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World goes outsourcing way



Once upon a time #marketing was slow and simple: it was merely a matter of choosing between print and electronic media and, depending upon the depth of your pocket, run your campaigns for as long as you could. Do that much and chances were that you would get sufficient business to keep chugging along at 10 to 15 per cent, year on steady year.  

In today’s landscape where digital technology has itself spawned a bewildering number of media choices, each a super-powerful way to locate, connect and engage with customers, managing the marketing function is anything but simple. The world leading business magazine Forbes observed in a recent story: “with the digital revolution, everything -- speed, scope, budgeting, data -- has changed.”  A growth rate of 10-15 per cent would now be considered not just snoozy but ensure the death of companies. 

Theoretically this paradigm shift ought to have led companies to rapidly beef up their in-house marketing teams; but no, in the real world just the opposite is happening as companies regardless of their size chase extreme efficiencies, constant innovation and razor sharp competitiveness. Says Forbes, based on a global study: “Rather than adding more full-time heads or scaling up, they’re keeping their marketing departments small and speedy and relying more (in some cases, completely) on #outsourced resources.”

There are many compelling reasons for such contrarian behavior. Amidst an explosion of media choices, no single skill is any longer enough to drive a successful marketing initiative: You need to be a business thinker, a marketing maven, a tech geek, an analyst and even more to have any chance of delivering a seamless customer experience without which nothing works in markets driven by artificial intelligence, technology and data insights. The decision journey of a customer is “not linear and requires marketing teams to leverage a variety of channels that meet prospects where they are.” For young companies in particular, it “becomes expensive and extraordinarily difficult to staff teams who can stay on top of all of this and grow with the market.”

When companies running on limited gas hire an Outsourced CMO they not only get themselves a marketing head at a discount but also gain access to a wide variety of Outside Specialists. Says Forbes: “There’s no reason why you cannot bring in all these specialists yourself. But the nice thing about staffing through contracted consultants is that you can run as lean or as robust as you need.” Internal teams can then serve as strategists and project managers.

With outside specialists young companies get fresh insights, experience and knowledge that many in-house teams lack. More important, they are difficult and very expensive to replicate within an organisation and tougher still to manage. “Because consultants have worked in varied backgrounds their are able to identify transferable skills and core problems in order to drive home solutions.” They are able also to “view situations differently than someone familiar with the industry. The result? Creative solutions that may never have surfaced with an in-house staff.”

"Before you do problem solving, you have to do problem finding," said Dave Evans, a former Apple engineer who worked on a breakthrough Apple mouse project and then co-founded the game company Electronic Arts. When companies outsource they gain fresh perspectives and varied specialties, which give them a new incisive ability to ‘find and solve problems.’ It results in a human-centered approach, which has “helped engineers get in front of consumer needs, and turned fledgling start up companies into booming corporate enterprises.”

Clearly, for young and early-stage companies, hiring outsourced professionals  is the best bet for managing the bewildering number of complex variables that go into crafting a successful business development strategy in a world with innumerable media choices calling for varied specializations.  




For more information or feedback please write back at vineet@outsourcedcmo.in


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