9 Reasons B2B Marketing Leaders Choose 2X over Standard Agencies

October 10, 2023
By Siew Mee Yong, Managing Director and Chief People Officer

Table of Contents

  1. Clearer scope of strategy vs. execution
  2. Complete MarTech utilization
  3. Deeper B2B marketing expertise
  4. Skilled, new-age B2B marketing talent
  5. More standardization and best practices
  6. No hidden fees
  7. Long-term orientation to extend marketing efficiency
  8. Flexible contracting
  9. Sustainable economic resourcing model

Growth is a perennial focus for B2B marketing leaders—yet CEOs and boards continue to perceive the marketing function as an expense as compared to investment, according to Forrester1.

Agency engagements that don’t yield the promised results may exacerbate this perception. A tendency of traditional marketing agencies, whether on a retainer or project basis, is to emphasize creative visions and “quick wins”—losing sight of long-term ROI and maxing out budgets with only vanity metrics or opaque reporting to show for it.

Enter marketing as a service (MaaS). 2X, a MaaS provider, is the world’s first-ever Revenue Marketing Resource Center (MRC)—deploying a unique organizational model that gives growth and revenue leaders unparalleled transparency into the impact of each marketing dollar spent. Here are nine ways 2X disrupts the standard agency model:

Reason #1: We conduct strategy work in service of execution, not for PowerPoint value.

Agencies are particularly valuable for specific projects like extending your brand’s PR presence or carrying out SEO efforts. But there’s one drawback: they typically avoid handling routine operational tasks. If they do end up fulfilling your request, it often comes at a higher cost or could very well be delegated to freelancers if a specific task does not lie in their core expertise.

MaaS is devoted to the “run” work. MaaS brings the concept of Managed Services—which has been used by a host of functions including IT, HR, Finance, and Accounting for years—to marketing, where execution and operational tasks are outsourced offshore to extend the capacity of your workforce, while internal staff focus on more strategic and high-value work.

With MaaS, the daily marketing grind—email blasts, webinars, website upkeep, etc.—can finally be outsourced without the strings attached. Your in-house team can now finally step into its own as a strategic powerhouse by breaking free from day-to-day implementation work and spotlighting organizational growth.

Reason #2: We bring your best-of-breed MarTech to life.

Gartner observes that marketers only use 33% of their overall MarTech stack’s capability—a decline from 42% in 2022 to 58% in 2020. Yet, underutilization and poor ROI aren’t a deterrent for organizations that continue to blow over 25% of their marketing budget on tech2.

MaaS–through a managed service provider (MSP) model—is ready to hit the ground running with MarTech tools already widely recognized by other B2B firms. 2X is able to harness our clients’ existing tools, but can also readily implement industry-leading platforms such as 6sense, Jasper AI, Adobe Marketo Engage, Salesforce, Bombora, and Drift where it applies.

2X focuses on three critical areas when leveraging existing technology or offering recommendations:

  • Smooth implementation and setup: We assign MOps talent skilled with the nuances and various tools of your MarTech solution to set up and manage your investment to the full extent of its capability.
  • Maximum ROI: We leverage the 2X Centre of Excellence (COE) Lab to apply ongoing improvement across all operations and technology according to industry standards.
  • AI-powered technology: We recommend AI-enabled solutions that put firms at the frontier of B2B buyer engagement with faster personalized outreach, accelerated content creation, greater productivity, and maximum cost efficiency.

Reason #3: We have deep B2B marketing expertise with “full stack” execution competency.

Only 23% of B2B marketers have fully integrated data between disparate systems without manual intervention3. Hiring an agency that goes on a software spending spree solely for short-lived projects risk adds yet another tool to the MarTech wasteland; and there’s still no guarantee your in-house teams will ever learn how to maximize utilization.

The byproducts? Performance reporting suffers. Sync errors continue to happen. Duplicate, manual work is almost guaranteed.

MaaS solves all of the above by devoting MOps professionals with an in-depth knowledge of various MarTech tools to perform ongoing maintenance and testing to guarantee effective integration. At 2X, our MOps team holds certifications from award-winning platforms such as 6sense and Adobe Marketo Engage—ensuring that your ever-growing MarTech stack continues to scale (and work) side-by-side with all marketing activities.

Reason #4: We introduce certified talent for the new-age marketing mandate.

Research by 2X and 6sense shows only 2.5 new-age marketing qualified professionals (skilled in RevTech, AI, intent, account-based marketing, etc.) compared to seven individuals per role for mature capabilities like demand generation, email marketing, or SEO4.

So, while there is no shortage of experts in traditional agencies, the very DNA of a MaaS provider remains continuous upskilling in tools and processes unique to your organization’s long-term goal.

