Leave It To The Experts: Should You Outsource Your Marketing?
Ilya Pozin , SUBSCRIBERI cover startups and tech. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
How dynamic is your current marketing team? Many companies are learning that outsourcing marketing responsibilities can be a good idea.
To decide whether you should outsource your entire marketing strategy, part of your efforts, or none at all, you need to really understand your company and its capabilities.
I recently sat down with marketing expert Erik Huberman to discuss a developing trend for brands and services trying to grow revenues online. Erik founded the digital marketing agency Hawke Media in Santa Monica that touts itself as your "Outsourced Digital CMO."
Investing In Success
“When launching a business, it’s critical to do what you are good at; sticking with your core competency is an absolute must,” Huberman said.
If you’re great at creating a product, then focus on that and let experts in their respective fields come in and execute other business functions.
If division of labor is not convincing enough, consider this: It is not only expensive to attract top-tier talent, but also nearly impossible to lure amazing hires to your business in competitive markets where opportunities are plentiful. If you are a newer brand that hasn't yet distinguished itself from other players in the market -- or even an established brand exploring a new space -- bringing on the top-notch talent you need can be time-consuming, expensive, and impractical.
It is common practice already to outsource your development team, accounting team, customer service, and many other facets of business. Doing so saves overhead, commitment, recruiting time, training time, and expenses of full-time staff, while allowing you to tap into experts without all the associated expenses.
Hawke Media office
The Benefits of Outsourcing
Outsourcing your marketing team has recently become a more common practice. And since there is still a very small community of successful, talented, and experienced "growth hackers" -- or digital growth experts -- trying to secure one full-time can cost well into six-figures per year. For new companies, or a company just exploring digital, this makes little sense.
If you're a startup, small business, or an organization focused on other growth initiatives such as product, bringing your marketing efforts to an agency that can strategize and execute across multiple marketing channels could be key.
Additionally, you can get all the perks of having a multimillion dollar marketing staff, but stick within your budget. Outsourcing provides these digital experts -- who have likely worked with top-tier brands -- at a fraction of the cost with no long-term commitment.
According to Huberman, some of the other benefits include:
- Cost: At much less than the cost of one full-time executive, you get an entire team of experts, and can expect cheaper ad costs and software costs, among others.
- Access: With the right firm, you still get complete access to all of your data and learnings -- no hidden fees/total transparency.
- Time: You save on all of the time it takes finding someone -- or trying to learn the entire Internet marketing field yourself.
- Experience: Your team will benefit from the experience the marketing team brings to the table, such as familiarity with your target market and the many marketing channels and opportunities available.
"The benefits are endless,” Huberman said. “The alternative, trying to hire an entire team in-house, can be very expensive and usually doesn't land you the same level of expertise and experience."
Find the Right Fit
Of course, outsourcing marketing isn’t going to be the right call for every organization, and your job as the steward of your company is to know if it’s right for your capabilities. The upside of handling marketing internally? You will have your own people dedicated to finding creative ways to market your brand with the ability to pivot that strategy on the fly.
If you are well-financed, larger organization, it is important to have an internal marketing team as well. With agencies, you generally set up a strategy and execute, but you are not going to have a soldier finding strategic relationships and creative marketing strategies outside the standard scope of marketing.
Besides, who knows your company, product, or service better than your internal employees? They can bring a true passion and some on-the-ground knowledge to your marketing efforts.
Outsourcing your marketing team is a big decision for any company. Used correctly, it can bring plenty of value by putting your organization in expert hands. The key component is to truly know and understand your company and its needs, so you make the right choice for the future growth of your company.
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