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Outsourcing & The Marketer’s Ballad

The Bones:

  • When comes first
  • Business cases dictate timing
  • How comes next
  • Do your research, understand your true options
  • Ask the right questions
  • Consider the pros and cons
  • Make your move

The Meat:

Years ago I was working with one of the largest new home builders in the state of Utah. As the only person dedicated to marketing, I had a lot on my plate. I, alone, was the marketing department. To say that I wore a lot of hats would be a major understatement. I was responsible for high-level strategy and management, but also tactical implementations. SEO, social media marketing, web design, events, print, advertising, video marketing, and a lot more. Strategic prioritization was the only thing that saved me from burn out.

As the new guy in a department that was virtually non-existent before I arrived, I had yet to earn a seat at the table and didn’t have strong enough data to justify increased marketing budgets. To make things even more challenging, company leadership wasn’t totally sold on “the whole marketing thing.” In short, I was working with limited time, limited budgets, limited resources, and a group of skeptics to boot. A scenario I tenderly call The Marketer’s Ballad. A tune familiar to most marketers between scrappy start-ups and big-dog enterprises.

Maybe you can relate? What do you do when demands are high and resources are low?

When Comes First

Besides quitting and taking a new career path, you only have a few options to choose from when you encounter situations like these. You can hire someone new to add to the team (in-house), you can find someone else within the company and solicit their help (insourcing), or you can hire an agency or freelancer (outsourcing). While any of these solutions may be exactly what you need to achieve your goals and take your marketing up to the next level, the first question you need to answer is not if you should hire in-house or outsource, but when. Hiring too early or too late can cause major problems.

Business Cases Dictate Timing

The challenge with when is that everyone wants it yesterday. I know I did… It’s like an Amazon package that got delayed in shipping. No bueno. 

To ensure every department get’s the resources they need at the right time, it is important to remain objective, collaborate with others, and communicate well with peers and upper management. Since you may literally be competing for new hires or budget allocations, well-structured business cases will be crucial when lobbying for resources. Ultimately, when should be determined by prioritized business cases. (If interested, stay tuned for an upcoming article about how to build effective business cases. Click HERE to be notified when it drops.)

How Comes Next

When the when finally arrives, the how should be addressed carefully and methodically. 

Do Your Research – Understand Your True Options

You may feel rushed, but don’t be hasty. Taking the time to do your research will help you understand what your true options are. For example, if you have very little budget to work with, hiring an experienced full-time resource or a best-in-class agency are not viable options. An entry-level full/part-time hire, freelancer, or insourcing are better options in this scenario. The following questions will help you narrow things down.

  • What is your budget range for your in-house and/or outsourced marketing hire?
  • When do you absolutely NEED this resource by?
  • What internal factors do you need to consider (security, industry specifics, politics, etc)?
  • How much time do you need this resource to dedicate to you?
  • What is the minimum marketing experience level that is required?
  • What are the “musts” and “nice-to-haves”?
  • Do you need a local marketing resource? Or is remote work acceptable?
  • Are long-term contracts involved? 
  • Do you have the equipment to provide this resource?
  • What variable costs may exist?
  • Hourly or salary? Full-time, part-time, or intern?

Consider the Pros & Cons

Answering these questions will help make your decision easier, but I also recommend that you thoughtfully consider the pros and cons of each option. After following these steps the decision about when and how to proceed should be pretty clear. Who you hire, on the other hand, is another challenge entirely. (If you’re interested, we wrote an article about how to select the agency or freelancer that is right for you. Click HERE to read it now.)

Regardless of tenure or marketing sophistication, every marketer experiences the cacophony of The Marketer’s Ballad at some point in their career. When and how you respond in these situations will either create unnecessary dissonance or progressive harmony. Whatever path you take, we hope it brings sweet, sweet music to your ears.

Interested in Outsourcing? Riot might be a good fit. 

As a full-service marketing agency, Riot has the experience and expertise to support our clients at every phase and stage of their marketing journeys. We also have the staffing and deep technical expertise to fulfill the most complex, time-sensitive, and high-stake projects. Besides the fact that what we deliver is always of the highest quality, we also cater to our client’s needs on how we deliver. For example:

  • No long term contracts. If for some crazy insane reason you are not beyond satisfied with our work, you can cancel anytime without hassle.
  • 24/7, 365 availability. Seriously though. We are easier to connect with than pre-teens with new smartphones.
  • When you work with Riot you have full access to our entire team of tenured experts, regardless of what you initially hired us to do.
  • We know we are not the cheapest option. We can’t be if we are going to provide the best talent and the best results. Nevertheless, we are competitively priced for the Utah market and stupid cheap compared to larger market agencies that don’t even deliver at our standard.
  • Dedicated account managers are able to get deep into your brand, processes, and procedures to ensure we never miss the mark.
  • We strive to build strong and lasting relationships, but we are also ready and happy to support short-term projects.
  • We are 100% dedicated to client success and exceeding expectations. As such, we believe in flexibility. Every client and project is different. That is why our services are custom-tailored, rather than “one size fits all.”
  • We are a Utah based marketing agency but travel around the world servicing our clients. We are also highly proficient in remote communications and delivery.

After reading this article, if outsourcing is a good option for you, we’d love to chat about your needs to see if Riot is the best fit for you. If you are interested in a discussion, please use our scheduling tool HERE to choose a time that works best for your schedule. 

Got this far? 

Thanks for reading. Here are a few payoff bonus tips.

  • Keep in mind that some squeaky wheels get replaced before getting oil. Avoid being the annoying person that gets on the boss’s nerves. Be patient and build your business case.
  • When outsourcing, don’t enter into any long-term commitments. You are in control, if someone wants your business then they can be flexible or walk away empty-handed.
  • Don’t be afraid of retainers, especially if you can cancel any time. Make sure to read and understand the fine print of your contracts.
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