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Jun 22, 2010
Article

New Chart: Outsourcing for Key Marketing Functions

SUMMARY: In this week’s chart, we’ll take a look at the outsourcing plans for key marketing functions including search engine optimization, email design and content development, social media and more.

You will learn what percentage of organizations are currently outsourcing various key marketing tactics and which tactics are the most likely to be outsourced in the future.
By Jen Doyle, Senior Analyst

Outsourcing Plans for Key Marketing Functions

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Click here to see a larger, printable version of this chart

Perhaps more important than the percentage of organizations already outsourcing each tactic are those not yet outsourcing but planning to. This factor indicates that marketers think specialized tactics, such as SEO and social media, may be performed more effectively by outside experts than by internal staff.

The primary difference between the two tactics with the lowest outsourcing percentages -- email newsletter copywriting and social media -- is that email copywriting is an established tactic that will unlikely see outsourcing significantly increase in the future. Social media is a new and rapidly emerging category that will likely be highly outsourced, like PR, in the foreseeable future. This identifies a growth opportunity for agencies and consultants specializing in the social media space.

The practice of public relations is going through a change of revolutionary proportion. Often referred to as PR 2.0, this revolution is being driven by the rapid emergence of social media where your brand is no longer what you say it is, it’s what "they" -- your customers, prospects, the press and other influencers -- say it is. They are sharing information and opinions about your brand, and you need to be part of the conversation. This is creating demand for PR services that, in many cases, need to be outsourced for lack of knowledgeable internal resources, especially at medium and large organizations.

For additional research data and insights about B2B marketing, download and read the free Executive Summary from MarketingSherpa’s 2009-2010 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report.

Comments about this Chart

Jun 22, 2010 - Peter Altschuler of Wordsworth & Company says:
It would be more instructive to understand how the percentages have changed from past years. From the current figures, the outsourcing numbers seem puny to the uniform majorities reflecting in-house work, and the planned amount of outsourcing won't make much of a dent in those in-house activities. Another useful parameter would be the amount of shared responsibility. For example, are news releases and inquiries handled in-house but media contact delegated to an agency; or is email broadcasting and list management done using installed applications or, as a form of outsourcing, using cloud-based services? Granted, these are nuances, but they complete a somewhat generic picture.


Jun 22, 2010 - Jen Doyle of MarketingSherpa says:
Hi Peter, thank you for your comment. We didn't have data in line with this chart for previous years and I agree that would make an interesting chart. I also agree with your point on shared responsibility. I will keep your comments in mind when planning our next study. Thanks again.


Jun 26, 2010 - Chet Hayes of Imergia, Inc. says:
I am interesting in data regarding direct marketing outsourcing including direct mail and telemarketing. Thanks, Chet


Jun 28, 2010 - Craig Daniels of Organic Hat SEO says:
Great chart, I agree it would be helpful to have past information to help focus on change. I'd like to see a comparison of if they don't plan on outsourcing do they do it at all. An example, if 55% don't plan on outsourcing SEO what percentage don't do any or little in house. What's the number for doing very little in house?


Jun 29, 2010 - Barbara Zazzo of EAS LeadGen says:
This is a very interesting chart - and having the "planning to" answer provides some insight on which direction companies are leaning. I would be very interested to see the plans for companies that are or plan to outsource their appointment setting efforts.



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