You have a fixed head count, but you need the capacity to produce more outbound campaigns.
Perhaps product marketing wants webinars, sales wants roadshows, and your international teams are looking at monthly newsletters.
How on Earth are you going to do more without stressing out your team?
The answer is simple: stop trying to do it all by yourself. Managed services allow you to put a refined process in place to manage excess volume. They pull you up out of tactical work, enabling you to be a more strategic leader.
But what exactly is a managed service agreement?
Some people call it outsourcing, but that term has negative connotations, and I want to set the record straight about what outsourcing really looks like from my perspective. As an Operations Manager in DemandGen Campaign Execution Services, I’ve experienced a wide range of client circumstances that have led them to turn to a managed service solution. Each situation is unique, and making the right choice really depends on their needs and what they are trying to accomplish.
Some clients outsource all their campaign execution; others go with a hybrid approach of some in-house and some out-sourced production. What is consistent across all clients, though, is the desire to improve operational efficiencies, which allows the marketing team to focus on the core proficiencies and critical objectives to drive their businesses. In fact, when you outsource production, you have more time to focus on planning, produce higher quality deliverables faster, improve outcomes, and scale the work you don’t have time for in-house. Ultimately, when you’re forced to think strategically, your end results are more successful.
If it’s so efficient and wonderful, why doesn’t everyone use managed campaign services? Most often, I find, it’s because of the following misconceptions.
Cost. I find that cost is the #1 misconception when it comes to choosing managed services. Many marketers think it will cost less to keep campaign execution in-house than to pay an agency like DemandGen to do it, but the reality is much different.
Skilled staff is expensive and hard to find, requiring constant training to keep up with the rapid pace of technology change (and when they’re training, they’re not working). They need to be managed day to day, and there are administrative expenses for their offices, equipment, and more. Plus, they are called into meetings, chatting by the water cooler, or waiting around for the next project–while you are paying big salaries and full benefits whether they are doing anything or not!
In contrast, managed services is there when you need them, whether it’s three people or a half a person, for an hour or for months, and they are always up to date on the latest technology (on their dime, not yours). You reap tremendous cost efficiencies this way, and eliminate not only the expense but also the hassle and time of managing those resources.
Loss of Control. Sometimes our need to control and micromanage everything erodes our confidence in trusting others to help. The truth: not delegating responsibilities is actually hindering success. When you delegate a task to managed services, you’re kept in the loop with all the progress, as it happens. You can arrange the workload so that you are working on the tasks that have the highest priority, and grow to take on more!
Work Quality. When it comes to expertise, you definitely know your own business best–but THEY know marketing automation best. They hire the best and brightest in the industry: the most skilled technologists and the most experienced strategists. It’s hard to find these people, and you would be paying a serious premium to have them in-house. In fact, clients tell us that working with our staff is education in itself—your team can learn from our experts and put that value to work for you.
Technology. Marketing automation software is constantly evolving, so we are always training and keeping our staff up to date with every new thing across the industry. If your in-house staff took the time to do that, they wouldn’t have time to work on your projects. What’s more, an in-house person has to figure things out alone and doesn’t have a team to support them.
Production. On average, we find that companies doing campaign management in-house send fewer campaigns than companies using managed services, because campaign management requires a very granular, day-to-day focus. The operational efficiencies you gain from managed services allow you to get more done in less time, while not compromising on quality. If you’re struggling to get a few campaigns out a quarter, consider that some of our clients run literally hundreds of multi-touch campaigns per year. Awkward deadlines and differing time zones are no problem; the staff is available anytime, across North America and around the world. They become part of your team—and have been known to go above and beyond in a case of emergency.
Global. When supporting global marketing needs, it’s easy to lose control of branding and messaging, as well as of operational efficiencies. Outsourcing the work to a team that is highly experienced in the global market needs and has key processes in place ensures that your campaigns execute flawlessly and transparently across your market. (For a client’s perspective, take a look at this short video featuring Noelani Price of Enphase Energy.)
Increasingly, high-growth marketing teams are turning to managed marketing services. It’s a cost-effective, rapid, agile, scaling model that can turn your marketing team into a true Demand Factory. Learn more about DemandGen’s Campaign Execution Services.
Carolyn Acker is a marketing operations and customer experience management professional. As a DemandGen Operations Manager, she assists clients with optimizing marketing automation programs, with emphasis on customer loyalty/engagement strategies, business analysis, process development, and project management.