B2B Marketing blog

Outsourcing B2B marketing: do’s and don’ts

Marketing teams come in all shapes and sizes. Do you do everything yourselves? Or, are there tasks you would rather leave to an external agency or freelancer? There probably are.

Research by Gartner shows that more than half of marketing managers and CMOs strongly depend on agencies and external parties. Only 19% keep all marketing activities in-house.

And this is not so bad: outsourcing B2B marketing projects can be very efficient. In this article, you’ll read the 5 most important reasons why outsourcing B2B marketing is so valuable. But, you’ll also learn about what should be payed attention to in order to get the most added value out of the collaboration.

1. Benefit from a professional marketing team

Do you want to start with content marketing, but you don’t know how? In that case, the help of a marketing agency is probably more than welcome. They help you with your strategy, plan of action, and the execution. Because you are working collaboratively with these professionals, you can learn from experts.

But outsourcing is not only a good option for new projects. An external party is also valuable with buyer persona or customer journey research. In this situation, you will conduct research within your own prospect and customer circle. Experience shows that customers give critical feedback more easily to someone they do not have a connection with. This feedback is of particular importance for the success of your buyer or customer journey project.

Tip: Want to get more from your buyer or customer journey? Have an independent party conduct the research. They are not connected to your customer and will be able to get more feedback and insights.

Read the practical example of Rik ten Wolde, Marketing Manager Customer success at AFAS Software, about the road to a better customer journey (in Dutch).

2. Save time and money

57% of the more technical B2B marketers outsource the execution of their content marketing strategy. Think about writing and designing articles, whitepapers, or e-books, making a video or animation, or even executing a webinar.

A popular opinion of CMOs is that the content delivered by an external party is of high quality and not comparable to the work of their own employees. Time your marketing team usually waste on creating a brief, writing the text, and getting the design, can now be spent on other tasks, such as optimising the running campaigns.

Besides time, there is also a huge cost reduction possible by outsourcing a content marketing project. It can sometimes take months for your own employee to be completely up and running and deliver the quality you expect. When you are looking for someone with a specific skill for a certain project, it is often faster and cheaper to hire an external professional.

Tip: Work with clear briefings, in which your describe the background, goal, and intended results. This way, all parties will know what is expected.

3. A good start is half the work

For B2B marketing campaigns, a lot can be gained from marketing automation. You can have your campaigns run automatically and a lot of manual work becomes redundant. Unfortunately, implementing marketing automation is a time consuming task, for which a lot of technical knowledge is needed. Think about links with your CRM, developing a sub domain or templates for landing pages and forms.

These matters need to be implemented once before you are able to use them. If you want to do it right at once, leave it to an expert. An expert knows all ins and outs and will set everything up based on your specific needs. After the setup, you can get to work yourself using the tools and you often do not need the expert to support.

Tip: Do you need specific knowledge for a one-off project? Get help from experts. Will you get to work yourself after completion of the task? Optionally add a support clause, so you can fall back on the expertise in case of any problems.

Clarinda Dobbelaar and Anna-Lena Westra from Nasdaq BWise set themselves the goal to get more out of the far-reaching possibilities of marketing automation. For this, they needed a more advanced system. Read here how the implementation went (in Dutch).

4. Think out of the box

If you develop content campaigns, it is important to keep in mind what your target group needs. What do they want to know? What are their challenges? You react tothis with your content. Maybe you have so many ideas that you could use some help with the execution. But what if you have already made dozens of e-books and cannot think of a unique angle of approach anymore?

Visit someone else to get inspired. They will look at your content with a fresh mind and will see where the ‘holes’ are. This way, you can get to work with new, unique content immediately.

Tip: Did the brainstorm result in so many new ideas that you can use some help with the execution? It is a good option to involve an expert, who has already delved in to your campaign.

Meanwhile, Interpolis uses more than 13 different tactics to reach their target group. They are continuously dealing with the question: How can we serve our corporate target groups even better? Erna Melis, Senior Online Marketeer, explains here how she approaches this (in Dutch).

5. Insight in to your marketing ROI

Fair is fair, making content costs time and money. Purchasing a marketing automation tool does too. For these reasons, content marketing in B2B is often still seen as costly. A challenge for you as a marketing manager or CMO is to convince management that it certainly does contribute to the business. And how do you do that?

The answer is simple: you need proof. Numbers don’t lie and show exactly what the impact of your marketing strategy is. With a dashboard (which you can make yourself, or have someone else do it for you). You can accurately see how your campaigns are doing and what the business value is.

This does not only come in handy when convincing management, but the dashboard also offers important insights. If a campaign is not performing as expected, you will see this immediately and you can start optimising.

Tip: No matter how basic you start, make sure you always have KPIs to measure your results. Is your content not scoring well and do you want to know why? Analyse together what the cause is and implement the necessary changes. A critical campaign audit works wonders for your result!

Marije Gould, Vice President Marketing EMEA at Verint Systems, about the mirrors she was held up.

Need help with your B2B content marketing strategy?

Could your B2B marketing strategy use some renewal, or do you want to raise your approach to the next level? We would love to help. Feel free to contact us via: info@spotonvision.com or call 020 705 58 88.