Business process outsourcing is an important component of business strategy. It helps in achieving cost reduction, productivity growth and innovative capabilities. In simple terms, outsourcing means contracting out business practices to other companies to reduce costs and improve efficiency by shifting tasks, operations or processes to an external contracted third party for a significant period of time. Earlier, companies would outsource only low-risk activities like data entry, but today they have started outsourcing marketing, HR, payroll processing, customer support and so on. The value of the BPO market is constantly growing and is projected to reach $262.2 billion by 2022. Some of the most frequently outsourced functions include IT, healthcare, finances and HR. Outsourcing a firm’s marketing practice has become popular nowadays. It provides an outside perspective that an internal marketing staff cannot. While many companies outsource to cut costs, some others outsource to function efficiently and improve productivity.
How do you know whether outsourcing your marketing could be a better option than doing it in-house? Here are some pointers.
- Your sales are sluggish
- You find that your in-house staff lacks the skills for effective marketing
- You can devote only a limited number of hours each week for marketing activities, but you want to improve the consistency and quality of your marketing.
- Marketing activities are not getting done properly
- You don’t get any good leads
- You don’t have the budget to hire and maintain a good in-house team with the required marketing skills
Today, many of the skills required to market a firm are driven by technology and require considerable expertise to keep up with the advancing technology. Outside marketing firms can easily provide the required expertise, and even supervise the entire activities. Studies show that today companies are spending around 3 times as much on outsourcing than they were a couple of years ago. Outsourced marketing is very popular among professional services firms of all sizes and across all industries.
What does an outsourced marketing service provider do?
- A reputable outsourcing company will research your target demographics, study their online habits, and better align your company’s online presence with those habits. Their focus will be on targeting the customers you can serve most advantageously and identify the best ways to reach them.
- A dedicated marketing company will position your business in the best way possible so that your differences are clearly defined. They will help targeted customers understand why those differences are significant to them.
- With the knowledge gained from comprehensive research, marketing agencies can help you educate and nurture prospective clients. This strategy enables you to meet and engage prospects at various stages of their shopping journey.
- Apart from implementing the marketing campaign, your partnering firm will also help you test and measure the results of the campaign. This will help identify what is working and what isn’t.
Following are the advantages of outsourcing marketing:
- You get to focus more on core business activities: Most businesses may have only limited resources and may not be able to handle too many initiatives. By outsourcing marketing activities, businesses can focus more on client acquisitions, client retention and work process.
- Minimize variable cost: Outsourcing helps to reduce labor cost. You gain access to a large pool of talents at affordable rates. Outsourcing is highly useful for small businesses, because with their limited budget, setting up a marketing team, training them etc will be expensive.
- Cost-effective and highly efficient: Companies that do everything by themselves often have a high cost structure that is complex to manage. Outsourcing provides access to skilled workers at affordable rates, which makes it cost-effective. Employees become more efficient as they have more time to concentrate on other productive activities.
- Control operation costs: Sometimes operation costs can go out of control and in such instances outsourcing can be considered. Outsourcing helps departments that are uncontrolled or poorly managed to benefit from a better and efficient setup. It also brings better management skills to your company.
- Minimize risk: Periods of high employee turnover could add uncertainty and inconsistency to the operations. Outsourcing provides a level of continuity while reducing the risk that a sub-standard level of operation would bring on the company.
- Level the playing field: Majority of small firms cannot afford to match the in-house staff of larger firms. Outsourcing functional responsibilities like marketing would benefit them with the expertise that large companies get.
- New insights: Employees are often reluctant to share opinions about sales and marketing strategies. Outsourcing to a marketing agency will provide an honest and uncensored opinion about the company’s operations.
- Less time-consuming: Hiring a marketing team, training them, making them familiar with the company’s products and services etc could be time-consuming. Outsourcing is a good alternative because marketing agencies have experts who are highly experienced in different fields of marketing, products and services and so they can provide targeted results quickly.
- Minimize turnover: Entry level marketing personnel usually don’t get attached to their first position within a company. As they gain more experience they look for higher positions in other companies. With the rise of digital marketing, there’s a lack of qualified and experienced marketing staff, so marketing sector employees often get a lot of good offers from other enterprises and high employee turnover rates can badly affect your company. Outsourcing can help minimize this turnover and ensure you uninterrupted marketing services.
Today it has become very important for companies to optimize their business due to high competition existing in the economy. Business process outsourcing helps to simplify and streamline various business processes and enhance efficiency. It will enable businesses to maintain pace with the changes in the marketplace. You can utilize outsourced solutions to address distinctive short-term requirements or rely on reliable outsourcing firms to provide the efficiency, sophistication and performance that in-house resources cannot provide.