Most marketing departments are faced with restricted time and money, which makes it enticing to outsource certain digital marketing capabilities so that in-house marketers can concentrate on strengths and core competencies. However, the decision to outsource can be extremely risky, both in terms of quality and the opportunity cost to your marketing strategy.
Marketing Outsourcing Companies
When it comes to marketing, many businesses feel overwhelmed. There are so many aspects of marketing, from social media marketing to search engine optimization. It can be difficult to know where to start. That's where marketing outsourcing companies come in. These companies can help you with all aspects of marketing, from creating a marketing plan to executing that plan. But how do you choose the right marketing outsourcing company for your business?
An Outsourcing Alternative: Fractional Marketing Teams
While outsourcing can be successful in some areas of your business operations, it can be a disaster for your marketing department, especially in a quickly-changing world. Marketing is one of the most important driving forces behind the success of any company struggling to stay ahead amidst saturated competition.
We offer an alternative called a "fractional marketing team" that extends the roles and expands the capabilities within your existing marketing department, even if it's just you or a department of one.
A fractional marketing team does not pull business-critical operations or components out of your company and hand it over to someone else, as is the case with outsourcing – instead, it is a true extension of your existing team, enhancing your existing efforts and focusing on driving growth at your organization.
Diverse experience and skillsets
Our Fractional Marketing Team Can Fill All of These Roles
- CMO/VP of Marketing
- Marketing Manager
- Business Analyst
- Lead Marketing Strategist
- SEO and Analytics Expert
- Paid Advertising Specialist
- CRO Expert
- Graphic Designer
- Chief Technical Strategist
- Technical Project Manager
- Lead Technical Architect
- User Experience Designer
- Web Designer
- Front-end Developer
- Back-end Developer
- Data Scientist & Analyst
- CRM specialist & Integration Expert
What Can Fractional Marketing Teams Handle?
The short answer is: fractional marketing teams can handle most anything your existing marketing team can handle, and more!
Digital Marketing Strategy (Yes!)
You would (hopefully) never think to outsource your marketing strategy! A smart digital marketing strategy cannot be implemented without internal organizational context, intimate business awareness, positioning strategy, and the organization's long-term objectives. This is why fractional marketing teams pair our CMO and VP of Marketing roles with your in-house marketing team, supplementing and improving the marketing strategy you already have. More heads are truly better than one!
Analytics and Reporting
How do you calculate the ROI of your digital marketing campaigns without any output data? How do you justify your spend on marketing agencies and contractors without proof of their value? Business owners and digital marketers alike require justification and proof of ROI on marketing. It can be very dangerous to outsource this entirely, since disconnects can easily surface between overall business strategy and goals, KPIs, and metrics, but it can be a capability to augment via a fractional marketing team.
Website Design and Development
Web design and development is often the most technically challenging area of digital marketing and is continually changing. It is often "outsourced" to a digital agency, rather than "outsourced" in the sense that it is farmed out to a low-cost oversees provider. Your website is the centerpiece of the digital footprint for lead generation, market placement, brand awareness, and customer support, so skimping on this area usually results in poor results and long-term technical debt.
The key reason for outsourcing this form of work is the technical expertise and experience needed to create an elegant, scalable, usable, intuitive, and conversion-oriented website. Agency web designers and engineers continually enhance their expertise by collaborating on innovative projects – a privilege that is usually not afforded to in-house marketers. The agencies often concentrate extensively on a subset of skills and keep up with industry trends and technical advances, leveraging state-of-the-art technologies and advanced plugins.
Search Engine Optimization
Google and similar search engines are often a primary traffic source, especially forB2B websites. This makes Search Engine Optimization ( SEO) a core component of any marketing plan. SEO is an area that is continually evolving, involving intimate familiarity with search engine algorithms, content management, and technical specifications for websites. As a result, businesses tend to employ SEO firms or contractors to lead their search strategies.
Unless you have a wide variety of website properties or a large website footprint of more than 1,000 sites, it is impossible to justify hiring a full-time SEO specialist. What's more, the best SEO is often done with the help of state-of-the-art SEO tools, some of which come with a heavy price tag.
SEO is one area that you'll definitely want to outsource unless you have someone with extensive SEO expertise in-house. And even then, you are expected to pay for technical and professional advancement on an ongoing basis to keep up with the search engine ecosystem.
With a fractional marketing team, there is no "SEO black box" or lack of transparency, as is the case with outsourcing – it is rolled into your existing team operations, KPIs, and goal-oriented dashboards. SEO stays in sync with your content marketing efforts and overall digital marketing strategy.
Digital Advertising and PPC
Like SEO, digital ads and PPC are part of a highly technical field that is continually developing. It would take a substantial marketing budget to justify the employment of a full-time employee devoted exclusively to the operation of digital advertising and PPC.
However, outsourcing digital ads is extremely budget-dependent and can be very risky. What's more, it does not make sense to employ a consultant if their management costs equate to half of your monthly advertising budget. Digital ad experts generally ensure considerable cost-per - click savings, more precise targeting for medium-sized companies and upwards, and are committed to continually improving efficiency.
It is critical for in-house teams to be acquainted with the fundamentals of pay-per-click (PPC) and programmatic ads, bidding and budgeting to ensure that they receive their money from an agency or freelancer. However, the day-to-day management and complexities of bidding and targeting are usually best left to advertising professionals. Outsourcing can leave you stuck with an ad campaign that has gone off the rails, which is why the more integrated nature of a fractional marketing team is favorable, so your in-house team can co-create and continually optimie the ad campaigns, using their critical expertise and guidance.
Social media marketing is a great candidate for outsourcing, but also runs several risks. If outsourcing, be sure it is to a high-quality digital marketing agency. B2B brands frequently rely on agencies or contractors for effective social media marketing tasks, audits, or paid marketing campaign strategies, although it may not be cost-effective to rely on third parties for all social media operations in the business.
Even with an outside entity handling your social platforms, it also usually takes an internal team member to establish an editorial calendar to have genuine consumer, employee and stakeholder feedback. Without detailed access to day-to-day activities and specific multimedia resources, social media can seem rather robotic to your user base.
Especially for deeper niches in B2B space, the organic scope of social media can be somewhat restricted and may not be a big driver of eligible leads. The outsourcing of technical parts, such as ads targeting and bidding, makes sense, but otherwise it's generally better left at home.
Full-Service Agency and Other Digital Marketing Services
Our fractional marketing team is housed in a full-service digital agency, so we can handle any of your digital marketing needs, from content creation to LinkedIn ad strategy to most any other digital marketing work you can think of.
Outsourcing a very small piece of the puzzle, such as email marketing, or a very large piece of the puzzle, such as inbound marketing, can be very dangerous. Both pieces are part of a greater set of marketing activities and marketing functions that can quickly become disjointed if outsourced. Bringing in marketing experts through fractional teams is a great way to handle a range of digital marketing efforts without the risk of disjointed pieces, at a fraction of the cost of hiring employees or even hiring out each piece.
Outsourcing digital marketing can, in general, be a very risky endeavor, but with a fractional marketing team it does not have to be. If you decide to outsource marketing, consider a fractional marketing team with members who are up on the latest technology, the latest trends in online marketing, and who have the case studies to back up their work.