Do B2B marketers have a trust issue when seeking external help?

Do B2B marketers have a trust issue when seeking external help?
Marketing Tech’s editor has more than a decade of editorial experience spanning computing, performance marketing and, currently, enterprise digital strategy. Simon’s career began in print, where he edited the news section of business computing title PC Plus and contributed to a variety of other special interest titles, including MacFormat and Computer Arts. He then made the transition to digital journalism, joining PerformanceIN where he covered a sector of the marketing industry where advertisers only pay on a performance basis. Most recently, Simon became editor at TechForge Media where he manages the editorial strategy of Marketing Tech and the company portfolio’s newest launch Connected Car.

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Outsourcing provides a company with experienced assistance that might not normally be available from its own internal staff, but could this solution be on its way out in B2B marketing circles?

Hinge, a professional services marketing, gathered responses from 530 professional services firms for its 2015 Professional Services Marketing Priorities report to find that only 13.2% exclusively use external resources.

The overwhelming trend is for these companies to favour having some form of involvement with their B2B marketing function, with 45.1% saying they use a blend of internal and external resources while 41.8% only use internal talent.

Ploughing a lone furrow?

Questions must be asked about why these companies are choosing to go it alone. Do they have trust issues, a resource problem where briefing an agency might be too much of an undertaking or are these companies simply well stocked with their own capable staff?

Marketing Tech asked for Hinge’s opinion on the issue. The company’s managing partner, Lee Frederiksen, put it down to a legacy view among professional services staff that was perhaps lagging behind today’s trends.

“We believe that the reason for the relatively low level of outsourced marketing is largely historical,” he said.

“Traditionally, professional services firms have seen business development as relationship based. It’s all about who you know. While that mindset is rapidly changing, there is still some catching up to be done.”

Outsourcing has its uses

Of those companies that do still use external resource, trying to generate more referrals is the top priority for 47.8%, ahead of increasing brand visibility of the firm (45.3%) and updating or upgrading the website (44.1).

There are clear parallels in how these professional services companies are using external help and what their main marketing initiatives are for the remainder of 2015 as the top five were exactly the same for each.

These initiatives are what professional services firms are hoping will solve their biggest challenges this year, with the task of attracting and developing new business being the most serious consideration for 72.1%.

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