5 Reasons To Hire an Outsourced Marketing Director

Marketing is one of the most important aspects of any business, but it can also be one of the most difficult to manage. If you’re a CEO, MD, or founder, it’s likely that you don’t have time to manage every aspect of marketing yourself – which is where an outsourced marketing director comes in.

In this article, we take a deep dive into what an outsourced marketing director’s role is, why a company might want to consider hiring one and the benefits it can bring to transform your company’s route to success.

What is outsourced marketing?

First, let’s look at what outsourced marketing actually means. Marketing is an essential part of any business. It requires consistency year-round. Some businesses have a habit of focusing on marketing only when sales are down, but to deliver long-term growth, marketing must be one of the core pillars of any successful business strategy.

Outsourced marketing is the practice of hiring an outside company or consultant to handles various marketing activities on behalf of a business. This can include tasks such as market research, advertising, lead generation, social media marketing, and event planning. For businesses that don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to marketing, outsourcing can be a great way to get the help they need.

Depending on the size and stage of your company’s growth, you may be in a key consideration phase: do you focus on building an in-house marketing function, or do you outsource the marketing role to an experienced external marketing director, often as a part-time, flexible consultant.

This might go against your desired approach to recruitment, but typically you’ll find an outsourced marketing director will possess a more advanced skill-set with a results-driven track record.

Why would a company outsource their marketing?

Apart from the fact that a marketing strategy is key for any growing successful business, there could be an endless number of reasons why a small to mid-size company might wish to hire an outsourced marketing director to meet their current and long-term business needs. Here are some of the most common reasons:

  • The previous marketing director has moved on. Recruitment can be a long process and an outsourced marketing director can be relied upon to come on board quickly and hit the ground running.
  • The company isn’t able to justify the cost of recruiting a permanent marketing director.
  • There isn’t the business need to hire a full-time permanent employee. Several hours a week will suffice in successfully delivering your marketing plan.
  • You have the team in place but they’re stretched or lacking the skill-set required. An experienced marketing director could lighten the load, mentor and lead the team.
  • You’ve got a key project looming and need to divert attention to your marketing efforts to make it a success.
  • Your current approach has become stagnant or is lacking direction. A valuable outside perspective could be what’s needed to get things back on the right track.

It’s not just small and mid-size companies that outsource parts of their marketing. Global firms such as Sony and American Express have sworn by this approach when requiring a certain skill-set not held in-house.

Does an outsourced marketing director bring leadership?

Absolutely. An outsourced marketing director typically joins as an extension of your leadership team, working closely with and reporting to the team. At the director level, you’d expect that they’d also take on leadership duties of overseeing a marketing team, ensuring clear objectives and direction. They will take on ownership and accountability of your marketing strategy, ensuring this aligns closely with the company’s overall business strategy and goals.

An outsourced marketing director will be well equipped through their strong marketing and leadership skillset and their proven track record to maximise opportunity and success, leading to increased revenue, greater profits and faster growth potential.

5 benefits of hiring an outsourced marketing director

So, what are some of the key benefits you’ll experience from outsourcing your Marketing Director? Let’s take a look:

1. They’re marketing specialists

Experience is key. Chances are they’ve already helped transform businesses just like yours. You should be looking for a minimum of 10+ years of experience in senior marketing and leadership roles.

Outsourced marketing directors are specialists in their field. They will have a current understanding and experience of the full marketing scope. You can expect them to know the most reliable and successful channels to market to really reach your target audience. Their wide-ranging experience is up-to-date with marketing trends and can cover a wide-ranging spectrum of marketing practices such as brand positioning, PR, lead generation, and customer retention.

They’ll have the know-how to bring all of your marketing activities together under one integrated vision and plan.

2. Effective management techniques

An outsourced marketing director will come armed with plenty of effective and transferrable management techniques acquired from past and current clients. Good management techniques are necessary to lead and direct the workforce to enhance overall performance.

An outsourced marketing director might, for example, embed an effective performance management approach called ‘Management by Objectives (MBO)’. Goals are defined and conveyed by management to the team with the intention of achieving each objective by close monitoring and evaluation of progress against established objectives.

Each key component of the model looks as follows:

1. Define organisation goals and objectives
2. Define employee objectives (based on point 1)
3. Continuous monitoring of performance and progress
4. Performance evaluation
5. Providing feedback
6. Performance appraisal

It’s beneficial when a marketing director has been outsourced to work with and deliver management to an existing in-house marketing team. This enables integrated teamwork, better communication and a clearer understanding of tasks, goals and expectations. The result is higher productivity and better performance.

3. Can lead on strategy

Marketing is far more than just promoting a business. Strategy is key, with a strong focus on aligning a marketing strategy with the long-term objectives of the business. Outsourcing your marketing strategy means you’re enlisting the help of an expert who has planned, created and delivered marketing strategies successfully before.

You might be thinking, why can’t I just hire a cheaper marketing manager? Many people think the role is interchangeable. But the reality is there are some big differences between a marketing manager and a marketing director. Think education, experience and responsibility. A marketing director’s duties encompass leadership, accountability, budget management, and having an analytical mind-set and strategic vision to devise and execute a marketing strategy.

They are accountable for this and the results it yields. A marketing manager on the other hand would typically focus on delivering the marketing strategy under the delegation and direction of the marketing director.

4. Outside perspective

Marketing – especially in the digital age – can be overwhelming. Which channels do you choose? Which mediums and formats? Is my brand positioning and messaging right? How do I get to know my target audience better?

Before you know it, without the focus or skills required to keep on top of it, you may find yourself falling behind. Perhaps your approach is one-dimensional, or you’re not getting the desired outcomes and something needs to change.

This is where an outsourced marketing director can help. An outside perspective could be just what’s needed. As a starting point, they’ll probably want to run an audit on your current marketing approaches to determine effectiveness, challenges, improvements, and opportunities.

Whatever the situation, an outsourced marketing director will be able to give you an objective analysis on your current approaches, and better still, have some fresh ideas on how to transform your business. Be open to listening, understanding, and trusting their expertise to stop what’s not working and focus on what will.

5. More cost-effective than a permanent in-house marketing director

If you’re paying to outsource a specialist, you’re paying to get the job done and to deliver results as quickly as possible. Outsourcing will always be cheaper – and less risky – than hiring a full-time equivalent because they typically work on a part-time, flexible basis. You only pay for the time you need and the hours worked. There’s no employment cost, no benefits packages or training costs to consider, meaning you’re already getting better value for money.

Many small businesses don’t have the budget nor requirement to hire in-house, but if they did, hiring at the director level is likely to incur a hefty salary. You get a highly skilled and experienced outsourced marketing director that offers the same value and impact as an employed marketing director. They are well equipped to deliver the same great results. There will be no learning curve so they’ll more than likely hit the ground running, saving time in the long run. Who doesn’t love a cost saving?

Conclusion: do I need an outsourced marketing director?

Whether you decide to hire in-house or not is a business decision that only you can make. However depending on your business size and needs, it may be the perfect short-term solution to  transform your marketing strategy for long-term success.

Leadership Services provides Marketing Directors and CMOs on a part-time and flexible basis, without any long-term fixed contracts and at a fraction of the cost of employing a full-time senior Director. All with a minimum of 10 years’ board-level experience and a proven track record of success – to support businesses’ in their short- and long-term goals.

Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help you find the right marketing leader for your company.

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