fan of outsourcing marketing long before I started freelancing. The question was always how much of it you could outsource. I have outsourced bits and pieces of marketing, such as collateral creation, in the past, but I usually maintained control of demand creation and other programs in-house.Let the record show that I was a
For the last several months, I have been on the other side of the fence creating everything from complete campaigns to specific materials for my clients. I have concluded that technology companies can outsource most of their marketing, however there are a few tips that I thought I would share:
Choose a vendor that understands your business. If you want to keep your costs low and accelerate your marketing programs, it helps to have someone who does not need much training. Both my agency partner and I have a long history of working with companies like SAP and Microsoft. We can talk to a Subject Matter Expert (SME) and quickly translate their technology perspectives into language that makes sense to the average buyer. It takes more than just marketing knowledge to do that.
Experience matters. We hear about this happening all the time in business consulting. The firm convinces the client that they have vast amounts of experience in the business but once the contract is signed, all they see is junior level people. Of course, this helps the agency keep their costs down and, presumably, keep their fees low. However, it can raise the handholding you need to do. If you plan to outsource most of your marketing, you may be better off working with an agency that does not need as much support.
Keep someone on staff and accountable. Even if you outsource all of your marketing, the agency will need someone to be their main contact in-house. This individual can be instrumental in helping the agency understand the priorities of the company and develop the right contacts with SMEs, executives and salespeople. Having someone on staff with a marketing title, preferably someone with some credibility within the organization, can be important to project success.
All the best!