Bright Ideas

How to get ahead with a blended approach to outsourcing

We work with a number of businesses that start our conversation by saying “we need support as our current team just don’t have the time.”

What they really mean is “our current team don’t have the right skills to execute what we need.”

There is nothing wrong with this at all, agile marketing brings people together to work as a cross-functional team and supports deploying the right skills at the right time.

Often, what is needed are skills that are not core to the business, so it doesn’t make sense to keep them in-house. Augmenting or fully outsourcing a team can quickly, and cost-effectively give you the skills you need when you need them. You get access to a team of specialists, who collaborate with key stakeholders in your business to deliver great campaigns and support your team.

This is not a new concept. Businesses have been outsourcing skills for centuries, it’s just that the skills needed in marketing have changed. So, if you need skills that your team doesn’t have, think about augmenting through outsourcing. It’s a great way to bring a fresh perspective, boost energy levels, foster innovation, and test new ideas. Whilst also transferring skills and embedding new ways of working with your internal team.

If all this is true and let’s assume that it is. Why do businesses engage with outsourcing and then feel that the right course of action is to stop outsourcing and try to bring the skill in-house? To save money is my first thought. I get that, not wanting to take money out of your business when you can employ someone to do it and they might be able to add some value elsewhere. Not terrible logic but does it really work like that?

In the cold light of day, no, it isn’t that simple. You’re replacing a team of people with one person, in one industry or sector. Compared to your outsourced team that works across multiple brands, has deep industry & sector experience, combined with unparalleled insight into what’s working and what’s not gleaned from across the clients they support. Your hired individual just couldn’t get that range of experience in the same time period. It’s not their fault it’s just a benefit of using skilled specialists.

Your outsourced team spends all day, every day working for other businesses to expand their experience. From this, they can spot trends in the market, and know what works for different audiences across the board and not just in your industry. Testing and learning for other people to apply those learning to improve your marketing in areas you may never have considered.

Consideration of the impact of outsourcing on your Opex is also important. With outsourcing you can negotiate and benefit from a short-term commitment in terms of termination or changing the arrangement so you can scale up as you grow or downscale at short notice.

Conversely, you can achieve greater marketing effectiveness faster by bringing in an experienced team with less ramp time than hiring and upskilling. At the end of the day, investors and your finance team may value the predictability and stability of cash flow that outsourcing some or all of your marketing brings.

The benefits to outsourcing are huge vs the downside (having to pay money out of your business). If you engage with the right team (Bright!) at the right time, you will find that they quickly become an extension of your business and care just as much about your success as you do.

If you would like to explore this option further, please get in touch

Alexandra JefferiesHow to get ahead with a blended approach to outsourcing

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