The Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) is a core component of the tech stack for most B2B organizations, but it also represents a substantial investment from both a financial and resourcing point of view, so how do you get the most out of it? Should you go ‘all in’ and build the perfect internal team, or does it make more sense to rely on external experts? Here are 10 reasons why outsourcing could be the better choice.
So many contacts, so little time
So you want to communicate with everyone in your database? Existing customers, lapsed customers, prospects, new contacts across your entire buyer lifecycle (all opted in of course)? Naturally, you’ll want to make sure that you send them relevant content that resonates, that is aligned to the buyer stage they’re at, who they are, and what their present needs are. Of course, you’ll want campaigns that deliver against your marketing and business objectives and speak to your target audience and personas, and you’ll want to be able to create and deploy these emails and landing pages effectively, efficiently and on time.
No small task! B2B enterprise level companies often have marketing teams that are already over-stretched in managing strategic projects and don’t have the resources to get bogged down in the daily nitty-gritty of managing the company’s marketing automation platform (MAP).
58% of marketers use automation for task management; 42% of marketers use automation for content, and 31% of marketers use automation for chatbots. [HubSpot]
How automated is automated?
Automation really is automated and, then again, it’s not. Once set up, your welcome email campaigns for example can be sent seamlessly to every new prospect or customer and abandoned cart emails can be pinged to every customer in the making. But expertise is still required – to ask the right questions and to set up the campaigns and logic, to ensure data quality and accuracy before pressing ‘send’, to write the content, design the email and deploy it to schedule, as well as handling, storing and reporting on perhaps hundreds of digital assets on a weekly basis.
Marketing automation is a $3.6 bn industry and will reach $11bn by 2027. [Mordor Intelligence]
As B2B organizations increase investment in marketing automation, the complexity of the modern marketer’s job is growing in parallel. Day to day tasks include maximizing the capabilities of your powerful automation software, ensuring your customer data is clean, up-to-date and accurate, overcoming bottlenecks in your marketing funnel, qualifying and nurturing leads quickly and providing your buyers with a personalized customer experience, all while saving on costs and enhancing efficiency. It’s a hard job, but with outside expertise, all of this is achievable.
Here are some of the key benefits of outsourcing your marketing automation services and digital asset production to an experienced agency:
- Gain expert experience and an on-tap knowledge bank
When you hire an external agency, you are hiring a specialist team, but you can also benefit from the add-on expertise of their colleagues, whether strategists or technical experts. You might also want to tap into content creation or copywriting services to curate or refine your brand messaging. Your agency can be relied on to be a source of expert advice for any aspect of your marketing automation requirements – it’s likely that they’ve seen and solved a similar set of problems for another client and can pass on the benefit of these unique insights.
- Strategic recommendations as standard
In the same vein, agencies are perfectly positioned to make recommendations to improve marketing and sales processes, assist in choosing and implementing technology if requested, and help to iron out inefficiencies. Their strategists can define a roadmap to set out marketing automation priorities – do you want to send more email drip campaigns, handle more inbound leads or get more meetings? Doing everything at once is often not the best policy, and they are ideally situated to help you prioritize. Their bird’s eye view can also help with benchmarking your B2B organization against others within the industry.
- Increased efficiency
When you hire a team to build and implement a marketing automation campaign, you can rely on them to do so with greater efficiency than your own team, who are also juggling all the other daily tasks on their list – it’s what they’ve signed up to do. Spam checks, quality assurance and testing all take up time and resources. An agency can ramp up your efficiency and with it deliver an improved brand reputation and experience for your customers.
- Pass on the burden of delivering
The burden of delivering against your targets is shared with the outsourced marketing automation partner, who comes with their already trained specialists and strategists, internal management, and quality assurance team, as well as access to software and experience. Delivery is no longer your responsibility on its own as ROI sits equally with the agency, who must make sure they support you in meeting your targets and business needs.
- Cost savings
Saving money is the primary reason for outsourcing according to research by Hubspot, and outsourcing your B2B marketing automation can contribute to cost savings. Building an internal team comes with both obvious and hidden costs and risks: recruitment, salary plus benefits and tax, training, software, equipment, office space, admin and the associated time invested by management all add up, with costs growing even further due to the turnover of staff in what is a competitive area. By passing this responsibility onto an agency, you can rely on an agreed, fixed cost for managing all output – and avoid the headaches at the same time.
- Free up your internal team to focus on what matters
While your outsourced marketing automation team can be relied on to get your digital assets out of the door, on time and on message, your marketing team are freed from the everyday execution of creating and managing email lists, creating landing pages, deploying assets etc., and can concentrate on what they do best – staying up to date with current marketing trends, technology and strategizing for future campaigns for your core business.
- React quickly to peaks (and troughs)
When an opportunity comes your way, do you have the resources in place to respond quickly? With an outsourced team that can be scaled up to meet demand, you are able to launch new campaigns without adversely affecting your core business. Equally, should a slower period of activity come along, you are able to plan accordingly without affecting internal staffing.
- Maximize the return on your tech investment
Your marketing automation partner will be familiar with the current automation software your organization has invested in, including its latest (and upcoming) innovations and will be able to maximize that tech investment for you. Powerful automation software not used to its full capacity, either through lack of training, time, or support, is a common challenge for enterprise companies. Your partner will also be able to link your other tools together to better exploit your tech eco system.
- Get the most out of your data
A good B2B marketing automation partner should be proficient in collating your data, setting up synchs with other sources such are your CRM, and using the right data models to support automation. They will also be adept at segmenting your data for email lists and building and deploying emails that follow privacy regulations (GDPR, CCPA, etc.). Your agency will also advise on effective customer data management so that you can target and segment audiences, filter out incomplete or inaccurate data in your CRM, set business objectives and forecast buyer intent and campaign success.
- Go global without affecting quality
There are many challenges to running a B2B MAP on a global basis, including data management, template creation and organization, timezone management and, inevitably when you are sending out communications in multiple languages daily, accuracy. By outsourcing to an agency with global capabilities you can rely on their multiple locations, central governance and processes to ensure emails are sent on time and without errors.
Automation contributes to a 14.2% rise in sales productivity, as well as a 12.2% drop in marketing expenses [Oracle]
For 67% of businesses, the main challenge to adopting marketing automation is integrating data from different sources and systems. [SpotlerUK]
At a time when there is more pressure than ever to manage costs but deliver results and efficiency, outsourcing your B2B Marketing Automation production to an expert agency can deliver peace of mind and free up your internal team to focus on overall priorities. As well as providing a fixed cost framework, you will have access to the expertise that ensures you are always getting the most out of the platform as well as the governance that guarantees that the right messages get to the right people at the right time.
“Our Marketing Automation Services team is the glue between Strategy and Analytics. We set every project up the right way so it can deliver from launch. If we don’t set up a campaign correctly, errors will creep in and reporting will be impacted. We enable business objectives and provide the necessary tools for data and reporting.”
Catalina Dobre, VP Digital Production and Client Services