Outsourcing marketing – does that sound like a contradiction to you? For a surprisingly large number of companies, setting up marketing is a substantial challenge. They start looking for a marketing superhero and have unrealistic expectations concerning this expert. Moreover, they have no experience in coordinating external agencies and evaluating their contributions and services. As a result, they handle marketing inconsistently and without a real strategy. For these companies, outsourcing marketing is a chance to team up with professionals and start building marketing activities effectively from the get-go.
Who should consider outsourcing?
We founded our company with the vision that a typical client of ours would be a smallish Czech company. Within four years, we found out that most of our clients are medium-sized firms with 50 to 600 employees coming from all over Europe. Most often, we handle B2B of companies that have been underestimating the importance of marketing for a long time. Now, they are beginning to realize the importance of marketing, but do not know how to get theirs up to professional standards.
Typically, we deal with companies whose owners understand that their business could do better and see that the image of the company their clients, partners and employees have could be better as well if they invested in professional marketing long-term. A common denominator of such companies tends to be under-investing in marketing (our record figure is a mere 0,26% of the yearly turnover!). For such companies, the goal is not to save money by outsourcing, but to increase quality.
What outsourcing of marketing mean
The punch line of outsourcing marketing, the way we see it, is a medium- to long-term collaboration, with the goal of analyzing the company in detail, understanding its business and designing a marketing strategy and plan. Furthermore, it is necessary to set up marketing processes, find suitable service providers and partners and then implement the plan.
The marketing team is custom-built to fit the strategy, but mainly put together in line with time management – marketing strategists, project managers, but also various specialists are only on the clock when the company needs them. If the company wanted to put together such a team on its own, it could well take them months to years. The advantage of outsourcing is that the team is already set to go.
Another step is either training the existing team or to building a new team if there was previously none, and hand over a functioning system. Often, the outsourcing specialists stay on as consultants and sometimes also as executive team members.
Outsourcing marketing is not for everyone
We like to say that in an ideal world, our services would not be needed. A company that has a quality marketing department or a CEO with the mind of a customer-oriented marketer does not need us. And there are plenty of such companies. You just have to take a look at popular B2C companies and e-commerce (and you can also find small firms and B2B companies with great marketing).
Outsourcing is not appropriate for companies that see marketing as merely producing flyers, just PPC campaigns or for those who have unrealistic expectations and see no need to get rid of them.
How to outsource marketing
There is no shortage of marketers who can assist you. From our experience, we find that the most important task is that they become a part of the client’s company and behave as real partners rather than mere service providers. That they do not simply receive a call and start creating a campaign, but actively co-design marketing from the core, that they receive information, and have the same level of power and responsibility as an internal marketing director. Only when we approach the process this way can we build successful marketing and a strong, durable brand for a company.
Quality marketing is not just for big companies
We see outsourcing as a marketing stepping stone for some companies. For many, it is a way to start investing in meaningful marketing. It is a possibility to have professional marketing for a fraction of the cost of a comparable in-house department. At the same time, it is a way of acquiring a team with a deep understanding of your company that you can quickly „turn off and on“.
We are convinced that the main contribution of our collaboration – and the reason why this is worth doing – should be a total change of mindset about what position marketing has in the company structure. In a well-designed collaboration, it goes from being a neglected area to becoming an integral part of the business and the strategic planning of the company.