You’ve heard of marketing outsourcing, maybe even read an article or two about it. But are you still scratching your head? Is it really a good option for your business? Let’s break marketing outsourcing down into a few simple points to clear up the confusion.
What Marketing Outsourcing Is
1. Strategic and grounded in consumer insights.
When we begin work with a client, the first thing we do is a planning project. We interview staff and stakeholders. We study the competition, and look at trends and opportunities in the industry. We talk with customers to better understand why they buy, where they go for their information, how they make their buying decisions, and more.
All of this culminates in a neat and tidy positioning statement. This is the juicy fun stuff. Your positioning statement is always unique and meaningful, and gets to the core of what sets your business apart. It will inform and shape everything that comes after.
2. A simplified way to manage your marketing.
When you outsource your marketing, gone are the days of juggling freelance designers, writers, SEO specialists, digital advertisers, and dog walkers.
Actually, scratch that. You might still need that dog walker.
In this brave new world, you have one point of contact: your outsourced marketing manager. That person coordinates a whole team, insulating you from marketing minutia. Instead, you’ll get access to a well-oiled marketing machine—all through your one-stop, single-point-of-contact, get-your-life-back contact. In other words, your outsourced marketing manager has your back.
3. Media and discipline neutral.
Ever wonder if you really need all the press your PR agency is insisting you pursue? Or if you should spend as much on advertising as your ad agency recommends? Your marketing outsourcing partner will do it all, remaining media and discipline neutral. The strategy and tactics will be based on real-life data and insights. And with continued testing and optimization, you’ll stop pouring money down that endless hole of no results.
What Marketing Outsourcing Is Not
1. A series of à la carte projects.
Marketing outsourcing is built on a relationship. Rather than hiring an outsourced marketing firm for a website here, and an ad campaign there, consider them your marketing department (or at least an integral part of it, if you have some in-house marketing staff). You’ll get the most out of your marketing outsourcing partner if you invest in the relationship, gaining insights and growth along the way.
2. One size fits all.
An issue we sometimes run into at Outmark is potential clients wanting us to do “drive-by marketing.” During initial discussions, we’ll get asked to brainstorm some potential ideas for campaigns, or give a sense of what a logo might look like.
We understand the temptation—it’s a big commitment, and it’s understandable to want to stave off the uncertainty. However, your potential marketing outsourcing partner shouldn’t just spitball for you. Any campaign or logo ideas won’t be useful or meaningful to you unless they’re based on a deep understanding of your industry, customers, and company. Anything short of that does you a disservice.
3. A bunch of pushovers.
We’ve all had a leader who thought they were a marketing expert despite having no training or background in the field. Or one who changed their mind every 30 seconds, and wanted you to cater to their every whim. A marketing outsourcing company is different: as a separate entity, they will take a client’s desires and ideas seriously—but they will stand firm against anything they consider ill-considered or unethical.