PART ONE: THE CONCEPT OF OUTSOURCED MARKETING
Outsourcing has been a growing operational trend for business and yet it tends to be completely misunderstood and misapplied.
In the past, outsourcing is generally associated with ‘support functions’ such as IT, HR or Accounting. It also carries a “negative” identity when it is seen as shipping American jobs overseas to low wage countries or as a quick means of cutting costs.
Well outsourcing your marketing effort is operationally like the former with the financial benefits of the latter and some other advantages thrown in along the way. Allow us to elaborate.
Marketing outsourcing, however, is the art of handing over the entire marketing demand of a company to a third party and offers four very real cost focused benefits:
1.Companies can access higher quality talent that they might ordinarily be able to attract into an in-house department.
2.Outsourcing negates the need for an in-house team, thus reducing overhead.
3.Outsourcing eliminates the need for multiple, biased specialist agencies – all the marketing needs are done by one centralized agency.
4.Outsourcing offers media-neutral and discipline-neutral marketing. More on the importance of this later.
Businesses and Brands can achieve all of these benefits with the added bonus of flexibility by increasing or decreasing their requirements which fits the uncertainty of the business cycle.
Therefore, marketing outsourcing is more accurately defined as an innovative−perhaps revolutionary−strategy that represents an entirely new “third way” to accomplish a company’s marketing objectives.
Outsourcing various marketing functions itself is nothing new. Companies have long hired outside vendors to execute direct mail, advertising, public relations and many other deliverables, but the complete outsourcing of the marketing function goes beyond such tactics. It is more akin to . . .
One Stop Shopping
I live in a suburb, so rather than going to ‘green grocer’, baker, and butcher, I visit a trusted grocery store that has carefully selected from thousands of options and formed vendor relationships to offer a convenient shopping experience. In a single shopping trip, I purchase everything on my list with one simple transaction.
Marketing outsourcing is the same thing, simplifying the procurement of services, as well as removing the time, expense and uncertainty creating relationships with multiple marketing service providers.
Of course, the value of any strategic concept is only as good as the results it delivers. To that end, the flexibility offered by outsourcing – buying only what you need when you need it – makes a real impact on the bottom line. Outsourcing can make it possible to maintain marketing momentum during uncertain economic times and when advertising budgets get scaled back.
Smart companies understand that when times are tough, marketing and advertising are more important than ever. In fact, it is often easier to increase market share when competitors are struggling and cutting back. Outsourcing answers the question: “How can the necessary resources be brought to bear when we have cutbacks and hiring freezes?”
In our next post we’ll get specific about exactly WHAT marketing outsourcing is and is not.