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Are You Struggling To Get Your Marketing Up & Running?
Outsourcing your marketing needs is a great way to get the marketing content you need without the overhead and headache of hiring in-house employees.
If you are thinking about outsourcing one piece of your marketing or your entire strategy to an outsourcing marketing service, then just know that you are not alone.
A whopping 34% of companies in a recent Exploding Topics survey said they would outsource some part of their marketing process in the coming years.
This means that, at the very least, there is some merit to outsourcing your marketing needs. I’ll be the first to tell you that there are some benefits to keeping your marketing efforts in-house, but those benefits are limited and only apply to specific situations.
The truth is that you can outsource your marketing needs to get the same (if not better) results at a fraction of the cost of finding, hiring, and retaining full-time employees.
The stats speak for themselves because hiring a full-time employee can cost your company 1.25 – 1.4 times the cost of their salary. And this is just the financial cost- not to mention the additional time and resources needed to manage that employee and ensure they are productive throughout the year.
However, with any aspect of a business, some risks can be involved with outsourcing your marketing needs.
Today’s blog post will point out the most common concerns associated with using an outsourcing marketing service and provide actionable tips that you can use to get the most out of this strategy to help drive your business forward!
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Main Risks Of Outsourced Marketing
If your company wants to succeed, you must get the right message to the right people at the right time.
Those are the basic marketing principles, and they hold regardless of your industry or the customers you serve.
Whether you are a local lawn company looking to bring on more clients or you sell consulting services to large corporations, you need to engage with your target audience to build a relationship and drive conversions.
Outsourcing marketing services could be an excellent option if you take the time to research your options and find the best middle ground, though just like every great idea, it comes with several risks.
Understanding the risks and how to mitigate their impact on your business is essential if you want to pitch outsource marketing to your boss or if you just want to bring on another resource for your business or marketing department.
Now that we understand the benefits that outsourcing marketing can bring your business, let’s break down the main risks you might face with outsourced marketing as you build a marketing team structure that works for your business.
We will identify the risks and provide ways for you to minimize those risks and get the most out of this business strategy.
Concern 1: Reduced Quality of Service
One of the first objections I hear from people when talking about outsourced marketing services is that this approach to marketing takes quality control out of the hands of a business and puts it into the company to work is being outsourced.
This is because many marketing directors and business owners think the quality of service declines with outsourced marketing.
While it is true you are putting your brand and quality in the hands of another company (this is the whole point of outsourcing), the fact is that as a business owner or marketing director, you have a lot of control over the process and the final project.
It would help if you spent lots of time searching for, vetting, and onboarding an outsourcing marketing service before making the final decision.
- Check to see if they have experience with companies like yours or in the same industry.
- Coming from many different industries could bring more strength to your marketing projects and improve your efforts, but if they have experience in your field, they should know how to make your company stand out.
- As for references and look through their portfolio. You can tell a lot about a company based on the type of work they have produced and the companies they have worked with.
- Look for an outsourced marketing agency specializing in the type of content you need. This will ensure they can deliver the results you are looking for without wasting time and money in the long run.
- Request a paid test project. If you see green flags all around but aren’t sure if a partnership would work out, then ask for a trial run.
Once you find an agency to work with, ensure they provide you with the methodology, they will follow to get your approval throughout the planning and production processes. It would help if you never allowed the outsource digital marketing agency free reign over a project. You should always require them to present ideas and provide updates before they deliver the final project.
These are just a few ways that you can ensure outsourcing marketing services provide the level of quality you expect.
Concern 2: Worse Customer Support
Marketing directors and business owners need a business partner who provides excellent customer support and expert marketing insights.
Many people think hiring an outsourcing marketing service will result in poor customer support compared to hiring in-house employees, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are ways to avoid this risk. To put it simply: maintain constant communication! Here are some tips to help you receive excellent customer service from the outsourcing marketing service:
- Set clear expectations on timelines. This includes email responses, meetings, deadlines, and anything. Just because you’re outsourcing a service doesn’t mean you’re not in control. This team still operates under you and answers to you. Setting this boundary will enforce a healthier workplace dynamic and give them a clear expectation of communication efforts.
- Set up monthly reports for results. Freelancers and outsourced marketing agencies need to give you their undivided attention and focus more consistently on your account. It also allows you to discuss specifics. Do you have any concerns about their marketing efforts? Or maybe you have some new ideas you’d like to implement.
- When you extend the invitation to partner with a freelancer or an agency, give them your time and attention, too. Communication is a two-way street.
- Sit down and discuss expectations to find a compromise and an excellent rhythm. A healthy relationship is built on trust, honesty, and solid communication.
It’s important to remember that you and the outsourced marketing services are both on the same team and working to accomplish the same goals.
Being open about expectations will give them a fair chance to work with you and meet your standards.
Concern 3: Less Accountability Than Employees
Having an in-house team is a lot of work, but it doesn’t make them more accountable than an outsourced marketing solution.
