The Rise Of Outsource Marketing
If you’re a marketing manager or marketing director, then you know how important it is to have the right pieces to sustain a marketing strategy.
Not delivering on your goals is not an option because missed goals mean reduced annual bonuses and could lead to job insecurity, like getting fired.
You’ve done all you can to help find the right people, but your HR team can’t find enough candidates for whatever reason.
And of those unqualified candidates, their salary demands are outside the budget your leadership allocated.
While it might not improve your situation, it’s essential to know that you are not the only one experiencing this issue.
Almost every digital marketing company and team across the U.S. is experiencing a shortage of qualified candidates, and the problem is only expected to worsen in the coming years.
Image Source: https://www.marketingcharts.com/business-of-marketing/agency-business-111754
The Majority Of Companies Are Turning To Outsource Marketing Solutions
A 2019 study by Forbes concluded that the majority of marketing teams have a difficult time recruiting and retaining qualified talent for most marketing teams.
While that was a few years ago, I would argue that the difficulty of recruiting and retaining quality marketing talent has increased since the virus-that-shall-not-be-named reshaped the industry.
Marketing departments of all shapes and sizes across all industries have similar reasons for why they can’t recruit and retain great talent, like:
- Qualified talent is hard to find: You have likely spent hours combing through LinkedIn profiles and Indeed resumes trying to find an excellent addition to your team, but you notice all the applicants lack needed experience.
- High salary demands: When you find a few applicants that would be a good fit for your needs, you notice that the average salary for a marketing professional in the U.S., according to Glassdoor, is around $79,145 per year. And that’s just the average- salary and benefits vary greatly based on channel, experience, and industry.
- Competitive market: Highly skilled marketers are in high demand, so even when you land a good marketer for your team, you likely lose them within a year to a competitor promising a higher salary or better benefits than you can.
And the list goes on.
As the cycle continues, it can feel like an endless loop of searching for, interviewing, and hiring under-skilled candidates to lose the employee to a competitor.
One option gaining traction for many companies is outsourcing their marketing programs to freelancers and content marketing agencies.
Let’s look at how you can pitch the idea to your boss that outsourcing to a marketing company is an excellent idea because it will get you the support you need without the red tape or high price point of hiring another full-time employee that will wash out in a year.
How To Pitch Outsource Marketing To Your Leadership
Pitching any idea to your leadership can be challenging.
But the good news is that the central part of a successful pitch is understanding the needs of your leader and anticipating their questions/objections before you approach them.
This way, you can pitch the idea in a way that makes sense to them and addresses any concerns before they get in the way of your desired outcome.
We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get the help you need (and deserve) in a fraction of the time and money with outsourcing marketing services.
That’s why we put together the top five ways to pitch outsourcing marketing to your marketing director or vice president.
1. Lower Labor Costs
Vice presidents and marketing directors typically oversee the company’s marketing budget, so they always look for ways to streamline the budget and reduce excess expenses where possible.
No matter who you try to pitch to, you should grab a copy of the marketing budget and break it down by human resources, tools, and budget for production.
I promise you that you can show outsourced marketing services are more cost-effective than any in-house employee. Not only will outsourced marketing services save your team at the top, it will improve your bottom line and drive more revenue throughout the year.
If labor costs are more than 30% of your marketing budget, then you are likely wasting money that could be used elsewhere in the campaigns.
Once you have the budget breakdown, you can pull analytics from Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Google Search Console to determine how various marketing initiatives would improve with funds diverted from the expensive hiring and onboarding of traditional in-house employees.
How To Pitch A Marketing Director
Suppose you’re a marketing manager looking to get your marketing director to agree to outsource marketing. In that case, you will need to focus on how the current hiring process is hurting your ability to drive sales.
You can also tell your marketing director that outsourcing marketing frees up capital that can be used on marketing campaigns instead of salary and overhead, so your team can deliver better results for less money.
When pitching this benefit to the marketing director, emphasize that you will manage communications with the freelance contractors to ensure the arrangement is handled seamlessly.
How To Pitch A Vice President
On the other hand, if you are a marketing director who wants to scale your marketing department quickly with an outsourced marketing team, then you should focus on how lower labor costs and overhead will help the department reach its financial goals.
You can talk about how an employee typically costs the company an average of 1.25 – 1.4 times an employee’s salary. This means the company wastes a lot of money once they hire an employee compared to hiring an outsourced marketing department to do the same work.
Regardless of who you are talking to, you can emphasize that hiring an in-house marketing team member can cost you lots of money compared to hiring a freelance marketing contractor.
The money saved should be put towards the campaign so the team can spend more on blog posts, social ads, or Google Ads.
Image Source: https://beanninjas.com/blog/the-benefits-of-outsourcing-your-critical-business-process/
2. Greater Team Flexibility & Speed
According to The Brixton Group, the average time-to-hire for a marketing professional is 40 days. It takes most companies over a month to recruit vacant spots on their marketing team.
