July 16, 2019

Staying afloat: How outsourced marketing can serve as your life preserver

Nothing makes these sweltering summer days more bearable than an afternoon on the lake with the wind in your hair. Whether you’re tubing or cruising on a pontoon, no boating trip is complete without a few sturdy life preservers—the one item you hope to never need but are immensely grateful for in the event of an emergency.

Similar to a life preserver, business owners need systems and strategies in place to weather changing industry landscapes. With a recession looming on the horizon, that moment may arrive sooner rather than later, and outsourced services might be the buoy you need to stay afloat.

What is outsourcing?

Outsourcing is the practice of partnering with an outside firm to take on tasks typically performed in-house, such as HR services or accounting. What began as a trend in the IT and financial sectors has recently expanded into outward facing roles, including marketing and sales, extending beyond just remedial tasks and straight into the C-suite.

Martin Lindenberg of the Newport Board Group nails the reason for this rising trend in the Houston Business Journal:

“Because of the rise of information technology and automation, companies are becoming flatter. There isn’t a need for as many layers in management. The result is, they are becoming leaner. And it is more cost-effective to bring in an outsourced experienced executive.”

Startups and established businesses alike can benefit from outsourced experience. With an outsourced executive, you know you’re getting the strategy along with the tactical knowledge to grow your brand and your business.

Outsourced marketing

Working with ad agencies can be challenging, and building an in-house team on a budget can be limiting. If you need strategic marketing but you’re concerned about the ROI, consider the following perks of outsourced marketing:

  1. Increased efficiency: When you’re running a business, it can feel like you’re being pulled in a thousand directions. From operations to IT to sales to marketing, owners wear many hats, and it’s tough to be an expert in every subject. With outsourcing, you get an entire team of subject matter experts to understand your needs, create a marketing plan and execute on the strategy so you can focus on your core responsibilities.
  2. Payroll savings: CEOs earn 204 times the median pay of their workers, and Chief Marketing Officer/Chief Sales Officer positions don’t fall too far behind. Business have been forced to choose between a pricey, traditional ad agency or an internal FTE to the tune of a six-figure salary and benefits. With outsourcing, you’re able to affordably gain an entire team of senior-level experience while amortizing cost and reducing risk.
  3. Custom marketing roadmap: Want to focus on blogs and case studies? Brand identity? Email marketing? Social media marketing? Your outsourced marketing partner will work with you to strategically develop, implement and execute a marketing plan specific to your industry and business goals, providing everything you need, nothing you don’t.
  4. Competitive advantage: Marketing doesn’t end at execution. A true marketing partner – what we call your “in-house marketing, outsourced” – goes the extra mile with monthly analytics reporting to ensure they are staying on track, meeting goals and pivoting as necessary to ensure each dollar is well-spent and feeds into a larger, executive-level strategy.

Outsourcing the C-suite

The strong hybrid model of outsourcing – what we call “door number 3” – provides a third option, allowing owners to gain an entire team of talent that entrenches itself in your business. This team then guides you through the right marketing plan and ensures your messaging is consistent and on-brand for less than the cost of an in-house marketing hire.

Sustainable company growth isn’t spurred by a mid-level marketer. You need a seasoned expert guiding your overarching marketing strategy in alignment with your sales objectives. A fractional CMO has the know-how and the well-curated manpower to see those tactics through to fruition, leading to increased sales and ROI – all for less than it would cost to employ that mid-level marketer.

As a business owner myself, I understand just how much risk one takes starting and running a company. Cash flow is the largest roadblock for many small businesses, which makes your marketing decision even more critical to ensure you’re investing those funds wisely.

Whether you’re considering a marketing investment for the first time, have dabbled with a junior level marketing hire that didn’t work out, or are tired of feeling like a small fish in your agency’s large pond, outsourcing might be the lifeline your business needs to weather an economic storm.

Melea McRae is proud to provide outsourced CMO services as Kansas City’s first “un-agency.” Are you ready to open door number 3? Connect with Melea on LinkedIn or share your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter.

About the author: Melea McRae is a marketing strategist with 25+ years of B2B and B2C experience leading client-facing marketing departments, where she earned the reputation as an insightful brand strategist. As SVP and CMO at the Greater KC Chamber of Commerce, she led the organization’s marketing and business development efforts. In July 2016, Melea launched Crux KC, providing an in-house marketing team, outsourced – the “un-agency” – for her small-to-mid-sized clients. As founder and CEO, she builds marketing, communication and business development strategies for her clients, while positioning them for sustainable growth.

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