To outsource or to internalise, this is the question. Manage everything, including marketing, within your Company or prefer to outsource marketing and rely on expert external figures?
If you have a Company, what I am about to tell you has probably happened to you. Your business needs specialists in the different sectors, especially in the field of marketing. And so far, nothing strange or hostile.
You take care of a million things, and you understand that you cannot reach it all. The first obstacle is to surround yourself with people who can support you, lightening your work.
You have internal figures within the Company who collaborate with you. One fine day, you decide to outsource some work. You do this by relying on external consultants in various areas, from production to the commercial area, up to marketing.
Well, marketing. An exact and accurate science. A discipline in which numbers and results count and in which nothing is left to chance. You decide to rely on experts to make sure you are going in the right direction, making the right choices, doing your Company’s good. How do you find yourself instead? You have got a big fat pile of nothing, and all the situations leave you empty-handed. Small consolation. You invest time, trust, and money; you decide to appoint an external marketing consultant after a lot of research, and then? You are disappointed because you do not see results, the same results that someone promised you.
But you are stubborn: you cannot accept that it did not go the way you wanted, and then you try again, starting another process. You get another external consultant, invest your time, money, and useful measure of confidence and fall back again, like a child learning to walk. It happens once, twice, several times. Too many times. The child wonders if he will ever learn to walk without falling, but he doesn’t give up. In the same way, you must find a solution.
How can a solution be found? Often it is necessary to start from the problem. Now you have not just one but two issues. You’re grappling with your initial question, so outsource some of the work, find marketers who can take care of it, and lead you and your business in the right direction. Plus, you have to deal with a second problem, even more significant than the first: not just finding someone who can answer your needs, but doing it on time. You can’t afford false moves, you can’t go blind, because you and your Company pay fot these choices. You can’t rely on a person who promises you that he will get you out of the jungle when he doesn’t even have a machete to make his way through the thick vegetation. You don’t have to go bankrupt. You can’t go wrong anymore because the stakes are too high.
I take my usual step back to see the whole panorama without fossilising myself on the details, making you lose sight of the whole.
I’m talking about marketing. I’m talking about a scientific measurement, not approximate parameters used by the consultants or various agencies. This is what makes the difference when you decide to entrust and no longer entrust your Company’s marketing to the outside.
Choose without thinking. Risks or certainties? Attempts or slam dunk? Security or chance? I know that you have already answered yourself without needing to go on. This is what does not make you outsource your Company’s marketing: when they promise you something that will not come true when they fail at your own expense when they do not bring you the certainty of results. Nobody likes to grope in the dark. And then you tried. The problem is who you trusted. And now you don’t want to go back to the drawing board. Understandable.
It is useless to go around it. There are real and measurable parameters for marketing to get to conversions and then to sales. And there are smoke sellers who bring you likes, comments, and engagement, but who do not convert, do not sell. Then, of course: rather than obtaining these results, which are not results, it is better to try to structure yourself internally. Better not to spend money and keep going as you always do. If it is necessary to dig your Company’s grave, at least you will know that incompetent people did not contribute to its death.
Time makes the difference, also in your business
You have decided not to entrust your Company’s marketing to people who pretend to be professionals but who are not. I support you, for sure.
You want to manage everything within the Company. Ok, understandable. But how long does it take to get results? And above all, how much time do you have? There is no time like the present. Do your evaluations carefully, as it may be very late. You are still at a crossroads and have to choose quickly. It’s getting dark, and you need to get to a safe place to spend the night. You have two paths. The former is faster to reach your goal, but you have to travel it with experienced people because it is tortuous. The serious risk? That those who accompany you do not help you correctly and that you fall into a ravine. The second is definitely the least risky solution, but it is long, and you risk not reaching your goal in time; the chill of the night may catch you, and you may not make it anyway.
Often the time needed to have a resource capable of managing marketing within your Company ranges from 12 to 18 months. I am talking about a year, a year and a half, as long as the Company climate allows it, otherwise it could take even longer. Do you have enough strength and supplies to withstand all this time? Often it does not happen in such a short time due to the conflicts that arise within the Company. Thus, the positions are questioned by the old production management, to the new managers, passing through the consultants. The chaos resulted.
Do you know what this means? That you are making yet another hole in the water. The almost certain risk is to see your Company drown in this water, which turns from calm to stormy sea.
It is like competing with a winning horse, but it cannot compete. Any effort is useless.
After collecting a fair number of failures, your Company begins to suffer the blows. Each defeat weighs on the Company’s finances and compromises the corporate climate, which becomes increasingly tense.
Your Company does not navigate in calm waters on two fronts: the economic one and that of your employees’ serenity. This is the typical situation when a Company has had some awful experiences by outsourcing work. The Company paid for these choices that burned it, and now it falls back on the intention of doing everything internally, burning herself even more. Add insult to injury.
And now that you’ve tried them all and realised that the situation could only get worse, how do you come out of it?
The only winning solution: outsource marketing to your Company
Every cloud has a silver lining. This means that a solution exists, and you have it right under your eyes.
It is a third way that you had not considered, able to make you reach your goal before dark. A solution capable of giving you certainties and not making you spend money on possibilities that will never come true. A solution that is based on reliable and precise data and that allows you to feel comfortable about the fate of your Company. In short, your answer is what you have been looking for in vain for some time. In these circumstances that I have described to you, a Marketing Interim Manager can make a difference, like a playmaker in a decisive game. However, the Marketing Interim Manager does not hit the ball hoping it will go to the goal: he analyses your Company with the certainty of scoring a goal.
What are the pros? He is a figure external to your Company, who can therefore have an overall perspective from outside. Besides, he has high internal leadership, which is a real plus because he can prevent the Company climate from deteriorating and completely crumbling like a sandcastle of which nothing remains. At the same time, he performs an essential function for you and your Company because he builds his marketing reliably and efficiently, forming an internal figure within the Company who will continue to lead your Company before he leaves the scene.
In this way, you will be able to kill two birds with one stone: you will find the figure you were looking for, competent, professional, linked to data and results; you will have a figure within your Company who will be able to continue and maintain the marketing work started by the Marketing Interim Manager over time, avoiding frustrating everything that has been done and making you find yourself again in a situation with no way out.
Samuele Barrili is the founder of Marketing Interim Managers and Marketing4Waste. After his degree in Toxicological Chemistry focused on Environmental Pollution he started working in the industrial field as a salesman and later as a marketing manager. For over 10 years he worked with the owners of small and big technical companies. Now Samuele is helping waste management companies to create a marketing strategy that saves the planet by increasing their revenue without wasting time.