How To Solve The Marketing Resource Paradox & Actually Do More With Less

Published: March 29, 2024

It’s a common understanding that adequate resources are essential for making an impact — but today’s marketing leaders often struggle with resource limitations alongside increasing pressure to drive business impact.

Many marketers need more headcount, budget, capacity or skills to achieve their desired impact, whether it’s for pipeline, revenue or ROI. And although the “Global B2B Marketing Benchmark Report” revealed that a significant portion of senior marketing leaders plan to increase their marketing budget, it’s not always the solution. Instead, it’s essential to consider whether existing budgets can effectively deliver the required outcomes by optimizing existing resources and maximizing their effectiveness.

In my previous experience as a B2B CMO focused on revenue impact and growth, I’ve encountered this challenge — which I call the “marketing resource paradox” — firsthand. In response, I’ve relied on various initiatives to facilitate operating model transformations that identify core and non-core functions to help marketers allocate resources more effectively and achieve greater revenue impact. This approach has contributed to the growth of various marketing-as-a-service (MaaS) companies in the industry.

Rethinking The Marketing Operation Model To Do More With Less

Operating model transformation begins by evaluating core competencies that should be handled internally and which ones could be outsourced to external experts to enhance productivity and reduce expenses. Reassessing the tasks within the marketing function and determining what can be outsourced enables organizations to redefine their workflow.

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It’s important to clarify that “non-core” doesn’t imply insignificance to the business; rather, it indicates that certain tasks can be more efficiently obtained from external sources rather than developed internally. For example, managing email campaigns, updating the website, creating content, managing marketing technology and reporting are often more effectively handled through outsourcing rather than internal development.

While each organization’s needs vary, there’s usually a preference for retaining ownership of tasks such as product marketing, messaging, go-to-market strategy and relationship management. These tasks are crucial for establishing a unique positioning in the marketplace and are typically best handled internally.

Nevertheless, Marketing-as-a-Service (MaaS) organizations can offer standardized processes for non-core services. When organizations handle non-core tasks, they often streamline processes and achieve better outcomes, resulting in time, energy and cost savings for the client.

Disrupting The Agency Status Quo

In many marketing departments, the bulk of the workload is handled by full-time employees and supplemented by agencies for specialized or peripheral tasks.

Agencies play a crucial role in the marketing mix, particularly for significant, one-time projects such as product launches, website development and public relations initiatives. However, they may not excel in managing day-to-day marketing operations. In some cases, agencies may handle these tasks at a premium cost or with generalist staff managing multiple clients. Additionally, agencies often encourage the use of their proprietary technologies to increase client dependency.

In contrast, MaaS providers focus on executing tasks efficiently, as they boast technology partnerships, certifications and expertise to seamlessly integrate with clients’ existing tech stacks. This disrupts traditional agency models and challenges the structure of internal marketing departments.

Establishing A Novel Category Of Marketing-Managed Service Providers

Marketing is not solely about increasing web traffic or amassing social media followers: Its primary goal is to engage potential customers to build brand awareness. Therefore, the success of marketing efforts should be evaluated based on metrics such as revenue contribution, customer acquisition cost, return on marketing investment, revenue impact and pipeline generation.

In today’s economic climate, businesses are increasingly focused on controlling expenses and improving efficiency. Adopting a MaaS operating model can help organizations achieve greater revenue impact while significantly reducing operating expenses. MaaS providers emphasize data-driven approaches and are skilled at helping marketing departments measure and report their achievements effectively.

Businesses rarely require the same strategies year-over-year — companies are always seeking transformational outcomes and continual improvements, and MaaS offers the potential for enhanced revenue impact through more effective marketing strategies.

Domenic Colasante is the CEO of 2X, a B2B-focused MaaS firm.

Posted in: Demanding Views

Tagged with: 2X

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