While outsourcing exists in every nook and cranny of various industries, it is the B2B marketing sector, which is rapidly expanding with its aid. However, for the chief marketing officers (CMOs), outsourcing functions need more thought that you could imagine.
We’ve seen copious examples of this with the outsourcing commercials. And at present, it has expanded to digital content creation, analytics and so on and so forth.
Here are some of the factors we’ve pinpointed for CMOs to take into consideration while outsourcing marketing functions.
1. Remembering The Purpose Of Outsourcing
Why do companies outsource?
According to a Deloitte’s Global Outsourcing Survey 2016, companies outsource owing to the following reasons:
- Use it as a cost-cutting tool – 59%
- To enable focus on their core business – 57%
- To solve capacity issues – 47%
- To enhance the service quality – 31%
- Critical to business needs – 28%
Sometimes, CMOs tend to forget why they are outsourcing in the first place, which should not be the case. They need to weigh the pros and cons and identify whether or not the time is right for hiring a marketing agency.
For this purpose, they can rely upon some key indicators, which include but are not limited to lack of in-house skills, disappointing sales figures, lack of output or running short of budget to hire and retain a full-time employee.
Think along these lines to evaluate your need to outsource and subsequently, take an informed decision.
2. Outsource With Specific Projects in Mind
One of the vexing issues for CMOs is which projects they need to outsource.
An eCommerce website for instance is a lot of work.
As a CMO, you can outsource a few aspects of the site such as its customer service that also answers the queries of potential customers, and utilize the in-house talent in other key areas like developing and maintenance thereby saving their time, energy and efforts.
Likewise, while developing a technical product for a startup, you may need all hands on the deck. This again, calls for outsourcing of tasks.
3. Evaluating The Outsourced Firm Thoroughly
No CMO would want to fall in the trap of having chosen the wrong outsourcing firm.
In this scenario, it makes sense to thoroughly evaluate the outsourcing firm/individual just like evaluating an employee.
After all, whether they appoint third-party talent or an in-house employee, both will have a direct or indirect impact on your business.
Here’s how you can adjudge whether an outsourcing firm is okay to work with (or not):
- They understand your key objectives and marketing goals
- They are on the same page as you on the resources and budget allocation
- They have a thorough knowledge of the technology/have the desired skill set
- They have proven expertise in their domain and an excellent track record of success with their past clients
- They have an impressive portfolio that speaks volumes about their capabilities
4. Arranging Contracts With Success
For CMOs, finding the apt contracting partner guarantees long-term success. But first, they need to implement a clear-cut framework. They can start by taking a transparent approach right from day one and making their goals and expectations completely clear to their outsourcing providers.
Being ready with a well-designed framework that flawlessly communicates the details to the providers is something they cannot do without. This ensures that the outsourced firm is on the same page.
5. Effectively Managing Relationships with Providers
As a CMO, you would want the relationship with the outsourcing providers to be on a long-term basis.
You would not only want the providers to perform mission critical tasks, but also handle them effectively.
It all begins at the signing of the contract and continues, one project after another.
Without a proper outsourcing management relationship in place, the contract value is at stake and can be detrimental to the success of your project.
A well-developed, realistic engagement and governance model can cater to new-age outsourcing methods and handle all its complexities irrespective of the geographic barriers, should be a CMO’s first and foremost priority.
6. Giving Importance To Content Creation
According to LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, about 51% of B2B marketers don’t have the required time or the bandwidth to create content. That makes it one of the top content marketing challenges. Moreover, 30% of them say that having an external agency or consultant is one of the top resources on which they rely on content creation.
In addition to this, a study by Curata states that the number of marketers who are outsourcing content is at 18% while the remaining of the content is created in-house.
These stats explain why CMOs who outsource content creation are a happy lot. For them, it is easier getting avant-garde content for B2B businesses owing to the huge talent pool of gifted freelance writers. Most of these professionals ask for nominal charges and yet, churn out exceptional content.
Furthermore, it has been proven time and again that content marketing isn’t going to die down any soon. So why not go for it, when it’s going to benefit your business!
7. Understand That Some Areas Need To Be Off-Limits For Outsourcing
Outsourcing may be the answer to many problems for CMOs such as reducing the overhead costs. Even then, there are some areas that should be kept off-limits for them.
It starts with the core competency of your business. This in fact is one of the thumb rules of outsourcing. Your clients would look forward to unique features that you and you alone could provide them and not just any firm they are quite capable of hiring for the same price.
If you’re an app development firm for instance, you may want to outsource the marketing of the app on review sites but not building the app, which is clearly your forte. Similarly, if PPC, Social Media or SEO are your USPs, don’t make the rookie mistake of outsourcing these.
Instead, hire and train talent to work for you full-time instead of assigning the core competencies to your outsourcing provider.
These are some of the common aspects that every CMO need to consider before they outsource marketing functions. For those who are just beginning in this direction, it can look like a tedious task, but with time and practice, it becomes a seamless process.