Whether you have a full-time marketing professional, an in-house marketing team or YOU are the marketing person (and the sales person and the strategic planner and the President...), it may make sense for you to outsource some of your marketing.
Technology is significantly changing how marketing budgets are allocated. According to a recent Gartner survey,
CMO's are allocating more than 25% of their budgets on paid media. Another 26% of budgets are spent on marketing technology. The balance includes paid searches, agency fees and labor. Marketing technology and social channels change constantly; it's often difficult for some to keep up. While the number of ad and similar agencies has remained flat, the pool of freelance professionals is growing - approximately 35% of the U.S. workforce! Hubspot
reports that almost 2/3 of U.S. companies outsource at least some of their marketing. Here's why:
When to outsource marketing:
- Team members are wearing too many hats. If you do not have a person who is responsible only for marketing, some outside help may be beneficial.
- You don't have a defined marketing strategy. Working with a professional to put a plan in place that you can execute in-house may be enough to put you on the right path.
- It's tough to keep up with content, or you don't have a defined content strategy. Content is King in today's digital marketplace. Targeted content takes time, whether you're generating it yourself or curating content from others. If you do not have writers on staff that can tell your story in a way that will resonate with your clients or potential customers, it can make sense to get some help with your content. This may include developing a content strategy that your team can follow on their own, or may include doing the research and writing the content as well.
- You're not maximizing your analytics. Specialty agencies or freelancers can help interpret your data to offer data-driven insights that inform future marketing and fit your budget.
- It's relentless and you're overwhelmed by social media. Keeping up with social media is not necessarily difficult, but it can be time-consuming. It also requires a certain level of maturity and understanding of company philosophy to post responsibly. (We have all seen the damage that a random rogue tweet can do....). One post may not fit all social channels; they may have very different audiences. A professional will work with you to develop a social media editorial calendar and posting schedule that you can complete in-house, or they can manage it for you.
- You don't have dedicated marketing expertise in-house. Who knows your product or service better than you? You may have been articulating the benefits in the same way for many years. Marketing messages will resonate differently with various audiences. Often, entrepreneurs or company founders are very close to their product or service and tend to talk in industry jargon or in a shorthand that their industry understands, but that general consumers may not. An outside set of eyes can help to clarify your message.
- When you need help with a specific project. While the hourly rate of a freelancer may be higher than that of a full-time employee, your investment ends with your project. Obviously, you don't have the training, on-boarding costs and benefit expense associated with an employee. It's also possible to outsource marketing to a professional with a broader level of experience than even one of your more highly compensated employees.
Companies approach marketing in 3 ways: 1) build a marketing department internally that handles all aspects, 2) outsource their entire marketing activities to a third party (usually an agency) or 3) use a combination of internal and outsourced marketing.
Outsourcing specific areas of your marketing can be affordable, provides flexibility and an outside perspective that is beneficial. Freelancers often bring experience from a variety of industries that may employ strategies that could also work for yours.
If you're looking for a freelancer...I can point you in the right direction! Let's chat about what you're trying to accomplish and how to get started!