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Digital is everywhere and there is much written about it. Digital mindset and skills are now being introduced into every activity within an organisation. Traditional value chains are replaced with digitally-enabled business models to ensure effective customer experience management. Everyone is trying to maximize the value of each micro moment they get with the customer.

However, The Digital Skills Gap Report 2016 by Digital Marketing Institute identifies the widening skills gap in organizations. Despite the growing demand for relevant skills across industries, the number of professionals with the right Digital Marketing know-how is on a decline, scoring just 38% on average while their perceived skills remain high.

Consider another study, Forrester’s 2017 Customer Experience Index Report for US Brands measures how successfully a company delivers customer experiences (CX) that create and sustain loyalty. The report throws light on the fact that there were no real leaders when it came to CX. In fact, consumer experience quality has worsened since last year with few elite brands reaching a certain point and stagnating, or new frontrunner brands who moved with market trends remaining flat on CX quality and many who languished at the bottom of the ranking.

As the digital economy continues to experience global adoption and growth, companies are transforming their marketing methods and techniques to introduce digital strategies and skills on priority.

But not everyone one is a digital marketer by experience. And the thinking that marketing must be generated from the inside is changing. This non-core function should not be made your priority as you will start compromising on your core then.

Do it your way

But the decision to outsource marketing completely or parts of it, is a decision you should tread carefully. This, may require companies to go back to their drawing boards and redefine themselves from the perspective of their consumers.

There are many factors to consider – your business, whether it is an established enterprise or a start-up, alignment of your business strategy with the marketing goals, your customer dynamics, your organization team structure and capabilities, cost, time considerations and many more.

If businesses feel they are hitting a brick wall in reaching out to new consumers or retaining the existing ones, despite an in-house marketing team it may be one of the many indicators that a well-positioned external team maybe the answer.

Cherry picking

Even with the new age options, outsourcing your marketing is an important call. Take time to evaluate the outsourcing agencies on parameters of credibility, quality of work, client portfolio, capabilities across multiple channels and location.

Some of the ways such an arrangement could work out well is by clearly defining performance metrics and establishing clear line of communications. Starting small versus a big bang approach is a safe route to begin with for many companies which means they outsource projects or parts of marketing, find the right fit and then consider increasing the outsourcing.

The perks of outsourcing include but are not limited to;
  • Having the expertise of a marketing firm to back you up without you worrying about overheads, commitment, recruiting time, training time, and expenses of full-time staff.
  • Cost is key factor that drive businesses to outsource marketing as they would be able to hire a complete team of experts at lesser cost than a full- time employee, with lower cost for software and related expenses.
  • Access without the hassle- With the right firm, you still get complete access to all your marketing data and learnings with no hidden fees/total transparency.
  • The trove of experience- Your team will benefit from the experience the marketing team brings to the table, such as familiarity with your target market and the many marketing channels and opportunities available.
  • Save time, without the hassle of worrying of bridging the skills gap of your marketing team.

Marketing outsourcing is increasingly gaining importance and an option to consider for specialized areas of marketing where you don’t have the capability OR to supplement your in-house resources OR to reduce cost and increase responsiveness of your marketing. Used correctly, it can bring plenty of value and agility to your marketing. Why buy the cow when you can have the milk delivered? Access is better than ownership - sometimes!

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