The question of whether you should build a capability in house or outsource is one a business leader will ask themselves several times throughout their career. Usually you are faced with this question at a specific tipping point - when you realize doing things as you’ve always done them will no longer satisfy your business ambitions. When it comes to marketing, given how multi-faceted and specialized it has become, the outsourcing question is a popular one. From marketing strategy, to website and creative, and my favorite – media planning & buying.
Media planning and buying is a craft, an expertise made up of a number of different specializations given the breadth and depth of the landscape. It is an end-to-end capability encompasses strategy & planning, buying, implementation, technology, data and analytics. Today, teams have to be skilled in a variety channels and platforms given the fragmentation, the push for “self-serve” and the “walled gardens” (i.e. Facebook, Google, DSPs). As such, marketing teams may find themselves challenged to find the right talent, hitting capacity issues and just generally overwhelmed by the complexity of media. Here are (3) signs that it is time to engage outside help for media:
• Outgrowing Your Current Marketing Plan
Whether it is due to a growth spurt or the opposite, stagnant sales, your current marketing efforts are not in-line with the growth trajectory of your company and/or are no longer providing the results they once did. For instance, your team leverages paid search as your core lead generation channel and the performance is declining or you have met capacity. Now it is time to revisit your search strategy and/or consider introducing new media channels. Your talent and resources must match your goal for media diversification, expansion and sophistication.
• Difficulty Getting Things Done
Your company has grown while at the same time the media and marketing landscape has advanced, and as a result your team is now pulled in many different directions. Your budget and expectations have increased but your team has not, equating to a lack of focus and a negative impact on execution. Great talent becomes mismatched and unequipped as their tasks and responsibilities rapidly grow, yet they are not enabled to meet the new challenges given the volume of work, lack of available training and bandwidth.
• Accountability to Business Results has Increased
Media spend is investment, not a cost center; unfortunately this fact is debated. Without the appropriate rigor to tracking and measurement, it leaves marketing teams vulnerable, frequently challenged to prove their impact on the business. With the advancements in marketing and advertising technology, coupled with the benefits of automation, media experts are trained in developing campaigns built to perform and leverage the right data, technology, real-time reporting, and optimization cadence.
The complexity of today’s media landscape forces brands to truly consider how their customers digitally behave, the channels that they use, and the ways they can stand out from competitors. Whatever the in-house challenge may be, marketing leaders must ensure they leverage and assess external resources for maximizing impact and driving efficiency of bottom line growth in the new year. Outsourcing to a team of media experts doesn’t mean letting go of your brand strategy. Truly collaborative partnerships will foster impactful strategies and build media plans based on audiences and marketing insights to help brands identify cross-channels of behaviors of their target audiences and generate the best in marketing ROI.
For information on R2integrated's full-service media team capabilities, contact us at www.r2integrated.com/contact.