This is an eternity for marketing managers and directors who must fill spots to produce the content needed to meet the team’s marketing goals.
This time can be extended quite a bit depending on your location, the time of year, and if you are in an industry that requires candidates to have specific skills.
Suppose you need to build your team quickly and have the flexibility to address needs within the marketing program as needed. In that case, you need an agile team that’s not hampered by strict labor laws or HR considerations often afforded to full-time employees.
Content creation with outsourced marketing experts open up a world of opportunities for your business. You can hire copywriters, graphic designers, and strategists to handle the day-to-day business without your direct oversight so you can focus on growing your marketing team.
To build a pitch for this angle, you will need to pull information about how many candidates have been found, the percentage that have desired skills, and how long it will take at the current rate to hire and onboard a new employee.
You can use this information to show your leadership that outsourced marketing services can cut the time to find and hire the help you need while also reducing department costs (as discussed in the previous section).
How To Pitch A Marketing Director
When presenting to a marketing director, emphasize that the long time-to-hire strains your team’s ability to produce great content. Plus, short-term staffing shortages strain the budget and reduce the team’s ability to meet the marketing goals.
Long-term, the staffing issues will negatively impact the team’s morale, which can lead to additional exits and further strain the team’s ability to operate if the gaps are not filled immediately.
How To Pitch A Vice President
For vice presidents, I recommend that you point out how that long time-to-hire will negatively impact the team’s ability to deliver on the annual marketing plan they built.
This will negatively impact the sales process, and this will have a direct impact on the profit and loss projects for the company within the year.
While it will take you over a month to find and hire an in-house employee, at the same time, you could find, interview and onboard a freelancer to get started on your marketing needs.
No wasted downtime with a traditional hiring process means you can get your team firing on all cylinders in a fraction of the time.
The speed you can build your digital marketing team and the agility of that team will impact your company’s ability to meet your marketing and sales goals.
3. Quickly Scale Marketing Efforts
Marketing directors and vice presidents are concerned about the efficiency and scalability of the marketing department as it pertains to sales.
How quickly a team can scale up their marketing efforts directly impacts the team’s overall performance, along with other teams the marketing department supports, like the sales team.
Because of this, I recommend focusing on how the traditional way of building a team through hiring full-time employees has proven inadequate for your team’s current needs.
This means that you can bring your marketing department to the next level with minimal financial commitment since you will have direct access to marketing expertise that is tough to come by with in-house employees. You will be able to reach your target audience with SEO, email marketing, and public relations in no time flat.
How To Pitch A Marketing Director
With a marketing director, you will need to focus your conversation on the gaps leading to communication breakdown between different parts of the team.
You can also talk about how the gaps in the team impact customer services, which will lead to the loss of customers and revenue if not addressed.
Some marketing directors are hired with the sole responsibility to scale the marketing team as quickly (and cost-effectively) as possible. Suppose you find yourself with a new marketing director with this responsibility.
In that case, you should focus on the difference between financial investment for outsourced marketing and the improved efficiency of outsourced marketing efforts compared to in-house teams.
How To Pitch A Vice President
Many marketing directors have the enormous responsibility of growing the marketing team from a team of one (likely you at this moment) to a powerful marketing team.
You can talk about how low content production or inconsistent oversight on different channels leads to decreased sales. This will get their attention and show them how the inability to find and retain good talent hurts the company’s profitability.
If you were just hired as a marketing manager to meet aggressive marketing goals, or you are a marketing director who was just hired to build a team from scratch, you can’t go wrong with outsourcing marketing options if you need to scale.
Show your vice president that you can drum up new business with the marketing expertise offered by an outsourced marketing firm that you can’t receive through hiring a full-time employee.
Image Source: https://tribalvision.com/the-benefits-of-an-outsourced-marketing-firm/
4. Short-Term Project Needs
As we discussed in a previous point, marketing directors and vice presidents are concerned about budgeting and the profitability of the marketing department.
The only real difference is that a vice president thinks about the company’s financial stability. In contrast, the marketing director thinks about profitability regarding customer satisfaction and retention.
This is why for both vice presidents and marketing managers, you can talk about how the traditional method of hiring an in-house marketing specialist is unnecessary for project-based or short-term campaigns.
The time it takes to find, recruit, and onboard a full-time employee could cost you thousands of dollars.
How To Pitch A Marketing Director
Marketing directors need their marketing team to deliver on metrics like leads, engagement, and market share. This means showing your marketing director how a successful marketing campaign can deliver these results in a given time frame is essential.
I recommend pulling historical data from similar projects like sales data, conversions, and organic traffic to show your argument from the perspective of leads and sales.
Be sure to highlight the financial savings of outsourcing marketing agencies and that you have more control over hiring talent with specific skills you need to fulfill desired goals.
How To Pitch A Vice President
If you’re pitching outsourced marketing team to a vice president, be sure to focus on the benefits of the project at hand.
Be sure to tie expected returns in dollars and cents to the campaign, and highlight that you won’t be able to deliver the expected return on investment (ROI) without filling in gaps.
