wealth of experience that can only be accumulated by working with multiple brands in various industries, and that means there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Your marketing agency team knows what works and in which context, indeed they’ve probably done it before for other clients.

5 Benefits of outsourced marketing expertise

1. Access to specific expertise

Effective marketing requires a wide range of expertise including strategists, product managers, planners, creative teams, brand managers, experiential marketers, e-commerce experts and marketing analysts amongst others. It may be that the existing team lacks the necessary skills and experiences or that new channels are being introduced that the existing team have not yet had the opportunity to learn.

2. Accelerated growth

A marketing expert can help you identify effective ways to grow your business, generating new ways to reach your target audience, new revenue opportunities and important product and service improvements. Essentially your marketing consultant is there to help you make more money.

During a growth phase, it is faster and less expensive to outsource new skills or processes. Getting to market quickly is going to be a challenge if all the key staff need to be identified, hired, and trained before you get started. Outsourcing marketing allows you time to focus on what matters to grow your business quickly.

3. Fresh ideas and an objective point of view

When you are immersed in running your business or managing a never-ending to-do list, it can be hard to keep perspectives fresh. The easiest, quickest way to get things done is often how you did it before, but it’s not always the best way to go about achieving the goal. An external marketing adviser can provide an objective perspective with knowledge of the latest marketing innovations and techniques, you get shrewd advice on what will give you the most value.

4. Budget flexibility

Marketing infrastructure and in-house teams constitute a significant fixed cost for firms and can represent a significant percentage of the total marketing expenditure. Utilising outsourced specialists and teams gives firms the opportunity to scale up and scale back depending upon the business cycle and in response to market conditions.

Whether it’s to handle a position whilst recruiting a permanent replacement or for maternity cover, outsourcing a marketing role to an external resource can be an effective way not only to manage the work load but also to inject new skills and experiences to the team.

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