Flexibility, expertise and freeing up time – 3 benefits of outsourcing for business owners

A guest blog by Nicole Martin of Pinpoint Marketing


Do you worry about not having the right skills sometimes when it comes to your marketing or knowing how to utilise your team/your skills to make them flexible? Do you wish you had more time in the day?
Pinpoint Marketing of course cannot create time for you, but we can help you to use your time more wisely with outsourcing what you can’t do or don’t want to do when it comes to marketing your business. And we can help you stop wasting time and money on the wrong marketing – get our free download here:

Marketing Plan Giveaway

What skills do businesses outsource?


According to marcommnews.com, Marketing is outsourced by 42% of UK businesses. And most do so because they aren’t able to find someone with the necessary skills or don’t have the resource to handle it internally.
Other areas outsource include accounts, admin and HR.

What marketing can you outsource?

• The businesses marketing strategy and plan
• The hands-on delivery of the activity and campaigns across all channels from social media to copy to PR to SEO and digital marketing
• The measuring and reporting of your marketing activity
• The businesses Marketing director role eg the CMO role (more on this later)

How can outsourcing help your marketing?

A consultant or agent, like me, can work with your internal team. We note the team’s skillsets so that everyone plays to their strengths within the business and we plug any skills gaps and enable the smooth implementation of your business and marketing plan.

Some of these skills gaps will be covered by myself when it comes to strategy, planning, consultant and accountability, but some of them will also be areas I can signpost you the client too. Eg areas of marketing that require specific skills such as SEO, PR, design and so on. I connect the business and you the business owner to all the solutions you need to ensure the plan is implemented, stuck to and bringing in results.

I make sure the team in whatever format this looks like is well organised and proactive with its marketing. And as a consultant and from an outsider looking in perspective, as I have no preconceived ideas on the business or any bias. I see things as they are meaning you get what you need and when you need it, nothing more nothing less.

The role of someone like me in an outsourced role is to hold your hand as it were and to give support to you and your business.

The benefits of outsourcing your marketing?

An outsourced expert will decipher the right strategy depending on your business’s audience and goals, therefore the business will only be targeting the right prospects at the right time, via the right marketing channels and with the right messaging that will resonate, attract, raise awareness and inspire action.

By getting your marketing and campaigns and channels right first or second time, you as the business owner will have your time freed up, therefore allowing you to stay on top of your businesses marketing and to be involved, but not bogged down with the day to day. This detail and day to day focus is the role of an outsourced marketing director.

Using the outsider looking in perspective as mentioned before, the outsourced director, in this case Pinpoint Marketing will have the bigger picture in front of them and using the strategy and plan of action, they will be “in charge” of the marketing to ensure action, consistency and reaching the goals.

Plus this role can help you with business growth, helping you prioritise, give direction, do the right thing marketing wise and supporting your lead gen and sales activity eg more leads, routes to market.
Outsourcing is simply and as and when need. After all it is your marketing, your budget, your way so do things how you want.

The CMO role
What is a CMO? (chief marketing officer)

Google search results say this role sits at the board level but is not bound by the company eg has more flexibility, add more value etc. A CMO is not the I have to do this role, but a CMO does delegate/collaborate. They come up with the strategy and then the “team” (in whatever form this team comes in) implement it.

A CMO is not an expert in everything. They do enable and empower the team to be productive and working together for a collective outcome that benefits all.
Does your business need a leader, but you don’t have the budget to hire a full-time marketing director? Or perhaps a manager and exec? Or you don’t have the office/desk space? We have done this for others?

Not a problem, introduce a fractional CMO. A remote team is the way it is now, so why not embrace this approach/way of working for your marketing.

What next?
Bridge the gap between the marketing you have/do now to employing a full time.

Hiring a remote CMO alongside an in-house team is the optimal solution for many business owners.

CMO’s are the way forward to deliver digital marketing. I don’t need to know the detail and be up to speed with all the detail, as we outsource this to experts who do just this/just the piece of marketing in question.

With a recession looking inevitable and the cost of living crisis at the forefront of people’s minds, the outlook for some businesses next year may be filled with uncertainty. Organisations will be examining where outgoings can be reduced, and frequently it is the marketing budget that comes under scrutiny and suffers a cut. This may not however, be the smart place to reduce costs.

There is a well-known industry saying ‘When times are good you should advertise, when times are bad, you must advertise.’  For the past few years your marketing strategy may have been to increase your share of voice or to increase your brand awareness. To cut back now on your marketing spend could potentially unravel what you have worked so hard to create.

There are many objectives to marketing. One is of course to increase sales but another is to establish and maintain a loyal customer base. Just because the market is slowing down, do not let your marketing go quiet. In fact, research shows that the companies that continued to invest in marketing during the last global recession in 2009, bounced back quicker from it. Reckitt Benckiser actually raised their marketing spend by 8% in 2009 despite the most challenging marketing conditions. They capitalised on reduced marketing by their competitors and subsequently grew their profits by 14%. It is also possible to be successful and launch new products in a global recession. Amazon grew its sales in 2009 by 28%, in part due to the launch of the Kindle, as they continued to invest in new product development and find new opportunities.

I think the key word is ‘invest’. Reckitt Benckiser saw marketing as an investment rather than an expense.  In these challenging times, businesses need to not lose sight of their long-term objectives and how they plan to achieve them to ensure they remain competitive in future years. How do you plan to invest in your current customers and gain new customers?

As the climate changes, scrutiny over expenditure increases and consumer buying behaviours alter. It is, therefore, wise to revisit your marketing mix. Consider whether you are spending your marketing budget on the right tactics, on the right channels and in the most cost-effective way?

