Everyone is familiar with IT outsourcing centers and services, but perhaps not everyone has heard of the same for marketing. But then again, why would any CMO outsource such a strategically important function to an outside party-particularly in the B2B world? I can cite four good reasons.
1. Increase the strategic value of marketing.
As an organization with a sole purpose of driving growth for the company, it is not enough to only be running the “shop”. Marketing needs to provide insights and serve as great advisors to leadership and help chart the course for the company. Often the focus on the former takes so much energy and so many resources that the strategic role of marketing is neglected. To increase the strategic value of marketing, the right amount of focus on strategic activities that deliver short and long-term value need to be architected from the ground up, and not as an after-thought.
2. Increase demand.
Any company that is interested in growth needs to increase the demand for the product and services they provide. With enterprise-level B2B sales cycles averaging 6-18 months, and mid-market around 4-6 months, it is easy to see that without a good build-up of leads pipeline, it would be impossible for businesses to meet their growth targets, let alone be profitable. CMOs need to know which channel provides the best ROI, and the best-run marketing organizations have access to that information on a weekly and monthly basis both for online and offline campaigns.
3. Reduce costs.
Because marketing spends money to generate demand, there is tremendous pressure to ensure ROI in every campaign and headcount. On the campaign level, the ability to drive down cost-per-lead means having visibility and agility to optimize every campaign, plus having the ability to scale. Turning on and off campaigns easily are key success factors. But there are other costs that are easily overlooked; for example, when your product managers are the ones writing content, or when your campaign managers are setting up the campaign by pulling lists and cloning email templates, when they should instead spend time thinking about campaign strategy and improving the effectiveness of the campaigns against targets.
4. Innovate the customer experience.
Prospects and customers alike experience your brand from a myriad of touchpoints, and creating a preference for and differentiation in your company’s products and services often depends on the design and execution of a well-crafted customer experience. Often the hurdle to this is both infrastructure and talent. Because some of this expertise are so highly specialized, using outside experts rather than organically developing them in-house provides the speed the company needs.
According to VentureBeat, there are 12 marketing functions that are manually intensive and good candidates for outsourcing.
Some of our clients are experiencing 20% improvement in marketing qualified leads (MQLs), and their cost-per-opportunity is down by 19%. All results were achieved without any negative effect like people losing jobs-simply because these outsourced functions are not meant to replace headcount, but to grow it intelligently. In fact, by outsourcing, clients improved the work satisfaction of the team by achieving targets and, and in many cases, exceeding them. In fact, working with the right vendor actually helps internal teams grow and achieve marketing maturity faster.