B2B companies are struggling to make their sales teams more effective. One of the ways they can improve the performance of sales is through better marketing. The question that most small and mid-sized B2B companies ultimately ask (when they have limited marketing requirements and don't need multiple people in marketing) is - what's the best way to approach marketing. Should we do it in-house or outsource?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of outsourced marketing compared with doing marketing in-house?
Here are a few factors to consider before making that decision.
Consider your budget before recruiting
If you decide to hire a marketer in-house, you will need to hire experienced marketing professionals and support them with the resources (e.g., designers, web developers, copy editors, software) they need to create and execute a well-defined and effective marketing plan.
Their competitive salary combined with healthcare and pension contributions are costs that every company needs to consider before recruiting. A marketing manager will typically cost $60,000 - 80,000 in a major urban center. Add 30 - 40% for full time salary costs, for a total of between $80,000 and $110,000 per year. That's just the salary of the marketer - it doesn't include marketing budget for advertising, design, and other inevitable costs.
Alternatively, outsourced marketing may be more cost effective. You won’t have the risk of paying for vacations or sick leaves, health care plans, or re-hire for the position should the employee choose to leave. The outsourced marketing company is responsible for those costs and for fulfilling the work that is laid out in the plan - so you don't have to worry about managing the work. It means the executive team can focus on their other priorities and know that the marketing is getting executed, without them having to chase it.
Industry/Company Expertise vs Marketing Expertise
Many companies have a belief that hiring an internal person whom they can train on their products and services is a better approach than hiring a marketing company that doesn't know their industry. Over time, that does become true - a marketer who stays with a company for 6 months or more will reach a point that they intimately understand the business. That's helpful. It does take time for them to gain that knowledge (learning curve), and the only downside is the right that the marketer might leave within 12 - 24 months. If the marketer decides to go elsewhere (which happens a lot these days), it will put the company back to the starting block, and having to bring a new marketer in and get them trained up.
The advantage with an outsourced marketing company is that they will bring years of B2B marketing experience, proven methods and a diversity of skills, plus if they sign a contract - they'll fulfill it, even if one person on their team leaves. Most outsourced marketing companies include experienced consultants who bring fresh, innovative ideas, and can also leverage what they have seen work for other companies in your sector.
Bottom line - if you can find a marketing company that can combine your deep knowledge of your company and industry with their fresh ideas and experience in marketing, you will have the best of both worlds. Knowledge and familiarity of your company, without the risk of a marketer walking out the door one day.
What should your marketing plan look like?
HubSpot recently revealed the top marketing and sales challenges that B2B companies face. They found that across the world, SEO and organic growth is at the top of everyone’s list. However there is a shift where companies are getting a lot more exposure. It is through content that is generated through their blogs and articles.
Your marketing department needs to consistently update your website with fresh content on a monthly basis, while ensuring the other pieces of the marketing plan are executed on time and effectively.
This is one reason that B2B companies go with outsourced marketing. An outside company can bring a team of experts on a fractional basis. That gives the business access to a range of skills they wouldn't otherwise get - from writers and designers, copy editors and researchers to PR and social media specialists.
Filling in the Strategy Gap
Filling in the strategy gaps for companies who have already hired or looking to hire a good tactical in-house marketer is one of the most intelligent and best business practices we see as an agency. Outsourced marketing companies have the tools and the expertise to do a thorough competitive analysis and suggest marketing tactics that companies may miss in their strategy. Boost your marketing efforts by hiring an outsourced marketing company to work with your in-house team to build the strategy or elements of the foundation that is needed for a successful marketing plan.
Looking for more parameters to evaluate whether you should in-house or outsource your marketing? Take the 9-question quiz for more considerations.
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