I’d argue that an in-house team can prove to be a higher risk than an outsourced team.
This is because outsourced marketing agencies and freelancers don’t have the same job stability as an in-house team. You can terminate a freelancer easier than a full-time employee if things go south.
Outsourced marketing services know this, and as long as you abide by the contract, it’s much easier to end a partnership with a freelancer or an agency than terminate an in-house employee.
Agencies and freelancers must work hard to keep your trust and your business. Here are some tips to improve accountability between you and the outsourced marketing service that you choose:
- You can mitigate the risk of accountability issues by taking the time to onboard outsourcing partners properly. Setting them up for success from the start sets you up for success in the long term.
- Establish healthy communication with them that keeps you in the loop and erases any uncertainty about specific projects or an agency’s marketing functions.
- Regular communication creates a realistic schedule for you and the freelancer to follow, too!
- Asking the freelancer to submit drafts and outlines along the way is also a great way to mitigate the issue. This gives you oversight on all aspects of the business to whatever detail you want.
As you can see, there are several ways to keep outsourced marketing agencies and freelancers accountable throughout the time you work together.
Concern 4: It’s Hard To Maintain Communication With Freelancers
Some people think that outsourcing their marketing needs will be difficult because it’s hard to keep in communication with freelancers and outsourced marketing agencies.
Similar to what we discussed in the previous point, you have a lot of control when setting the communication between you and the outsourced marketing service.
As the marketing director or business owner, it just comes down to you to keep everything working smoothly.
So what can you do to establish healthy and positive communication?
- If you have an in-house team and hire a freelancer for support, make sure you set up a time for introductions. This allows them to build connections and gets everyone on the same page.
- If you’re hiring multiple freelancers that don’t work with each other, introducing them is in your best interest, too. This gives them additional resources and gives them lines of communication as well.
- Set clear expectations for your freelancers and marketing agencies. Give them all the connections to help them; in return, you succeed, and be honest with them about what you’re looking for. Connecting your in-house team or other freelancers to your new freelancer gives them a team to rely on and an example of your expectations.
You can prevent communication issues by connecting the outsourced marketing agency or freelancers with your team from the beginning. You can go a step further by establishing weekly or bi-weekly meetings for you to discuss business operations with the agency. Plus, this gives you time to get updates on the progress of various initiatives and share insights to help deliver better results.
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Concern 5: Current team Will Get Demotivated/Concerned With Outside Agency
Some marketing directors or business owners worry that hiring a freelancer or an outside agency will hurt the morale of the in-house employees.
Maybe the team would feel threatened by outside marketing partners.
You can easily overcome this potential risk by letting your current team know exactly why you are hiring outside help. Let them understand why the freelancer was brought in, how it benefits them, and how they can expect a shift in responsibilities.
This will alleviate any fears the in-house team had about losing their jobs and eliminate any possible fear-based decisions that could come from uncertainty.
To avoid the risks, we cannot stress the importance of communication enough.
Are you keeping your team in the loop? Keeping everyone updated will help your team adapt to this change without lingering fears. After all, the freelancer is just another part of their team.
Getting the freelancer involved on email chains and inviting them to monthly meetings will incorporate them and make them, and the in-house employees, feel like they’re a part of a larger team sharing the same goal.
Success depends on everyone doing their part and working together. It’s up to you to define how the team works together and what the communication style looks like within your business or marketing department.
Concern 6: Longer Onboarding
Some marketing directors I have talked with about outsourced marketing worry that it will take a long time to onboard an agency or freelancer compared to hiring an in-house employee.
Again, this assumption could not be further from the truth. It will take just as long (if not longer) to onboard a full-time employee because you also have to share internal procedures, benefits, and HR information that you don’t have to cover with an outsourced solution.
Most marketing directors and business owners don’t want to outsource their marketing because they think outsiders take longer to onboard. Here are some tips that you can use to make onboarding as efficient as possible when working with an outsourced marketing agency or freelancer:
- Give detailed briefs before each project to help the agency or freelancers understand what you are looking for. It would help if you also gave them examples of work that your team has done in the past, so they have a clear picture of what you are looking for from the beginning.
- Provide the freelancer or outside agency with the documents, sale sheets, and other items they’ll need for success in an organized fashion.
- Set up regular meetings and check in frequently with freelancers to ensure they have everything they need. This is especially important early on to get them familiar with open communication.
- Provide detailed feedback and documents. Helping freelancers in real-time is essential to the level you need them to be. Don’t worry about being concise when you give feedback and comments in the shared documents.
- Explain your reasoning and lay out your thoughts for them to follow along. This helps them learn more about what you’re looking for, what it means to work for the brand, and how to get it right the first time.
Onboarding can be expensive and time-consuming when working with an outsourced marketing agency or freelancer.
But the good news is that plenty of ways to minimize this risk and get your marketing efforts up and running in no time!
