When it comes to outsourcing B2B marketing activities there are a myriad of different factors to take into account. Things like the size of your company, the product/service you offer, the complexity of your sales process – these are all things that will affect your decision when choosing a B2B marketing partner.
Typically, if an organisation’s product or service is highly technical, then they will actively avoid outsourcing. This is because they don’t believe any other team could understand their products as well as they do – therefore jeopardising sales conversations/opportunities. Another reason some organisations prefer not to outsource is because they are scared of losing control of their entire marketing operation. By keeping it all in house, it’s controllable and doesn’t involve giving away all the responsibility to an external agency.
On average, B2B marketers outsource 68% of their content development (writing and editorial) activities, 64% of their content asset design activities and 51% of their demand generation activities – Starfleet Media
Clarification is needed
Firstly, outsourcing B2B marketing activity doesn’t mean it all has to be outsourced. Simply outsource the activities you need help with, or you’d prefer experts to handle. In some cases, simply outsource if your in-house staff just don’t have enough time. Demand generation, lead generation, content marketing, marketing automation, lead nurturing – these are all activities that can be outsourced individually if needs be. So, don’t think for a second that outsourcing means handing all control to an agency. In most cases it’s about taking advantage of external expertise and to benefit your existing in-house marketing team.
Which agency is best?
This is what all B2B marketers want to know - If I’m going to outsource, who is the best company to work with? Well there are a few requirements that can usually inform your decision. Firstly, have they worked in your industry before? This is rather important because if they have no idea about your industry (let alone your product), then they are unlikely to be able to turn your business into an industry thought leader.
The next factor is whether they’ve worked with other companies in your industry before, and if so – who? Don’t be afraid to ask for case studies and what type of results they generated for that client. If they are as good as they say they are, they’ll be pleased to show you.
Focus on the real goal
The goal is increased leads, sales and revenue… so settle for nothing less. Agencies that say ‘if we can’t reach the lead generation target, we’ll at least increase social media reach’ should be dismissed immediately. True B2B marketing agencies will perform at an optimum level whether you outsource your entire marketing activity, or just a small portion of it.
Look for the agencies that have personas (or are willing to create them) for each of your decision-makers; agencies that use existing numerical data to comprehensively plan all future activity; and agencies that are laser-focused on the primary goal… ROI.
With this level of expertise and professionalism, you can rest assured that the agency you choose will have your interest at heart and perform as an extension of your current marketing team, as opposed to an outside entity.
Whether you intend to outsource your marketing or not, you’ll still need an in-depth understanding of B2B lead generation and how to plan your marketing activity. So, to help you gather, analyse and predict your future numerical data…