In the beginning of the year, Forbes ran an article about 10 Great Marketing Jobs for 2018 based on average salary, number of postings for the positions on Indeed.com, and three-year growth percentage. Here are four of the positions – Senior Social Media Specialist, Community Manager, Digital Strategist, and Brand Ambassador.
Does your company have those positions?
It’s okay if your answer is “no.” Marketing has evolved into this multi-faceted, multi-channeled far-reaching pursuit for brand awareness and market share in a highly information-filled digital world. It requires roles with very specialized skills and the need for strong team leadership to successfully guide marketing organizations’ endeavors. However, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a senior-level marketing executive with all the skills to orchestrate content, technology and data, to the extent that they are needed to attract and keep customers engaged today.
Currently, people connect differently with traditional channels such as TV, print, and radio, and digital channels have amplified the need for value and humanization within social media’s one-to-one customer engagement platforms. Mobile also offers new ways to interact with consumers, who now have a very powerful tool within the palm of their hands. Not to mention how big data, AI, and AR are informing marketing decisions and guiding future brand interaction gateways.
So what can companies do? They need to consider whether to build out their marketing departments or outsource their marketing needs. There are several factors organizations should contemplate to determine the best approach that will meet their needs.
In recent years, entrepreneurs, small and mid-size businesses have had the tendency to look to agencies for marketing help. According to the 2017 State of the Services Economy Report by Mavenlink & Gigaom, 89 percent of businesses consider access to contractors/agencies important to their success and 96 percent acknowledge a shift to project-based work and are actively seeking new contractor/agency relationships.
Outsourcing removes from clients’ books the cost of overhead for their marketing department. Outsourcing keeps in-house head count down, thereby reducing labor costs associated with recruiting, training, benefits, and turnover.
Additionally, due to increased specialization and the diverse disciplines needed to market brands effectively, companies often have a hard time finding qualified candidates. For small and mid-size companies, outsourcing provides the solution for delivering needed expertise related to marketing functions, as well as industry-specific knowledge. Marketing agencies can also spread overhead over multiple clients and provide a complete marketing program for the cost of one-to-two staff marketing salaries, ultimately being more cost efficient for companies in the long run.
For larger companies with resources, it may be effective to maintain a completely staffed department to retain marketplace knowledge and be able to utilize those resources in terms of generating their company’s overall marketing strategy.
Speed to Market
Marketing is moving at an exponential pace. The 2017 Service Economy report notes that a quarter of businesses look to contract work for speed of delivery. Outsourcing can get new initiatives up and running quicker than a small in-house team. An agency has the know-how and years of experience to deliver the right tactics based on evidence to get clients to the market faster and make them successful.
Focus on Core Competencies
Entrepreneurs and small businesses in particular may have limited resources and can only tackle a couple large initiatives concurrently. Plus, technology-driven marketing usually requires specific tools and a big investment. Working with an agency often gives you reporting metrics and access to the tools they’ve acquired. Therefore, outsourcing essentially gives you back your focus on raising capital, work processes, and client retention efforts.
Level the Playing Field
Money magazine routinely looks at the rise of startups and provides tips for launching a business. Always mentioned is the need for a company website, an investment in advertising on search engines, and a commitment to posting regularly on social media. Seeing as customers are looking at four to 10 pieces of content prior to making a purchase these activities become paramount to achieving sales goals. A website can legitimize a company just starting out and build an owner’s online profile and reputation if handled correctly. For entrepreneurs it becomes a matter of expertise and time management, which is why marketing functionality makes sense to outsource. And for a start-up, it can be the difference between survival and failure during that critical first year of business.
No matter the size of your company, with marketing moving into overdrive, businesses have to keep pace with the latest targeting tools and have the talent to manage them. Marketing requires a vast amount of insight, analysis, and knowledge to do job the well. Today, surrounding yourself with smarts means going where the talent is and for many organizations that road leads to outsourcing your marketing so the work gets done faster and better.