Lately, the Binary Pulse ecosystem of clients, vendors and employees has been discussing the economic outlook. Along with much of the nation, we acknowledge a nascent optimism about the hopes for a return to prosperity in 2010. Maybe it’s inspired by the apparent bottoming out of the NYSE. Maybe it’s reactionary exhaustion from what has not been a great year by any standards – figuring it can’t get any worse. Or maybe it’s just an involuntary plea for fiscal mercy. Whatever the motivation, there do seem to be encouraging economic signs on the horizon.
A jobless recovery
The word on the street is that 2010 will bring a modest recovery from this historic recession. Budgets will become a little more pliable. Marketers will steel their resolve and take more risks. We’ve seen some of our own clients take courageous steps during the latter half of this year – two producing their first-ever TV spots with us, another three engaging in wholesale overhauls of their Web presences, including integrating social media. This illuminates that, in addition to an air of burgeoning positivity, there are tremendous deals to be had. Media prices are as low as we’ve seen them in recent memory and many print and online publications are ready to negotiate. Social media marketing also affords budget-friendly ways to engage prospects and clients in new, important ways.
Despite this percolating excitement, most clients I speak with are still very gun shy. Or is it shell shocked? (Or both?) Clients big and small have had layoffs across almost every department. Their marketing budgets have been slashed. Match that with the prevailing economic sentiment that 2010 will offer a jobless recovery during which there won’t be a lot of hiring, and the need for technology marketers to be highly resourceful while capitalizing on the opportunities ahead is clear.
The dollars and sense of outsourcing
Many technology marketers will find themselves confronted by a big to-do list next year but a depleted team of people to get it done. (Many are in that boat right now.) Outsourcing key strategic and tactical marketing objectives can ensure that you don’t lose momentum amidst the recovery. Among the virtues of outsourcing are:
- Stay budget-neutral. By outsourcing key marketing functions, you can avoid the rush back to increased overhead costs. As budgets warrant, hire the key in-house personnel that make the most impact. Leave the rest to an outsource team. This helps you keep much of your marketing a variable operational expense rather than a fixed budget item.
- Stay nimble. Once you get back on the horse, you don’t want to slow down. An effective outsource team can help you execute your plans quickly. Instead of consuming your hours with hiring, focus first on generating leads and sales. Remember what that feels like?
- Get more bang for your buck. An outsourcing team can give you the services of dozens of individuals for often less than the price of a single full-time employee (all expenses considered.) When you realize that you would be hard-pressed to get the diverse skill sets of an entire team in one person, outsourcing just makes more sense.
- Seamless integration. A good outsource team should feel like a member of your organization. I’ve heard too many marketing executives say “I need someone in-house to handle the really small, fast stuff.” With the right training and communication tools, an outsource team can perform every bit as effectively as someone in the next office over. Better yet, if you don’t have something to get done on any particular day, you don’t pay the outsource team. The in-house person’s meter is always running.
- Third-party perspective. As the economic recovery gains inertia, you’ll need to make every dollar count. Looking to an outsource partner can help you discover new, efficient ways of getting things done. Rather than slogging through things with a depleted staff that’s already overburdened, bring an outsource team onboard and find out how invigorating it can be to not only plan, but to get things done.
Is this a thinly-veiled pitch for Binary Pulse as an outsource partner? Absolutely. Unabashedly so. Here’s the deal. Every economic recovery starts with restoring confidence. This is my way of trying to help technology marketers return to their winning ways.
The outsource model works for so many of our clients confronted with the aftermath of a brutal year. It may just be specific tactical services: Web site updates, copywriting, or Powerpoint support. It doesn’t always have to be a far-reaching initiative. Start small. Get your swagger back. Then tackle the bigger objectives. An outsourcing engagement can help you find your marketing stride again. And that’s something to look forward to.