A majority of businesses will outsource more of their workers in 2013, but they need to know how to identify the right mix of full-time and outsource staff, according to a recent study by Randstad.* As a marketing consultant, I believe the first step to answering the question about the right mix of outsource and full-time marketing staff is to create a comprehensive marketing plan.
A comprehensive marketing plan that includes your marketing strategy and the marketing tactics that will accomplish your business goals and objectives is like a road map for a business. The scope of your marketing activity will depends upon your budget (how much “gas” can you buy to fuel marketing?), the level of competition you face in your market and the stage of the product or industry lifecycle you are in (how fast do you want to drive marketing?) (Read more about the product lifecycle stages and what they mean for marketing in my previous blog post, How Much Should I Spend on My B2B Marketing?)
The marketing plan should include estimates of resources required to accomplish each marketing activity. For specialized tasks, such as website and marketing video development, you may outsource, unless the volume of work is so great it warrants an employee. If you are following marketing best practices and generating content that adds value for your clients and customers, you probably need a resource with marketing writing skills. Project management can be done by an employee or outsource resource, with regularly scheduled marketing meetings and status reports.
Whether to hire or outsource depends upon the volume of work and also the learning curve of your business and industry. If you are in a highly technical field, you may need specialized workers who understand your science or technology and the language used in the industry. The key to managing outsourced marketing staff is to have a plan and schedule that you adhere to. That way you can make sure that important marketing tasks are getting done in a timely manner.
Do you outsource some or all of your marketing? If so, what do you do to determine the right mix of marketing staff? Please comment below.
New Incite creates strategic marketing plans with detailed marketing tactics, marketing measurements and metrics, and budget information. Contact us today about our marketing planning services.
*The survey was done by Harris Interactive and involved 225 HR managers and 2,035 employed adults. 67% of the companies surveyed use temps and contractors, 71% use a mix of outsource and full-time staff, and 21% plan to increase outsourcing. 76% said they needed to understand how to determine the right mix.