Today I outsourced two graphic projects to Fiverr for a total of $11. Actually, with tip included, the two graphics projects were a total of $21. The turnaround time was less than 24 hours for both pieces of content, and the work was perfect. The individual I worked with was cordial, prompt, and had 20 other glowing reviews of her work. Ten years ago this would have cost me hundreds of dollars if not more. So, where is marketing going?
I know this much, I recently started a marketing/sales agency and haven’t even considered hiring someone in graphic design, branding, or website design. I will partner and outsource on creative projects (with people I already know and trust) so I can focus on a real differentiator, driving bottom line revenue for my clients.
Marketing has changed a lot in the past few years, and it’s changed for the better. Marketing is much more data driven, and the data is coming out of analytics software along with sales and marketing automation tools. Rather than needing a graphic designer, you need an expert in running Salesforce and Marketo. Instead of needing an in-house web designer, you need a conversion rate optimization expert to A/B test exactly what is working on your site. Most importantly, you no longer need these individuals on staff, utilizing contract workers, consultants or agencies instead.
Perfect for Small Business
Don’t get me wrong, there will always be a place for marketing research, strategy, and direction. The strategic marketing direction comes from the Chief Marketing Officer, which is still an incredibly important role. However, your CMO no longer needs a staff of 20 plus, instead they need great software, great software administrators, and a sizable budget. For small businesses that strategic marketing direction needs to come from the owner, sales or a trusted marketing agency. The marketing budget should be reflective of the fact that the marketing group is lean on headcount and heavy on outsourcing.
We regularly talk with clients who haven’t made the transition from traditional corporate marketing to more of an outsourced or contract type engagement. For the most part, management isn’t putting a big enough emphasis, or spending enough money, on results-based marketing. They hire a graphic designer or marketing generalist, pay them $30-40k per year, and expect that they know everything about marketing and can help affect the bottom line. Generally, a graphic designer that is a few years out of school doesn’t have the experience to know a lot about lead generation, online marketing, or marketing strategy.
The Move To Trusted Partners
As software programs and outsourcing platforms continue to advance, so will outsourcing of the marketing department. There will be no such thing as a marketing generalist or a big marketing department. The Chief Marketing Officer will have a bunch of trusted partners for everything marketing, and a handful of administrators and project managers to move the projects along.
Blake Johnston is the founder of Klaire Ryan Consulting, a sales and marketing optimization agency based in Lincoln Nebraska. Klaire Ryan Consulting helps clients’ with sales consulting, lead generation, and online marketing strategy.