Concern 7: Exposed Data Security
Private data security is an important topic these days. You’re right to be concerned about letting an agency or freelancer look at data sources like Google Analytics or sales data.
Many business owners and marketing directors think that an outsourced marketing agency or freelancer is more likely to share sensitive information than an in-house employee.
The only reason is that full-time employees usually must sign a Nondisclosure Agreement upon hiring. The good news is that you can also alleviate this risk when working with an outsourced marketing service with some specific steps like:
- Have your outsourced marketing sign a nondisclosure agreement, whether a single freelancer or a marketing firm like signing an NDA, keeps them from sharing personal data without facing legal repercussions.
- Only give access to information as needed. There are things your freelancer may not need depending on the tasks you’ve assigned to them. While you want to ensure they aren’t struggling to put the pieces together, they won’t need access to every bit of company information as a marketing professional.
- You could also set your outsourced marketing department up for extra security with a company email address. Not only will this add another point of communication, but it will eradicate the fear of external communication and data breaches.
- Could you not give them edit access? Share your files as needed, or make copies to ensure you maintain ownership over your files. Keeping the original files on your server is also helpful.
As you can see, you can overcome any potential risks associated with using an outsourced marketing agency or freelancer by holding them to the same standards as you would an in-house team member.
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Is Outsourcing Marketing The Right Choice For You?
Outsourcing your marketing has many excellent financial and operational benefits, but it’s not ideal for everyone.
Making the “leap” to work with an outsourced marketing service instead of hiring an in-house employee might be a considerable risk. Still, this approach could be safer than hiring a traditional employee.
While outsourcing your marketing has perks, such as saving time and money, helping you scale your marketing efforts quickly, and filling in gaps with your current marketing strategy, it’s important to remember it’s still a decision that comes with added work.
We’re here to help you make that decision. You should ask yourself a few questions below to determine if outsourced marketing is the right option for your business or marketing department.
Do You Have The Finances & Resources To Support An In-House Team?
Teams and businesses need to reduce costs wherever possible, and hiring in-house employees adds a lot of overhead costs.
When outsourcing, your costs are tied directly to your profits, and there are no extra costs you need to budget for. Hiring full-time employees bring on extra expenses, like health care, sick days, technology costs, and whatever support they need to succeed.
Multiply that by how many team members you need, and the numbers quickly increase!
You should consider outsourcing your marketing efforts if you don’t have the money, time, or resources to manage a marketing team.
This is because outsourcing cuts down all these extra costs and requires a formal HR department—depending on your company size.
You can nail down a set monthly cost with an agency or negotiate a fixed rate that you will pay per project. This means that you won’t have to worry about keeping salary employees busy throughout the year since you will only pay the outsourced marketing agency a fixed about based on their deliverables.
Are You Having Trouble Scaling Your Marketing Efforts?
You need to invest in marketing to increase your online presence and sales. It’s a necessary investment to keep you ahead of your competitors and continue generating conversation around your brand.
Hard costs (like salary, office space, and management resources) aren’t the only issue with an in-house marketing team.
What about scaling your marketing efforts?
In-house teams can greatly slow the growth of your marketing efforts and negate your complex work building brand awareness.
Hiring a freelancer gives you more financial freedom to scale your business faster and stay flexible, so you can adapt to changes in marketing and quickly shift your marketing strategy.
You can hire a freelancer or an outside agency for short-term projects or establish a more extended partnership period.
Need to change things up? An outsourced team can help you quickly change tracks and stay on top of different trends.
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Is Your Current In-House Marketing Strategy Failing?
Do you currently have an in-house team but feel like something is missing? Are your sales numbers down, but you are not sure why, and is your team struggling to come up with solutions?
The headache of hiring more full-time marketing staff will only stretch your budget even more than it currently is.
Consider hiring an outside agency to fill in any knowledge or skill gaps you see in your current team.
A freelancer or outside agency can supplement your current team and give them the support they need to help your business. They can also be a great resource to help your in-house team learn something new.
Outsourcing isn’t unheard of in the competitive marketing world. It’s a great way to ensure you’re doing your best in a competitive world. Freelancers and outsourced agencies have years of experience with different industries and brands, and they’re ready to help your company stand out against the rest.
Outsourced Marketing Services We Offer
Are you looking to take your marketing efforts to the next level? Reach out to StrategyBeam today!
Let us help you achieve your short-term and long-term digital marketing goals with our team of expert marketers.
StrategyBeam is here to help you increase sales, optimize your campaigns, and consistently deliver the highest quality content possible.
We offer different services to fit your needs, such as SEO, PPC advertising on top platforms, professional copywriting, and content strategy.
Every brand is different, and we’re ready to build a marketing campaign that meets your needs and sets you apart from your competition.
We fit into your strategy and give you the flexibility your brand needs, whether you need us to act as marketing director or supplement any knowledge or skill gaps you may be missing from your current marketing plan.
We also offer a free 45-minute consultation to look over your business marketing strategy and give you actionable tips on how you can improve your online presence!