Outsourcing increasingly appears as a structural evolution of companies. However, while the outsourcing of sales forces is becoming more and more commonplace, with permanent and extended missions, the same is not yet true for marketing functions.
Some facts and figures
Outsourcing, which allows companies to respond quickly to a change in strategy and to access more flexibility and simplicity. Is recognized and used by 62% of the companies that responded to the TNS Sofres survey, “Outsourcing Barometer – Outsourcing Market Practices and Trends in France”, carried out for Ernst & Young. The use rate has been stable since 1999. However, while in the early years of the survey, companies equated outsourcing with subcontracting. Half now define it as the delegation of a function. One company in two mainly outsources three functions: “distribution, logistics or transport” (51%), “general services” (49%), and “IT and telecommunications” (48%).
The percentages vary slightly if only large companies are considered: “general services” comes first before “distribution, logistics or transport”. Only 17% of companies surveyed for Ernst & Young outsource marketing or communication (16% for large companies). And of those that do, 76% outsource external communication and 35% outsource customer relations. Why the delay?
Which outsourcer function ?
For some companies, delegation is managed as a marketing tool. For others, it is a mode of management. And for still others, it is a new organizational model and finally, for some, structural evolution of companies. For 68% of marketing and communication directors from the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) industry, this mode of management should increase in the future.
Facts for high-tech groups
In recent years, some large high-tech groups have reduced their marketing teams by half and replaced them with subcontractors. The function of the marketing director then becomes the implementation of tools for monitoring subcontracting. The calculation of the ROI of outsourcing and the production of added value. Companies are focusing more and more on their core business and want to be innovative in their original profession.
Outsourcing allows them not only to be more flexible but above all to go faster. And this is even more true in the ICT environment. Does this mean that everything is outsourced in the marketing function? The jobs most often declared as “outsourceable” are all the jobs related to marketing and communication, such as the back office of BDD, the CRM process, and lead generation. But also partner programs, telemarketing, call centers, events of all kinds (corporate, press, products, roadshows), the press, back-up sales forces, external reporting.
The right solution
Outsourcing is the right solution. Technological and market intelligence, tools for analyzing competition, are beginning to be outsourced. Especially in Anglo-Saxon companies. In France, there is a sort of paranoia about outsourcing marketing jobs which forces us to justify our added value even better. The watch is something we saw less than three years ago and today it is a profession in its own right. In particular thanks to delegation.
An emerging market
The outsourcing of product or customer marketing is an emerging market. Especially for SMEs who do not always have the means to invest in an internal marketing director, especially if it is a one-off need.
The vacant post still exists. What is newer is the use of people from outside the company for one-off assignments in order to respond to a period of growth. And market opportunities to be seized. All this is against the backdrop of the power of shareholders and investors demanding a ROI from companies in the form of dividends or share appreciation.
A mode of management or organization that should grow in the future. We are beginning to ask ourselves the major question of the age pyramid with the massive departure of the first baby boomers. There will be a shortage of senior executives. There will be a veritable job fair to hire them. Due to a lack of internal competitiveness, the company will perhaps seek this marketing expertise externally. Even if it is a pre-employment mechanism.
Outsourcing is a phenomenon that goes beyond sales forces alone and can affect all companies, from the largest to the most human-sized.
For the past ten years or so, companies have been hunting down overheads and keeping a very close eye on their wage bill/sales or wage bill/gross margin ratio. Time is no longer on the side of overly large internal teams. They are therefore resorting to consulting, subcontracting, or outsourced temporary work.
Solutions exist to help you delegate your activity. Powerlab is specialized in e-commerce solutions and is a pioneer in e-commerce delegation in Europe. We can help you. You can contact us or leave us a comment. We will be happy to discuss this with you.
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