The unfortunate reality is that many CMOs are expected to prove that marketing efforts translate into business revenue, even when they're saddled with too many constraints to do so properly. They also struggle constantly to change the mindset that marketing is a cost center that runs as a standalone silo.
In fact, the CMO title itself has come under fire: a number of Fortune 500 firms—McDonald's, Johnson & Johnson, Hyatt, Coca-Cola, Kimberly Clark, to name a few—have eliminated the role and replaced it with the likes of the "Chief Growth Officer," which has direct responsibility for innovation, R&D, sales, and P&L.
For forward-thinking B2B marketing leaders who want to earn (or keep) their seats at the table, marketing as a service, or MaaS, offers a solution.
Why the country's leading B2B CMOs are adopting MaaS
The MaaS operating model outsources marketing execution to a highly skilled external "run" team at 30-50% less cost, giving CMOs and their internal teams more capacity to build and strategize.
The ability to do more on same budget—faster and better than competitors.
MaaS works particularly well when there's a skills gap for, say, account-based marketing (ABM) in an organization's current team; CMOs can tap on a MaaS agency, which has knowledgeable, highly trained staff to optimize and execute ABM programs.
Indeed, outsourcing is already common in the B2B marketing landscape, particularly when it comes to content creation and data support. And MaaS is a natural extension of that to encompass additional functions that are easy for an external agency to own.
The top four reasons to include MaaS in your 2020 marketing budget
MaaS addresses the fact that there are never enough resources for marketing leaders to deliver an engine that can drive sales growth. Below are the four major ways your organization can benefit.
1. Reduce costs and gain more operating leverage
As a marketing leader, your list of business needs is likely two or three times as big as the budget and resources you have. So it's not about reducing your budget, but rather, making sure money is spent in the right place, and that you're getting more productivity out of current activities. The real challenge is to reduce your cost-per-opportunity, and MaaS allows you to save money on manpower and critical programs while enabling you to deliver more impact.
2. Expand and scale the marketing function
The pressure is on for marketing leaders to produce even more value for B2B organizations, even as the business landscape shifts with new company acquisitions, technologies, and products. You're called on to figure out how to integrate all these new capabilities and segments—improving the customer experience, advancing the journey to ABM, getting better analytics, doing more optimization, supporting a new region—without any extra resources.
A MaaS agency offers a pool of skilled talent that can help you grow the marketing function without putting a strain on an existing team. In the same vein, it offers a way to improve incremental functions for capabilities that your in-house team may not have.
3. Shift focus and evolve
Although marketing leaders want to evolve to support the business in new ways, most are stuck doing the same thing they did yesterday. There's an overwhelming focus on running the shop versus reimagining, transforming, and adding new things to it. There's been some progress—for instance, marketers have shifted their mentality of building something themselves to buying it, and are placing emphasis on testing, optimization, and experimentation.
But MaaS evolves that further, with best practices honed by a specialized team that understands how to achieve the outcomes you want. For example, when you've purchased new technology but don't have the right people to implement and get the value from it; you can leverage a MaaS agency with that expertise to take care of execution and continuous improvement, freeing up your time for strategic thinking that helps your marketing organization mature faster.
4. Be more agile
A business needs marketing to be the fastest function in the company, since it's really the tip of the spear when it comes to competitive advantage. Instead of being an order-taker function to sales, having a MaaS team speeds delivery up and helps you achieve your goals faster. It also allows for more flexibility when adapting programs and executing campaigns, since you can place people with the skills and expertise you need where (and when) you need them most.
Real-world results: using MaaS to reduce cost-per-lead by 30 percent
WGroup, an IT consulting firm recently acquired by global consultancy Wavestone, adopted the MaaS operating model in 2017 with the help of 2X. In two years, the combined marketing efforts of internal and external teams has resulted in:
30% compound annual growth rate
30% reduction in cost-per-lead
62% reduction in average cost of marketing headcount
Flat marketing expenses for the last two years
Ability to turn on five new marketing functions
Recognition as an INC 5000 company (2018)
With 2X, WGroup achieved more marketing impact for every dollar spent, resulting in an increase in web traffic and social media engagement that has led to more qualified inbound leads and inquiries.
Ultimately, MaaS gave WGroup's marketing team the capacity to dream. With every new idea the in-house team thought up to propel the business forward, 2X provided a cost-effective way to staff it and try it—and if it worked, to operationalize it quickly.
To learn more about how MaaS can help you deliver a marketing engine with breakthrough impact, watch the on-demand webinar.
2X was founded in 2017 by three former CMOs who saw a way to address the leadership challenges in B2B marketing. Based in Pennsylvania with delivery headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the MaaS agency has created $74 million in marketing-sourced pipeline for leading technology enterprises and professional services firms around the US.