Outsourcing itself has been around as a concept for a long time. Companies started to put greater focus on its core competencies. This came from a need to be more flexible, and reduce large management teams. Subsequently it became a formal and recognized business strategy by the late 1980s. There are now a myriad of marketing agencies available. Interestingly, my first job after graduating in 1998 was in outsourcing. In this instance as part of Deloitte & Touche. So, should you outsource some or all your marketing? Well, let’s examine the various scenarios where you find yourself considering outsourcing to a marketing agency.
You want to hire a professional marketer
In-house versus outsourcing of marketing is partly a cost issue. Now, just taking the cost of employment into account could be a mistake. Consequently, your true cost could lie in the rapidly changing online environment. Therefore, an inhouse marketer will need to stay on top of current trends. This is particularly true in the digital sphere. On the other hand, your cost of inhouse marketing is also the salaries, office space etc. Therefore, compare your costs to that of a professional marketing agency.
The main difficulty with hiring inhouse marketing is talent drought. Meaning, it is hard to find broad marketing capabilities in one person. This is particular true for medical device marketing. Primarily, many marketers in the medical industry do not have marketing backgrounds, this paradox is discussed in detail in an earlier blog post.
So, which services should I outsource?
Your organizations internal capabilities and scopes will help you answer this question. Importantly, analyze what it is you want to improve and then make a choice. Typically, organizations in the medical device industry outsource the following activities to marketing agencies:
- Graphic design. There are several highly qualified graphic designers that specialize in the medical industry. Likewise, there is often limited skill set in this area found internally. Even in the largest medical organizations often outsource this component.
- Website build. Like graphic design, the competition for your business is stiff. There are many small agencies that do excellent work. Just make sure any contract you have in place is encompassing. As web developers can be costly.
Commonly, website build is outsourced by most companies.
- SEO. Thanks to Google, this area is constantly changing. Therefore, it is important to be up to date. One way is to do that yourself and read blogs on the subject such as this. The other way is to outsource to an expert marketing agency that will do all that for you.
- Email Marketing. You can write an email. Mostly, your customers respond to your emails. And, importantly, you know your business better than anyone. While this is true, there is more to it than what you may expect. In fact email marketing can be a very lucrative area. This is specifically true for smaller medical device companies. As such, email marketing can be the most cost-effective way of generating quality leads. However, your emails need to stand out. More importantly, they need to be read and acted on. Finally, there is also an analytical part to email marketing. Analyzing your email marketing will help improve targeting and segmentation.
Campaign analysis is vital to targeting and segmentation
Should I outsource more of my marketing to an agency?
Possibly yes. Smaller medical device companies often do not have the budgets to employ a marketer, let alone a marketing department. Using a marketing agency for things as simple as a new product launch can make a huge difference. Additionally, a good marketing agency will be able to formulate your go to market strategy for your existing products.
Outsourcing to a marketing agency is often a great idea. The right agency can become a valued business partner. Thus, work closely with your agency and get to know them. Likewise, let the marketing agency become familiar with you and your business. It could be the most valuable business relationship you form.