A MaaS partner like 2X hits the ground running. Partnering with an offshore MaaS firm means having a team dedicated to understanding a B2B-relevant skillset—and who speak your language of account-based marketing, pipeline acceleration, and revenue impact marketing.

Reason #5: We already have >900 standardized processes and B2B best practices at your disposal.

Agencies are great for introducing new ideas and experimentation to your marketing efforts. However, predictable and long-term B2B marketing growth is driven by standardization, best practices, and shared knowledge.

We sit in the execution lane while your in-house marketers assume the role of brand custodians driving strategy. 2X COE Lab, our proprietary incubator, constantly stress-tests the latest MarTech and explores new frontiers in B2B marketing to deliver continuous revenue impact.

2X has over 800 training and development modules readily available for our team to explore and implement accordingly—such as learnings from previous client work across campaigns, design, content, analytics, and MOps functions.

Reason #6: We don’t charge media management markup fees.

MaaS stands out for its transparent pricing. No hidden fees, no media markups.

At 2X, we bill our clients for actual services rendered rather than inflating costs with media management fees. This means you only pay for what you use, making your marketing budget allocation more precise and efficient. Of course, having insights into productivity metrics, unit-cost economics, utilization, and capacity levels establishes the basis for achieving predictable scalability.

And since costs are clearly delineated, assessing the effectiveness of various marketing initiatives becomes easier. Armed with this insight, you get to fine-tune strategies and reallocate resources to activities that deliver the best results.

Reason #7: Our Managed Services model focuses on long-term orientation, not single projects.

Agencies require close monitoring at the start. Your in-house teams need to devote significant time and resources to onboard new vendors or launch pilot projects—but because engagement periods are shorter—many agencies do not have the time to familiarize themselves with your target audiences, brand messaging, and existing processes.

MaaS serves to augment your MOps team and scale impact for the long haul. It’s a full-scope managed services model that contracts a team of certified marketers through a full-time equivalent (FTE) basis and blended rate resources to a specific B2B client.

At 2X, we manage the day-to-day marketing initiatives that support greater marketing visions, such as lowering customer acquisition costs or pipeline generation. These revolve around demand generation, data and analytics, digital campaigns, content operations, and prospect engagement—whilst freeing up your internal team to focus on strategic, core competency work.

Reason #8: We believe in flexible contracting. No 12-month lock-ins here.

While 12-month contract agreements are often designed to provide stability and commitment for both parties, they may not always serve the best interests of clients.

Suppose you’re locked into a contract with an agency for a whole year. There may be less incentive for them to maintain a high level of service quality throughout the contract—and complacency becomes possible knowing that you cannot easily switch to another provider.

We won’t trap you with 12-month lock-ins (or charge unreasonable termination fees, for that matter). Flexibility is the name of the game, and your firm has the power to scale marketing efforts swiftly in response to your own unique, ever-evolving business needs. This agility becomes a game-changer, particularly in B2B industries marked by seasonal shifts or the ever-shifting tides of the market.

Reason #9: You leverage a sustainable economic resourcing model.

Partnering with a MaaS vendor costs 30-50% less than U.S. in-house teams and nearly 70% less than traditional agencies. This lets you revamp your operating model, easily scaling marketing while saving money.

On average, 2X’s clients achieve a 52% reduction in labor costs and the ability to contract two to three FTEs at the expense of a single internal hire.

But remember: the cost benefits of MaaS stem from offshore economics, not the quality of talent. With remote work policies on the rise, MaaS providers, often specializing in sought-after new-age skills, are now on par with in-house teams. They fill the talent gap marketing leaders face in hiring, retaining, and developing such expertise.

Why 2X?

The linchpin of continued growth for marketing leaders forced to “do more with less” hinges on a complete, long-term refresh of your marketing organizational model.

2X is an industry-leading MaaS firm, empowering B2B marketing decision-makers to lead the B2B customer-obsessed marketing growth engine. We’ve spent years developing a multi-disciplinary team of 1,000 B2B marketers skilled in MOps, campaigns and demand, content generation, intent marketing, and more. Backed by Recognize Partners, 2X is also hailed by Inc. Magazine and the Financial Times.

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Siew Mee Yong

Siew Mee Yong is 2X's versatile Managing Director and Chief People Officer whose open-mindedness has shaped a diverse career path. Beginning as a researcher in computer networks, Siew Mee transitioned to designing digital user experiences for BT, having a track record of managing large teams with a below 2% attrition rate. Prior to 2X, she was the VP of Global Marketing at Quintiq—now Dassault Systèmes—where she oversaw 30% year-over-year growth and developed an off-shore marketing services function supporting 16 independent global business units.