Most marketing agencies attempt to do everything in-house, relying on full-time and part-time employees to handle everything from client acquisition and management to ground-level execution of tasks. This is advantageous in some ways, because it gives agency leaders more control over how the work is executed. However, most marketing agencies can benefit from outsourcing at least some of their work.
Types of Outsourcing
There are several ways marketing agencies could hypothetically outsource their work. For example, they could take advantage of individual freelancers to complement or replace the work of their individual employees. They could also make use of a white label SEO service, allowing another agency to take the reins on an entire campaign without losing face with their existing clients. In any case, the core concept is the same: rely on another professional (an individual or organization) to handle some or all of your campaign responsibilities.
The Benefits of Outsourcing
There are several benefits to this approach:
- Access to specialists. In marketing, there are specialists and generalists. Specialists tend to be very good at one thing in the realm of marketing, like managing ad budgets or writing content. Generalists tend to have skills in many areas. Full-time employees for most small-scale marketing firms tend to be generalists, so they can cover a wide range of responsibilities. This is beneficial, but can also be limiting. Outsourcing gives you access to a wider range of specialists in many different niches; with them, you can improve your performance in a certain area of specialty, or offer a broader range of services to your existing clients. Either way, you can improve your value.
- Access to more resources. Allowing your agency to outsource also gives you access to more total resources. In some cases, that means having access to more people; that way, if a campaign is particularly demanding, you can call upon a bigger team to accomplish your goals. Other freelancers and agencies will also have their own extended network of connections, so if you run into a problem that you can’t solve or if you’re in need of more ideas, you’ll always have someone else to contact.
- Overflow flexibility. What do you do if your agency has the chance to take on a new client, but you’re already overwhelmed with work? Your options are limited; you can reject the new client, you can cull your existing client base, or you can call upon extra resources to accommodate this work. If you already have an established network of freelancers, or if you have a deal with an agency, you can easily handle any overflow work that comes your way. When there isn’t much work to do, you can handle it all in-house, and when you get overwhelmed with new requests for work, you’ll have a backup option.
- Cost savings. When you look at the prices charged by other marketing agencies, you might be concerned about the cost factor of outsourcing. However, in the long run, outsourcing your marketing could actually save you money. Full-time employees are very expensive, and often far more costly than hiring a freelancer or hiring another agency. This is especially true considering the value you get from hiring a dedicated professional.
- Higher accountability. Your existing full-time workers will likely hold themselves accountable for getting the best possible results for your clients, especially if you only hire the most trustworthy people you can find. However, if something goes wrong, or if there’s a problem they can’t solve on their own, your options may be limited. When you outsource your work to a trustworthy partner, they’ll hold themselves accountable for making things right; for example, if an agency is managing your SEO campaign and it’s underperforming, they’ll likely take it upon themselves to give the campaign a boost, with extra content, new links, or some other extra effort.
- Range of options. There are dozens of marketing strategies you could feasibly use to get results for your clients, but most marketing agencies only have the in-house resources necessary to cover a small range of different strategies. If you open the door to outsourcing, you’ll have a much wider range of strategies to provide to your clients. Once you establish a relationship and have trust in their offerings, you can feasibly sell and market their services as your own.
Outsourcing isn’t the best option for all marketing agencies or all situations, but it can be beneficial for the majority of agencies. The trick is finding a partner you can trust, and at a price you can afford. It may take you some time to research, discover, and vet these potential candidates, but once you find a long-term partner worth investing in, your entire organization can excel.