We talk with mid-sized companies ($20M to $100M+) every day and get a lot of questions about hiring in-house vs. outsourced marketing. In our conversations with company executives, we have found that these mid-sized companies share some common challenges.
9 Commonalities of Mid-Sized Companies
The companies we meet with tend to have some commonalities when it comes to marketing:
- The owner has been doing his/her own marketing.
- There is no in-house marketing staff or department, or there is only a Marketing Manager with no staff.
- The VP Sales is also serving as VP Marketing.
- “Marketing things” get done, but there is no real plan.
- The CEO/President/Founder wants to get out of the weeds and focus on growing the company.
- Marketing is not getting done consistently.
- The recognition has dawned that you can’t get all the skills you need in a single hire…or even hiring two or three people.
- Whoever is doing the marketing is overwhelmed with the pace of change in digital marketing and the ever-expanding platforms where “you need to be.”
- Company leaders believe they can “let go” and partner with a trusted marketing team.
Most of these mid-sized companies are on a strong growth path, and need more leads on a regular basis, and lack the marketing expertise to generate these themselves.
Marketing Has Dramatically Changed — And Businesses Look for Outsourced Marketing Help
These companies realign their marketing strategies to reflect current best practices, marketing dollars are beginning to shift away from traditional outlets like PR, print, radio & TV advertising, and cold calling. Unfortunately, the skill sets of internal marketing teams often lag behind. For some organizations, the time and resources needed to train internal people on how to master inbound cornerstones like content creation, email marketing, and data analysis simply do not exist.
As a result, businesses wanting to take advantage of ROI-charged online tactics like blogging and social media are turning to outsourced marketing agencies for help. Savvy company leaders recognize that finding and hiring and internal marketing team is expensive.
Building an Internal Marketing Team is Expensive
The cost of hiring an internal marketing staff is significant. According to Salary.com, just to hire one marketing manager costs well over $100k with salary and benefits.
|Avg Experience||Avg Salary||SFO Salary|
|Marketing Manager||5-10 years, BA||93,472||116,371|
|Marketing Director||15+ years, BA||131,308||163,476|
|Marketing VP/CMO||15+ years, MBA||221,529||273,761|
Add that to the cost of an SEO person, a writer (or two), a web designer/developer, a social media wonk, an analytics and operations person, and you’ll be spending upwards of $300k a year just for the people that are doing the marketing. Then you need to add in the tools they’ll need to get their jobs done, the training time needed to stay current, and the expense of replacing any of these employees who don’t work out.
Value-Priced Outsourced Marketing
There is a smarter way to go for most mid-sized businesses: outsource marketing to an established inbound marketing agency. These agencies can provide the resources, technology, education and content for highly effective marketing automation. They can function as your outsourced digital marketing department or as a temporary vendor while they train your internal team.
Additionally, marketing agencies leverage their learning across different industries, so they bring you a wealth of knowledge, tools, and experience. And outsourced marketing costs about the same as hiring a marketing director — but you get a whole team of expertise for that price!
Isn’t the Real Question About Value and ROI?
If you can hire an experienced inbound marketing agency for, say, $10,000 per month and you get the combined experience of an entire marketing team, obviously the road to a strong return on investment is a lot shorter than going to the expense of building an internal marketing team.
But the value an agency provides isn’t just copywriters, designers, or team in general. The real value is the expertise hidden behind those job functions – a core understanding of how everything works and how it all fits together in the larger picture of your business and your prospects/customers.
Companies hire inbound marketing agencies for their expertise and strategic abilities.
Marketing agencies with a long history of experience can help you build and execute marketing strategies that will drive new revenue, and then can work to integrate sales and marketing into a cohesive whole.
The real value of working with an experienced outsource marketing agency is exactly that. . . their experience!