Wouldn’t it be nice to have a full-time staff of stellar project managers, technical experts, writers, strategists and PR pros? The reality is your marketing budget likely only stretches so far — and you might even be a marketing team of one. So how do you tackle everything on your to-do list and prioritize your marketing goals when there are only so many hours in a day and so many dollars to spend?
The answer is outsourcing. Hiring freelancers or agencies to help supplement your internal marketing activities and take the stress off you and your employees can be beneficial. This model works best when you keep the thinking, collaboration, project management and day-to-day execution in-house because your marketing team is most connected to your organization’s goals and can ensure that the efforts align with leadership’s priorities.
That said, here are six times when outsourcing makes sense:
1. What You Don’t Need Often
If you are working on a one-off special project like a recruitment brochure or exhibit booth signage, outsourcing may make sense. You can hire an experienced freelance graphic designer to complete the task within a set budget without taking your team away from their daily responsibilities. Just make sure you share your branding guidelines with the freelancer to ensure brand alignment and consistency.
2. What is Highly Technical and Ever-Changing
While it is important that your marketing team is tuned in to the latest technologies and trends, they may not be experts in all the disciplines needed to do the job. When it comes to technical areas like SEO, working with an outside consultant on the overall strategy and then executing in-house is both helpful and efficient. You can trust the SEO expert to stay on top of the ever-changing SEO guidelines while your team handles the daily tactics.
3. When You are Testing Something Out
If you’re on a bit of a learning curve and need to get something up and running quickly (like a webinar or paid search campaign), consider working with external experts. They can handle the entire project from start to finish or teach the “tricks of the trade” so you can eventually implement it in-house when you have the right resources and ability.
4. When New Ideas or Solutions are Needed
Sometimes you need a fresh set of eyes or a new solution to an ongoing problem. Is your social media campaign falling flat? Are your newsletter open rates declining? When your team has already tried new approaches without seeing results, it may be time to phone a friend. Whether it’s a sales coach, strategist or branding expert, working with external resources on innovative ideas that your team can implement is beneficial.
5. When You Don’t Have it In-House
Outsourcing can be a good approach to things like videos, photoshoots and podcasts. While you could execute these things in-house, you may not have the time or resources to get it done the best way. Producing quality videos requires a lot of work, including scripting, filming and editing. Working with a professional videographer may be a good choice, especially if videos are just one small piece of your marketing puzzle.
6. When You Lack the Budget for a Full-Time Staff Member
There are many different roles you may want on your dream marketing team. If you cannot hire more employees due to budget constraints, outsourcing can help you achieve the same goals without bringing on someone full-time. Take content as an example. You may not have someone on your team who can devote their entire time to writing, but they can work with freelance writers while managing the content strategy in-house.
Outsourcing some items while keeping others in-house is an effective way to work more efficiently without losing sight of your goals. Next time you’re faced with budget, time or resource constraints, consider delegating some tasks to a consultant, freelancer or agency.
About Denise Asker
I have the opportunity to lead the Clayton & McKervey's marketing, communications and business development activities, working closely with the shareholders to advance organizational goals. I am responsible for initiating activities which support our long-term relationships with clients, future clients, chambers of commerce, economic development partners, and business associates. My role includes the development of marketing strategy and implementation, staff training, event and program management, sales activities, and governance of the firm’s print and digital marketing communications.