If you want to continue growing and evolving your marketing, you may want to consider outsourcing your marketing or elements of your marketing. Outsourcing to a third-party agency can be used in addition to your in-house team or to run your marketing activities entirely. Contrary to what many believe, outsourcing an activity does not mean increased costs, in fact it can be a very cost-effective option. 71% of companies in the UK are planning to outsource to reduce costs (Genius Outsourcing Statistics UK, 2022).

Telemarketing can be very cost effective to outsource, particularly if you use a drip feed method, with approximately one day per week of calling. This type of campaign can be far better value when compared to the cost of an employee!

Other advantages of outsourcing include great flexibility around commitment, it allows for easier scaling up and scaling down of activities, access to a wide range of experts and a fresh perspective.

Marketing will continue to be crucial for any organisation despite the economic climate. It is important to not lose the customer base you have built, engage with potential new customers and continue product development to meet unmet needs. Learnings from previous recessions show that companies were successful by maintaining marketing. Your current marketing strategy and activities may need to adapt to reflect the ever-changing needs of your customers but remember not to lose sight of your long term organisational goals.

 

Very excited to share that I am the star of the latest episode of the Business Buzz podcast aimed at the small business community, called ‘Old Dogs and New Tricks’! The episode is called Vinegar. To listen and find out why, click here.

Today is ‘Get to know your customers day’ so I thought I would bring it to life by shining a spotlight on one of Pebble Marketing’s customers.

Sliced Bread Animation is an animation and technology studio based in East London, that has unrivalled reputation for offering complete and seamless project management, partnering with clients to create innovative, original multi-platform digital content strategies.

Since its inception by Jamie Denham and Christina Vilics, Sliced Bread continue to help international and national companies mainly in pharmaceutical, construction, transport and FMCG industries to deliver messages or even stories in an engaging and immersive way through animation, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), App development through to E–learning.

Pebble Marketing UK has been working with Sliced Bread for over five years, following up on inbound leads and engaging with the right decision maker (internal communications manager, marketing manager/directors, learning and development managers) through exploratory calls, and having a conversation to understand:

  • What their project needs are
  • Who their target audience is
  • If it’s internal or external communication
  • How they want the project to be delivered – through the mediums of animation/, AR/VR, e-learning
  • When they’d like the project to go live

We’ve been fortunate enough to connect and have conversations with senior managers from Coca-Cola, Red Bull, Reckitt, Barclays Bank, Church and Dwight, Transport for London, Boehringer Ingelheim and many others in their targeted industries, to get a deep understanding of the messages they’re trying to convey to the audience, its timelines and budgets

To learn more about how Pebble Marketing UK can help you engage with your next client, with end-to-end telemarketing campaign encompassing telesales, lead generation and business development, get in touch for further information. 

No matter where you are on your business journey, whatever you call yourself – a solopreneur, entrepreneur, indibusiness, whether you’re a team of 1 or 25 or have been trading for 6 months or 12 years – we all find ourselves in a business rut at one point or another.

Just over two years ago, I was stuck in a business rut. Working in my business for 12 years had left me feeling depleted and short of motivation, energy and enthusiasm.  I was ready to chuck in the towel – but not ready to face my peers as a failure. I reached out for help and attended my first Business Spa.

I quickly realised that the wealth of knowledge and expertise in the room brought by its members would be worth the membership itself.  The Business Spa’s ‘S.M.I.L.E’ values really rang true in what it delivered in support, motivation, inspiration, learning and expertise.  I had found my business “tribe”. 

 Belonging to the Business Spa has given me structure, support, mentors and coaches that have propelled me and Pebble Marketing UK forward over the past couple of years, while the world around us has been challenging and unstable. But now, I am proud to say that I have graduated from The Business Spa Class of 2021. 

I have gained not only mentors who provide advice with their wealth of expertise, but members who have become business associates and friends.  This has fortunately resulted in an expanded client portfolio, enabling me to grow my business.

And now, Pebble Marketing UK makes its next splash at Opendoorz – Oxfordshire’s premier professional networking group.

People set up new businesses around the UK every day. Usually it’s because they have a passion for something or are great at something. For me at Pebble Marketing, it was because I love to talk! But the day-to-day running of a business involves many more tasks than just doing the thing you love, like invoicing and monthly finances, admin, IT, marketing and sales. Very few people are good at all of these things and even fewer small business owners would have the time to do them all.

In a LinkedIn poll last month, I asked the question, ‘why do you outsource?’ The responses were split 50/50 between ‘Don’t have time’ and ‘No skills or resources’.  Then in a separate poll I asked, ‘what do you outsource?’

  • Admin – 45%
  • Telemarketing / sales – 27%
  • IT – 18%
  • Social media / SEO – 9%

If we look at the top 2 answers, they fit in with the responses to the ‘why’ question. Admin can be time-consuming but is an important element of running an efficient business. Finding customers is vital to growing any business and spending time doing telemarketing or making sales calls can be an excellent way to do this, but many small businesses don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to it. Some business owners may not like making the calls themselves, so put it off.

Outsourcing can free up time to concentrate on the core activities of a business, with the other jobs done in a more efficient and cost-effective way. It can also give you some free time. Nobody wants to work 24 hours a day! Business owners need downtime to avoid a build-up of stress that could affect their health and ultimately have a negative impact on the business.

Finding the right outsourcing partner is key to making the process go smoothly. Spend some time agreeing what needs to be done upfront and communicate regularly. It may be the key to growing a business without spending 24 hours a day doing it.