November 28, 2016
As your software-as-a-service (SaaS) company grows, you’re likely going to hit a point where you need more leads into your sales funnel. If you don’t have enough staff to do so, it can be tough, and your team could get burned out.
It’s at this point that leadership is faced with a decision—do you hire a full-time person in-house, or do you outsource your marketing needs?
Every business has a different growth path to success, but as a startup, it can be a successful move to outsource marketing if you don’t already have a structure in place, or you don’t have one that’s performing well.
Below are 10 reasons successful startups outsource marketing to a professional team, instead of making the move to hire in-house.
The main reasons SaaS companies outsource marketing is because they’ve stopped growing at the rate they want to be growing—usually because they’re not measuring their ROI correctly.
Most marketing agencies already measure their success regarding ROI and will be able to link their efforts to a specific amount of new revenue. This will give you firm objective insight into whether or not it’s worth it to continue retaining their services.
Another scenario includes SaaS startups that already host an in-house marketing team, and they’re at the end of their bandwidth. In this case, you have the same choice—supplement their work with that of an agency or outsource marketing to a professional team.
If you have more than 130 hours of marketing work that needs to be done weekly, and only a three person team, it’s time to outsource and streamline the process.
You’ll probably spend the same amount of your budget on a new hire as you would on an agency’s assistance. The only difference—when you make an in-house hire you get one person, whereas with an agency, the same amount of work gets done by an entire team for the same price.
With the reporting capabilities that agencies have, not only will you get the extra team support, but you’ll be able to draw a clear line to ROI.
This reason for outsourcing marketing goes back to the choice of whether or not to hire someone in-house versus using an agency. When you hire in-house, expanding your marketing efforts means making more hires, often leaning on a lengthy hiring process.
When major growth happens, and you need to expand quickly, using the resources of an agency can help scale your marketing efforts along with your business.
Growth hackers, marketers, designers and stellar sales people are always in high demand and are known to get poached every few years or so. When you’re operating with a small marketing team, the love of one person can shake the stability of your lead generation process.
Working with an agency in tandem to building an in-house team gives you the stability you need to keep growing your team, without the risk of upsetting your progress should a member of your internal team decide to transition to another role.
If you’re marketing campaigns aren’t performing, it’s probably because they’re not very well thought out. When you outsource marketing, you get the power of a team behind every campaign.
Ideally, every campaign should be brainstormed, supported by objective market research and internal analytics—then be created and refined. After careful testing, it would be rolled out and measured. Usually, startups don’t have the bandwidth to accomplish this—an agency can help you get the process right.
If you’ve figured out a few good channels through which to market, it’s easy to keep focusing on them—they are working after all. Often these channels don’t perform well forever as your message saturates each audience. This is when you should be researching new channels to tap into new potential customers.
If you don’t have real expertise behind these research opportunities, you might be more successful if you’re supported by an agency.
For those SaaS startups who may not already have a marketing process for research, review, and launch in place, you’ll be able to rely on your agency’s internal review process.
This ensures that all marketing campaigns, content, and communications are released seamlessly and without error. It takes them less time to evaluate performance, especially if they have an expertise in your marketing automation system.
One of the best perks of paying for an agency to assist you in your marketing efforts is that you’ll learn how to do it yourself in the process. The right team will help you build a sales and marketing machine that you’ll later be able to take on and maintain yourself.
If you work with them to build the right system for your company, the foundation you build with your agency will set the stage for success when you decide to bring all of your marketing efforts in-house.
As you’re building your sales and marketing structure, you’re probably paying for automation platforms like Salesforce, HubSpot or Marketo. If you’re not an expert on the power of these systems, it can start to feel like you’re not getting the bang for your buck that you deserve.
When you outsource management of these systems, it ensures that experienced professionals will be the ones handling the development of these technologies, and makes sure that they are giving you a positive ROI.
If you find the right relationship with the right agency, outsourcing marketing can help your organization grow correctly, without the normal instability and bumps in the process.
As a startup, increasing the bandwidth of your team by getting them the marketing assistance they deserve could be what puts you over the edge for success.