This can show your vice president that outsourcing some marketing tasks can deliver the results they are looking for at a fraction of the cost and time of hiring in-house employees.
5. Avoid Turnover In The Department
According to Built In, turnover in a company comes at a very high cost of 1.5 – 2 times the employee’s salary. This means a company is hemorrhaging money as they experience high turnover as the recruiting department is forced to spend time and resources to replace that individual.
At the same time, turnover puts more pressure on those employees who remain at the company, which can cause burnout that further stretches the cost of turnover.
It is also costly to onboard new employees, especially when it takes over a month in most markets to find and hire a marketing professional.
Like most companies, you will likely see a 30% turnover rate in your digital marketing department each year.
This constant cycle of hiring, training, and people leaving ciphers money from your department that could be used elsewhere to reach your goals.
Address Potential Concerns
Now that we have looked at five ways to pitch outsourcing your marketing needs to your leadership team let’s look at some common concerns your leaders might have about outsourced marketing department so you can get the support you need!
Less Control Over Quality
There’s a common misconception that outsourcing your marketing needs will reduce your control over quality.
While outsourcing your marketing needs means that you won’t have as much oversight on each project, outsourcing gives you more control over quality than traditional in-house employees.
Outsourced marketing services and freelancers live and die by their reputations and skill sets. One poor job or mismanagement can cause them to gain a bad reputation that will follow them around for years.
In addition, you can simply terminate the contract with a freelancer if they produce low-quality content. This means the freelancer or outsourced content agency is on the hook each time they do a project with you, so it’s in their best interest always to bring their A-game.
Outsourcing a company’s marketing needs is often seen as a risky proposition because the company usually fears that it will lose control of its branding and message.
However, outsourcing marketing can provide more accountability than traditional in-house employees. This is because outsourcing companies specialize in specific areas of marketing, such as social media or content marketing. As a result, freelancers and agencies are more likely to have the expertise and experience needed to execute a successful marketing campaign.
In addition, outsourcing companies are usually held accountable by contracts and service level agreements that you don’t have with traditional full-time employees.
Make sure that you point out the fact that you have a plan to hold an outsourced marketing agency or freelancer accountable for the content they produce. Plus, when you sign a contract with a marketing agency that includes a package (see the first section of this article), you will receive ongoing support in all areas of marketing.
This is further evidence that you can receive excellent support and accountability by outsourcing your marketing needs compared to hiring an in-house full-time marketing team.
Your leadership may oppose outsourcing your marketing needs because they think it will result in lots of hidden costs with freelancers rather than in-house employees.
However, outsourcing your marketing needs can provide more cost transparency than traditional in-house employees.
When you outsource your marketing, you can see exactly how much you spend on each marketing activity. This way, you can ensure that your marketing budget is being spent efficiently and effectively.
In contrast, when you have an in-house marketing team, tracking how much you spend on each marketing activity can be difficult.
This lack of transparency can lead to overspending on unnecessary activities. As a result, outsourcing your marketing needs can help you to save money and get more value for your marketing budget.
Exposing Confidential Data
Outsourcing marketing is an excellent way for companies to improve confidentiality because outsourced agencies and freelancers are experienced in handling confidential data and will take the necessary steps to protect it.
This is because you should always make freelancers or outsourced marketing departments sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to protect your company’s confidential data further.
Along with the NDA, your company is covered by the standard covenant not to compete (CNC) that you should have every freelancer and agency sign before an engagement.
This further protects your business as you look to outsource your marketing efforts instead of taking on the high cost of hiring an in-house marketer.
Your leadership may oppose outsourcing marketing because they think it means poor communication from outsourced agencies or freelancers.
However, outsourcing marketing can improve communication within and between the company and its outsourcing partners. Here are some tips to help improve communication when outsourcing marketing:
- Define clear objectives and expectations. Before outsourcing marketing, sit down with your team and agree on what you want to achieve. This will help ensure everyone is on the same page from the start.
- Establish a point person. When outsourcing marketing, designate one person within the company who will be the primary point of contact for the outsourcing agency or freelancer. This will help to streamline communication and avoid confusion.
- Hold regular check-ins. Set up regular check-ins with your outsourcing partners to discuss progress and give feedback. This will help to ensure that everyone is on track and that any issues are quickly resolved.
What To Look For In An Outsource Marketing Agency
When you outsource marketing for your business, you’re essentially handing over the reins of your marketing strategy to another company.
It’s essential to carefully vet any agency you’re considering outsourcing to ensure they’re a good fit for your business.
First and foremost, you should ensure that the agency has experience with businesses in your industry. They should also be able to provide a portfolio of their previous work, so you can get an idea of their style and approach.
Also, choosing an agency that shares your values and brand personality is essential. After all, they’ll be representing your company to the world.
Finding an outsourcing partner that’s a good fit for your business can ensure a successful and seamless outsourcing relationship.
Are you ready to find an outsourced digital marketing solution that fits your needs and budget? If so, let’s talk.