Most small business owners are continually faced with the arduous task of achieving more with less.

Finding, attracting and retaining customers on an ever shrinking marketing and sales budget is becoming the norm, which makes the investment that you make into your people – your marketing human resources even more important and why measuring the return on this investment is crucial to your success!

There are numerous advantages of outsourcing or using marketing contractors for small and medium enterprises:

  1. Staffing is kept lean with no long-term commitments, whilst resources are available immediately – when you want them! Outsourcing gives you access to experienced marketing professionals who can quickly develop plans and campaigns on the tightest of schedules. Furthermore there will be no ambition, career progression or mood swings to deal with! If for some reason the marketing provider doesn’t perform to your expectations, you have a personality clash (it happens!) or for any other reason, you do not have messy labor laws to contend with if you want to terminate them – in the words of one Donald Trump – “You’re fired!” is all that is necessary.
  2. It is far easier and much more likely that you will be able to hold a 3rd party such as a contractor, consultant or marketing / advertising agency accountable than one of your own team members.
  3. Salary is just a tip of the “employment costs iceberg”. Outsourcing to an expert, means that you don’t bear the costs of recruiting, training and managing the employee, no furnishing an office, buying new hardware or providing employee benefits.
  4. Contracting means cost effectiveness and a mean balance sheet – no annual leave, sick leave or long-service accruals.
  5. Outsourcing strategic marketing thinking and creative expertise eliminates the “we’ve always done it this way” mentality and helps eliminate bias associated with internal politics, which means higher productivity from contractors versus permanent staff who maybe hampered by habits, hiding behind history or being haunted by it and who maybe short on haste.
  6. Inject new skills into your business with minimal risk. Since media is increasingly fragmented, communications programs are more complicated. You can’t be an expert media strategist, a technology expert, a marketing strategist, a market researcher, a promotional expert, a designer, a copywriter, a project manager or co-ordinator, and the list goes on!
  7. The most valuable contribution a marketing consultancy or an advertising agency can make to its clients is their capacity to demonstrate a new perspective about a product or a service that people inside a company may not have. The best marketing consultants, those with experience across product and service categories, see similarities and differences in communication problems across different industries and help clients see problems better than they can see them themselves. They are able to draw on their experience across multiple brands and various categories and more readily recognise unlikely connections and hence more readily provide creative and strategic solutions that may not be self-evident to the clients themselves. Outsourcing marketing services especially those of a strategic and creative nature helps both the company and the consumer discover new ways of looking at the problem and the solution. It is one of the most cost effective ways of introducing fresh ideas (innovation) into your business.
  8. Outsourcing will help you to focus on the core competencies of your business; talk to the people that are on your front line – your customers and your sales team. By outsourcing your marketing you will be able to work on your business instead of in it and this will help you to maximize returns from your marketing investment.

A sample case study at the end of this paper will illustrate the superior cost effectiveness of hiring a contractor or consultant versus those associated with employing even a single part time in house marketing resource.

So you are still not convinced and in all fairness, there are times when it is more cost effective to have an internal marketing resource. The question is what type of marketing resource should you have in house? To answer this, let’s look at HIRING or EMPLOYING a marketing consultant in house.

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