Posted on May 9, 2014
The Trend to Specialization in Marketing
Have you noticed that your competitors are outsourcing marketing functions-everything from channel development to social media? Why is that?
It’s because marketing is changing more rapidly than ever before. This turbulence within the marketing discipline is driving the trend toward specialization. And outsourcing enables companies to work with marketing partners that have a depth of knowledge in the best practices for specific areas of marketing.
If, for example, you want to optimize your website for the search engines, you need to have the assistance of someone who is constantly following Google’s algorithms and how they affect best practices. Hiring a full-time guru of search engine optimization may not make financial sense, but you still want access to the skill set—and outsourcing provides it.
So in order to focus on core competencies and control costs, many companies outsource specific marketing-related business processes. The key to outsourcing successfully is to understand where specific marketing needs can best be met by marketing partners.
Where are the Gaps in Your Company’s Expertise or Bandwidth?
Perhaps your marketing department is highly competent at developing day-to-day B2B marketing strategy and content production. However, your company has decided to rebrand following a merger or acquisition. Branding is a mission-critical and highly specialized marketing competency. It is sensible in this case to contract with a marketing firm that specializes in branding, which will provide overall direction that your marketing team can implement in years to come.
Maybe your company is expanding marketing efforts into setting appointments for your salespeople but does not have the expertise or adequate staff to manage it. In this case, it probably makes more sense to partner with a marketing firm that specializes in appointment setting.
Does Your Company Lack Specialized Technology?
Let’s say your company wants to integrate phone and Internet-based B2B marketing – or for that matter, sales and customer service and support. Moving beyond a small-scale effort requires considerable investment in specialized data and telephony technology.
Even with today’s cloud-based solutions, choosing, integrating and efficiently using this technology requires considerable effort and knowledge. In this case, partnering with an established and well-reputed tele-services firm makes more sense than establishing a large, in-house division.
Has Your Company Just Made an Acquisition?
Quickly ramping up your marketing efforts to encompass your expanded business needs can be a challenge, particularly if your acquisition is in a slightly different market. It takes time to develop competencies, and staffing might be unstable for a time. Contracting with an outside marketing partner that can quickly step in and take over can help during the bridging period and beyond.
Is Your Company Expanding Into a New Geographic Region?
Your company might have a highly competent marketing division in North America, for example. But let’s say you want to expand business into the European Union or Latin America. Is your marketing department prepared to handle the new cultural, language and legal environment? Does your company have relationships with marketing vendors and channels partners in the area? Expanding your internal marketing division’s capabilities could take years, and may not even be achievable. A more practical solution is to partner with a marketing company that is well versed in your new geographic territory.
Outsourcing Can Provide the Competencies You Need to Succeed
Marketing is a wide discipline with varied competencies and technologies. So even the majority of companies that keep an in-house marketing department or division outsource specialized marketing functions. But whether you plan to outsource telemarketing, marketing automation, or any other area, it requires intelligent planning, oversight, and the right partners.