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As Marketing Budgets Increase, Businesses Seek More Outsourced Digital and Social Marketing Service Providers

Asad Khan, CMO Spend, Customer experience, Designhill, digital commerce, ePlanet Communications, Gartner Group, Marketing, Marketing analytics, marketing budgets, marketing investment, Pr, Public relations, Social marketingAccording to marketers surveyed for the Gartner Group’s recently released CMO Spend Survey 2015-2016 report, marketing budgets across the economy increased from 10% to 11% of total revenue in 2015, and two thirds of those surveyed expected similar growth in 2016. Key areas of focus were social marketing, analytics, customer experience and digital commerce. “What’s happening is a recognition that these four digital activities have become essential to business growth, if not business survival,” said Asad Khan, CEO of business outsourcing provider ePlanet Communications, in a news release.

Khan noted that social media—which was given the highest investment priority by respondents to the Gartner survey—has become the chief method of global mass communications. “Analytics is the ability to process big data, without which a business is flying blind,” Khan pointed out. “The customer experience is now regarded as perhaps the key competitive differentiator. And eCommerce is a rapidly growing revenue component in virtually every sector. As the Gartner report shows, the digital realm represents a way for marketers to leverage their core skills in areas which show demonstrable impact on revenue. Digital is the route to growth.”

To achieve their growth goals without incurring a heavy additional cost burden, many companies are turning to outsourced service suppliers to provide digital resources and expertise. According to the 2015 Designhill Design & Branding Perception Survey, outsourcing was one of the biggest growth-stimulating strategies of 2015, especially for small businesses and startups. It has been a proven strategy for many companies in accelerating growth while maintaining a profitable bottom line. The report says, “Soon, [outsourcing] will become a norm rather than an exception.”

Citing a variety of sources, the Designhill report offered statistics which illustrate the current trend towards outsourcing:

  • 53% of marketing executives plan to outsource their marketing (Hubspot);
  • 78% of small businesses believe that hiring freelancers gives them an advantage over their competitors (Elance Survey);
  • Per survey, 90% of businesses cited outsourcing as being crucial to their growth (The Economist).

The Designhill report noted that small businesses have traditionally outsourced for cost savings, access to talent not locally available, and faster hiring time. A report by The Economist, however, showed that outsourcing is no longer just about cost saving—it’s a strategic tool that may power the 21st-century global economy. According to The Economist, 36% of companies that outsource do so to avail themselves of the services of innovators, and 37% outsource to seek overall growth in their endeavors.

“To any business owner or manager considering an outsourced business process provider for help in digital marketing,” Khan said, “I would recommend looking into this thoroughly, because it’s really a great idea. First of all, the cost savings are real, and they’re immediate—there are fixed overhead expenses you simply never have to shoulder. Outsourcing can also increase your productivity. As an owner or manager, you have only so much time and attention; by outsourcing, you can shed the parts of your workload on which you don’t need to be focused, and concentrate on your core competence. And it gives you access to expertise you wouldn’t otherwise have. We think of outsourcing as a strategy for smaller businesses, and it is—many of our clients are startup entrepreneurs. However, many of the largest corporations are also outsourcing, and there’s a good reason for that—no matter how big you are, you just can’t employ a staff which is expert in every single thing.”

Finally, Khan suggested that digital marketers seeking outsourced assistance follow the golden rule of outsourcing: know your partner. “Ask questions. Ask for metrics. Ask your partner to specify results. At ePlanet, we specify—and regularly document—exactly how we continue to earn that trust. I wouldn’t be in this business, nor would my staff, if we didn’t know for sure that we’re making a net positive contribution to our clients, the industries in which they work, and the economies served by those industries.”

Source: PRWeb; edited by Richard Carufel

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