Everyone in IT is familiar with IT outsource centers and services, but perhaps not everyone has heard of Marketing outsource centers. But then again, why would any CMO outsource such a strategically important function to an outside party? I can cite 4 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 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 delivers 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 cycle 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 its 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 really spend time in thinking about campaign strategy and improving the effectiveness of the campaigns against target.
4. Innovate the customer experience – prospects and customers alike experience your brand from a myriad of touchpoints and creating the preference and differentiation for your company’s product and services often lies in the design and execution of a well-crafted customer experience. Often the hurdle to this is both infrastructure and talent. Because some of these expertise are so highly specialized, using outside expert rather than organically developing them provides the speed the company needs.
According to VentureBeat, there are 12 marketing functions that are manually intensive and are good candidates for outsourcing.
With some of our clients, they are already experiencing 20% improvement in marketing qualified leads (MQL) and cost-per-opportunity is down by 19%. All done without any negative effect like people losing jobs simply because functions were outsourced not to replace, but to grow. In fact, by outsourcing, clients improved work satisfaction of the team by achieving targets and/or exceeding them. Working with the right vendor actually helps internal teams grow and achieve marketing maturity faster.