When and How Should You Outsource Marketing?

Posted by Michele Nichols on Fri, Dec 05, 2014

As you grow your company, you will likely need to re-evaluate certain roles and responsibilities. Approaches that worked at first might no longer be effective or sustainable. For example, many businesses are at some point faced with the question: Should you hire internally or outsource key marketing roles? The answer depends on:

  • Size of company
  • Core strengths
  • Goals and growth rate

We spoke to John Rizzo, CPA & Managing Partner of Rizzo DiGiacco Hern & Baniewicz, who told us: “There’s a strong trend toward outsourcing for companies $5-15M in revenue. They don’t want to manage people, and they realize where their expertise and value lies. They’re too small to afford great, specialized talent, and too big to continue to do it all themselves.”

In one case, a company was ready to hire a $150K operations person to do two key roles. Instead, they outsourced to specialists for $60K a year. “That full time person would have cost them about $18K all told. That’s a savings a year of $120K – and they’re getting C-level oversight and strategic guidance. We always suggest that our clients look at what’s core and do the math on outsourcing” John said. Many of the companies John works with have seen bottom line impact from outsourcing bookkeeping, marketing, and even sales management functions.

We’ve worked with companies of every size and configuration, and at a certain point, there’s real ROI to outsourcing your marketing team.

 

You’re a good candidate for outsourcing if:

Your company makes $5-25M in revenue. At this point, you’ve outgrown the DIY approach. Sure, you could program your own website, but should you? You’re also likely looking at a budget for one FTE, and the mix of skills necessary to succeed in today’s market – business acumen, ability to set and measure to KPIs, strategic and tactical ability, SEO, graphics, writing, event coordination, etc. – are seldom found in one body.

You’re strong in technology but lack marketing prowess. Especially in engineering-driven companies like optics and photonics, medical device and other technologies, sales and marketing are critical but are not core and widely-held skill sets. The visionary inventors and founders we work with welcome new perspectives and appreciate industry-specific metrics. They recognize that the phrase, “I don’t know what I don’t know,” is true for them and that outsourced guidance can help.

You have aggressive growth goals. Outsourced marketing is useful for companies that plan to achieve over 10% revenue growth, or those that plan to launch a new product or enter a new market. For this level of growth, your success demands a clear strategy and day-after-day, month-after-month execution and measurement.  If your expansion plans and product changes are iterative, however, your current in-house model may continue to be wise. Often leaders will DIY on nights and weekends, and interns or an MBA class can make nice progress on a small marketing project.

 

Let’s break down the numbers for a company that’s a good fit for outsourcing:

MarketingCosts

What skills should you keep inside when you hire an outside marketing team?

A good in-house marketing coordinator is key. That person should be:

  • Detail oriented
  • Deadline driven
  • Outgoing – a good booth staffer, event host, etc.
  • Interested in and personally active in social media
  • Your go-to person, with deep knowledge of who knows the answer to what in the organization – a ‘directory’ to your company

We have the privilege to work with some exceptional marketing coordinators. Many of them choose to work part time, are highly efficient and self-driven, and are open to outside guidance. We’re lucky to have them, and so are you!

If you’re looking to hire a marketing coordinator, here’s a starting marketing coordinator job description that fills a critical gap for the types of companies we work with.

Get the Marketing Coordinator Hire Guide

Interested in discussing a marketing model that might make the most sense for your company? Just ask us.

Topics: Business Insights, Marketing Strategy