Why Outsourced Marketing Works in a Gig Economy
That old adage, “if you want something done right, do it yourself” hasn’t quite gone the way of the dodo, but it has certainly morphed into something more along the lines of “be careful who you hire”. In this era, “fit” supersedes job experience. After all, can you really afford to hire the wrong person? Then miss key project milestones? Lose the candidate you should have hired? Create friction with your top performers and shake the confidence of your team? Despite the plethora of workers out there, connecting with the “best fit” for your organization can be a harrowing experience. But it doesn’t have to be.
As of today, one in three Americans is freelancing and spending a collective 1 billion hours per week doing so Yes, you read that right; that’s per week. Just think about this for a moment – it took only 7 million hours to construct The Empire State Building, which means American freelancers (and this doesn’t even include the total, global number) could construct 143 Empire State Buildings – each week. This translates to roughly 114,000 person years of freelance work every week or the time that it would take a person to walk to the sun and back – three times.
That’s a lot of hours. And a lot of people. But how do you find them and get the most out of outsourcing your marketing effort? More importantly, how do you find the right marketing people?
How Do I Get the Most Out of My Outsourced Marketing Partner
The essential question to ask is, ‘what are the capabilities, strengths and gaps of my company and marketing team?’ Once you understand that, you’re in a better position to evaluate which marketing skills you need to outsource which will inform how you get the most out of them.
You may be a startup where investment priorities are in your software development or bench science, and not marketing. That said, you recognize that your company is at a pivotal stage and that you need a bit of fanfare (of the credible kind) to get your story out and help position you in a way that leads to interest and booked meetings. You have to hit the ground running . Here, timing is everything. You typically get one shot on goal to get the traction right for your business. If the marketing timing is now, and you have a plan for growth, you need to charge full steam ahead and not let a lack of confidence – or resources – impede your effort.
You acknowledge (and some do so begrudgingly but do so anyway) that you need a marketing effort, but you’re conflicted. You probably have a limited budget, you’re trying to win new business, and you are most likely struggling with the marketing exam question – where do I invest my marketing dollars?
Everyone is on Instagram®, should we be? Exhibition at conferences carries a pretty hefty price tag, is it worth it? Here, outsourced marketing can provide you with a proven strategy, informed by industry trends, the successes AND misses by your life science peers, to maximize your budget and deliver impact right out of the gate.
Conversely, you may be an established company somewhere along the journey between startup and global giant. Your needs are vastly different from those of the startup. Marketers are typically employed full-time and well-versed in the nuanced messaging, backstory and history of past marketing efforts. But today’s economy is forcing companies to cut corners, demanding that people now do the jobs of two – or sometimes even three – people that are no longer on the team. Here, employees can work side-by-side with their marketing partner to compare notes, define objectives and collaborate to dial up (or down) the marketing services that they don’t have time to do themselves. Again, this is back to the honest evaluation of a company’s capabilities, do you have strong life science copywriters? Are there better ways to automate, track and drive a stronger social media presence?
What Are the Benefits of Outsourcing My Marketing?
For many, the immediate benefits are obvious:
a fresh and unbiased perspective;
shorter recruiting period;
shorter training times;
And no long-term commitment obligation.
However, there are other numerous other benefits to outsourcing your marketing, particularly within the life sciences field. Specifically, life science is dominated by data, analytics, technology, drug innovation and enormous implications for human health. That’s not easy stuff to get your head wrapped around.
Outsourced marketing can provide your company with access to tools, methods and metrics to drive a data-informed marketing strategy. In this age of increased scrutiny, pressure to perform and delivering measurable ROI, an external group can introduce you to productivity enhancing tools and monthly reporting to help you make mid-course corrections in your marketing campaigns. Outside insight in combination with the privilege of focus on your core business can be incredibly valuable but the biggest benefit may be that you don’t outsource an individual – you outsource a team that brings a deep bench of skills, expertise and experience.
Given All Those Benefits, Why Doesn’t Everyone Outsource Their Marketing?
In a nutshell, it’s not that easy. Particularly for complex industries where domain knowledge in combination with strong communication skills is critical – and hard to come by. Companies invest considerable time, effort and resources into recruiting, interviewing, hiring and training “uncommon” people who have that unique blend of life science domain expertise, strong communication skills and business acumen. And for good reason – that trifecta of skills is not typically found in one person and to get the support needed, you would have to consider hiring at least two or even three people to achieve the desired outcome. Or, you could outsource your marketing to an agency who could selectively tap, on-demand, in bits and bytes as needed, to bring you the collective skill set that you’re in need of. To quote a popular article on the topic by Forbes, their message is clear: “Leave it to the experts”.