How to outsource your marketing, and why you should.
Cost Effective Outsourced Marketing
Making decisions about marketing is often one of the most complex business decisions a company can make. There are so many questions to ask... How much of our budget should be dedicated to marketing? Where should I spend our marketing dollar? What are the best marketing strategies to use? These are just a few of the many questions that we need to ask ourselves.
Beyond the fact that we need to maintain our marketing strategy, we also need to think about staffing these marketing positions with a capable marketing staff. Is that new hire capable of doing the job effectively? Do they have what it takes to stay on top of the latest digital marketing trends? Are they grounded in traditional marketing, and do they have the experience to understand what is needed, and why? Do they know how to even figure such information out? How much training will we need to accommodate as technologies change? There are many questions a company needs to know how to answer when hiring new marketing staff. Another important question that should be asked: Should we outsource our marketing department?
The decision to outsource your marketing is one that will take much consideration, but often can be one of the best business decisions you could make. For one, when you hire a company to do your marketing, you remove the cost of payroll from the equation. Not only that, you don't have to worry about training, etc. Any marketing company offering to outsource would be (should be) equipped to handle the needs of your company.
Another benefit to having an outside marketing company is that you can leave most of the work to them; telling them what you need, and letting them figure out how to accomplish it. Plus, there is more accountability. Should a company not perform as expected, you can either fire them, or not rehire them in the future. While this is not ideal, it's much easier than hiring and firing staff, which is far more costly and time consuming for most businesses.
When thinking about the return on investment from hiring a marketing agency, one thing to consider is how much would you otherwise spend for payroll? You need to hire a capable team of marketing professionals, and that doesn't include the actual marketing expenditures. Below are just a few of the positions that your company will need to think about filling:
- Marketing Director: You need someone to manage your marketing efforts and your marketing team. The average cost of hiring a marketing director is between $80,000-$220,000 per year.
- Marketing Manager: The average marketing manager will cost between $60,000-$120,000.
- Marketing Communications Manager: On average, in my experience, the cost for a marcom manager is about $40,000-$80,000.
- Product/Project Marketing Manager(s): Depending on the product, I the average is between $60,000-$120,000.
- Marketing Coordinator: Here the average is between $40,000 - $50,000.
- Marketing Assistant(s): TSimilar to a marketing coordinator, but often will be between $37,500-$40,000.
- Advertising Manager: This varies quite a bit, depending on the company. In my experience, it's between $40,000-$120,000, depending on their expertise.
- Website Designer(s): Here the cost is between $40,000 - $60,000 for each developer. Most tech companies pay much higher, in the range of $80,000-$160,000, but that's not the norm.
- Online Marketing Manager: This is a newer position, and would generally be paid between $40,000-$120,000, and often with incentives.
- SEO Manager: The same with having an online marketing manager, an SEO professional would usually be paid between $40,000-$120,000, with incentives.
- SEM Marketing Manager (Pay-Per-Click Manager) This role is virtually identical to an online marketing manager. The need for a dedicated SEM marketing manager is not very great, and this can often be combined with an SEO manager, in my opinion.
- Content Marketing Manager: This is someone that will manage the content, and ensure that company policy is followed and that the content going out to the public represents the company right. This is mainly overlooked by very small businesses, but shouldn't be, and the range for a good hire here is between $40,000-$60,000, depending on experience.
- Content Writers: Here you can find good content writers for $40,000-$50,000, depending on their output. They would likely also work with your sales team and engineering to create documentation, user manuals, etc. (the copy, not the design).
- Social Media Manager: This is a newer field, and an average salary, depending on the size of the company, and the outreach, would be between $35,000 - $60,000.
- Graphic Designer(s): This varies. You need someone who can design logos, buttons, etc. You can often do well buying stock images for some of these things, but the company will always need someone to do some of the more important graphic design work. Plus, you need designers and editors who understand how to create marketing collateral, and not all graphic designers understand that, and that is sometimes another position.
As you can see, a lot goes into a good marketing team, and this is the average way a marketing department is laid out for most companies. Of course, you can do what many very small companies do, and either pile all of these job responsibilities on 1 or 2 people, or you can simply skip marketing altogether, or "wing it;" doing what you can, when you can. In fact, these are the way many small to mid-sized companies do things. That might have worked in the days before digital marketing, but today, your business strategy needs to accommodate much more than was required decades ago. Unfortunately, many businesses don't understand this, and apply these strategies.
In my 25+ years of marketing, I have never seen the above strategies work for the long term. In the short term, gains are rarely made, and when they are, the benefits are fleeting. Neither of these are effective strategies, and will eventually prove to be costly. Most people will not stay in a position for too long with too many responsibilities, and many will not be proficient enough to be effective anyway. As a consultant, and as an employee, I have worked in both of the above scenarios. I have also managed entire departments. The more positions you have, the bigger the role managers play, the more costly your marketing budget becomes.
Instead, consider finding a marketing agency, explain your needs, give a timeline with a list of proposed projects if you have ideas in mind, and consider hiring them to do the jobs above. When a company reaches out to us for these services, we handle everything, depending on their needs. So, they don't have to worry about payroll. Whether we have 5 employees, or 15, we are the ones managing their project. We have a dedicated project manager to manage the marketing for that company.
Any marketing agency hired by your company should take ownership for your marketing endeavours, and provide an equal amount of advice, as they do task completion. A marketing agency that simply fulfills tasks you ask them to do, isn't really managing your marketing; they're simply fulfilling a role; an important one, but not the one you hired them for. Instead, they should take the initiative, do the research, offer advice where needed, and not be afraid to argue if they know what they are doing. They should help you understand which direction you should be going. That is how we work at Make it Active, LLC.