The Pros and Cons of B2B Marketing Outsourcing – by Christopher Ryan


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As a CEO or business owner, you have some tough decisions to make about your marketing and sales operations.  Traditionally, this has involved hiring one or more marketing personnel, and paying them a salary (sometimes with a bonus) as your in-house marketing department.  I worked in this model for two decades, earlier as a marketing manager and later as the marketing (and sometimes sales) department head. 

In many ways the in-house model works well, but it does have its challenges.  Fortunately, you now have options for how to staff, manage and pay for your marketing needs that can overcome the challenges.  The options range from hiring part-time staff to supplementing a small staff with an agency or consultant, to outsourcing the entire operation, to a hybrid of any these combinations.  

Outsourcing is much easier today for both the outsource provider and the client because of technology.  Website optimization, pull marketing, social media, content creation and online campaigns can all be created, managed and approved electronically.  For example, at Fusion Marketing Partners, we have managed clients across the city and across the country, with relatively few on-site meetings.  

Let’s first look at some of the positive aspects of outsourced marketing and why you should at least consider this as an option:

  • You can get a depth of talent that is unavailable at your budget level
  • You can have access to a larger team of highly specialized experts
  • You pay for only the services you need
  • It is much easier to terminate a contractor than employee
  • When you hire an outsource provider, it’s all about results

Here are a few reasons why outsourced marketing may not be a good idea for you:

  • Domain expertise is a key component of successful B2B marketing and your outsource provider may not have a strong base of knowledge about your industry.
  • You give up some control when dealing with contractors instead of “wage slaves.”
  • Assuming you have the expertise to manage the program in-house, you can usually achieve better metrics for a given budget amount.

Due to the tough job market there are many good marketers available to help you on a contactor basis.  The danger is that if you hire an individual instead of a company, you can lose your outsource contractor if they decide to take a full-time position.  Of course hiring someone as a contractor can be a good way to evaluate a B2B marketing person that you are considering for an in-house position. 

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Christopher Ryan
Christopher Ryan is CEO of Fusion Marketing Partners, a B2B marketing consulting firm and interim/fractional CMO. He blogs at Great B2B Marketing and you can follow him at Google+. Chris has 25 years of marketing, technology, and senior management experience. As a marketing executive and services provider, Chris has created and executed numerous programs that build market awareness, drive lead generation and increase revenue.


  1. The amount of senior-level talent available for contract marketing and PR is huge. Ad-hoc teams can be put together for specific campaigns, launches or events.

    Still, once a company finds a good person or team, whether in-house or outsourced consistency is crucial in creating a really solid program. Sometimes contracts are too short to allow results to build.

    Great post, Chris!

  2. Thank you for the comments Lee Ann. You are spot-on with your comments about the availability of top talent. This is one of the by-products of the economic downturn that can benefit companies who need highly experienced marketing help on an outsourced basis.

    Chris Ryan


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