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Strategic Outsourcing

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Commonly outsourced skills

In terms of digital marketing outsourcing, the most commonly outsourced skills include:

  • Website management
  • Social media management
  • SEO
  • PPC advertising
  • Content marketing
  • Brand management and PR
  • Digital design

There are a number of reasons why companies outsource. Outsourcing can offer you:

  • Expertise
  • Flexibility
  • Savings
  • Accountability
  • Cross-industry knowledge
  • Objectivity
  • Speed to market

In-house versus third-party capabilities

The benefits of nurturing capabilities in-house are:

  • Faster communication: It is much easier to communicate changes to strategy with people positioned internally within the organization.
  • Closer control: Can review progress at any time.
  • Savings: Don’t have the expense of outsourcing to an agency.
  • Company knowledge: Have a great understanding of the company and business goals.
  • Marketing synergy: Aligns activities with marketing strategy as a whole.

The benefits of using third-party expertise are:

  • Save time: Can use third-parties to provide expertise quickly as opposed to extensive research.
  • Professional expertise: Have a technical understanding of the task at hand.
  • Outside perspective: Can provide a broader and often more objective view point of strategy.
  • Access to specialized technology: Third-parties will often have access to expensive software that it isn’t feasible for the company to have access to.

Assessing third-parties

You should use benchmarks to assess the suitability of third-party providers. Typical benchmarks include:

  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): System for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage
  • Brand character: A set of human characteristics that are attributed to a brand name
  • Processes: A series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end
  • Team personalities: Overarching personality of a group of individuals working together
  • Sense of urgency: Clear desire and motivation to move with speed
  • Commitment: The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause
  • Technology: Machinery and devices developed from scientific knowledge

Questions to ask agencies

Ask any agency you consider using the following questions, to assess their suitability:

  • Which methods do you use to communicate reports?
  • Do you have evidence of past successes?
  • What is your billing structure in terms of recurring fees?
  • What will you do to get to know our business, industry, market, and customers?
  • How do you plan to execute digital marketing differently to our current approach?
  • What is your digital marketing process?
  • How do you plan to do things differently, given our industry?
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Satarupa Banerjee

Satarupa Banerjee holds an MBA from Cranfield University and an MSc from University College of Science and Technology. She has extensive experience across numerous industries including insurance, retail, healthcare and banking. Currently, she heads Direct Marketing Products in Direct Line Group where she has delivered several CRM campaigns. In the past she has also held roles as Customer Value Strategies Manager, Change Manager, and Sales Performance Manager.

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

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Strategy Formulation and Plan
Satarupa Banerjee
Skills Expert

This module focuses on using strategic planning to drive marketing activities that will enable a business to win a competitive advantage. It covers assessing internal capabilities and addressing skills gaps, benchmarking, information gathering, SWOT analysis, evaluating digital channel tactics, and strategy implementation. It also covers documenting a digital strategy using SMART criteria and knowing how to evaluate the effectiveness of a digital strategy using KPIs, targets, and marketing analytics.