Since when do companies outsource leadership?

For years now, businesses have been successfully outsourcing the roles of Chief Financial Officers and Chief Technology Officers. Virtual CFO anyone? 

Senior marketing leadership roles can be outsourced too. In fact, according to Forbes, the outsourcing of senior marketing leaders is becoming a successful staffing solution worldwide.

“Probably the most important trait [of a Virtual Marketing Leader] is to translate the CEO's vision into an insightful, measurable, and actionable marketing plans” - Forbes Magazine

We have created The Virtual Marketing Manager, the VMM. Translating a CEO’s vision into insightful, measurable and actionable marketing plans, is the exact ability of our VMM’s.

On the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution driven by evolutionary technology, automation is threatening to take and replace many jobs. Yet the role of a VMM will not be threatened. Whilst automation is now integral to many business functions (our VMM’s take care of this), it will never outperform creativity, strategic thinking, leadership and the value of teamwork. 

These functions can, however, be successfully and cost-effectively outsourced. You can read about some of our client successes in our case studies here

So, what are the pitfalls of traditional marketing outsourcing? 

Traditionally, the process of outsourcing in marketing has seen a standard agency approach, in which all marketing functions are in the agencies control. However, this approach is outdated. Here's why: 

  • The skills and processes for day to day marketing functions remain with the agency and not within the business
  • No development or enhancement of the internal teams marketing capabilities 
  • Risk of limited innovation, strategy and drive - resulting in the same thing, on repeat, each month. I.e. Rinse and Repeat marketing strategies.
  • Eventually bringing marketing functions in-house can be very difficult

In our most recent blog, we introduced the role of a Virtual Marketing Manager (VMM) and how the outsourcing of a VMM is the way of the future.

Next generation marketing - Your VMM

So what's the secret to successful leadership outsourcing? 

This really is the make or break factor, to success or failure of outsourced leadership.

“The key to successfully outsourcing marketing leadership roles, is the partnership and collaboration between the VMM and the businesses internal marketing resource. “ - Alexandra King, Co-founder & Director, ask Marketing

Don't have an internal marketing resource? No problem.

A VMM of today, is an in-house Senior Marketing Manager of yesterday. They have the knowledge, experience and skills to spot a brilliant junior marketer a mile away.

A VMM will work with your stakeholders to outline a role for an internal resource, managing scope, responsibility, recruitment and ongoing training, enabling your internal resource with the skills necessary to execute a successful marketing strategy.

If your business already has an internal resource, but they need an experienced senior marketing expert to provide them with direction, a VMM can seamlessly integrate into your business.

You can click here to discover how we recently provided the recruitment and training of a new internal marketing assistant, as part of a bigger project.

A VMM can spot a brilliant marketer a mile away

So, how does a VMM train and work with an internal marketing resource? 

Depending on the skillset and experience of the successful candidate, our team will provide the training and support to fill any skill gaps. Training is an integral part of all of our VMM packages and can be scaled up or down depending on the requirements. 

Once your internal resource has finished training, they will have the skills to successfully implement the strategy created by the VMM. 

The teamwork between the VMM and your internal resource will be ongoing, with day-to-day communication a vital component of the partnership.

The VMM will provide constant communication and support for all agreed strategies, from content creation to budgetary requirements. 


What if we want to bring marketing in-house down the track?

This is one of the biggest benefits of a VMM and outsourced leadership. Often a traditional agency approach would be to do all the tasks from big to small, leaving your business in the dark about how to execute these processes. This creates a dependent relationship, and means when you do want to bring things in-house, it proves very difficult!

One of the key benefits of a VMM combined with your internal resource, is that the VMM, with senior marketing knowledge and experience, has trained and enabled your internal resource to execute your marketing needs ongoing.

All systems and processes will be set up and ready for you to continue independently, so you can hit the ground running when you want to bring everything in-house.

As mentioned above, the pitfalls of traditional outsourcing such as ‘rinse and repeat marketing strategies’ and the dependency upon an agency, are all avoided with the use of a VMM.

Hear from one of the internal marketing resources we recruited, trained and supported:

“Working alongside the ask Marketing team has been a great learning experience. Their recruitment process was seamless and their training and support continues to be invaluable. It has allowed me to feel confident and capable to excel in this role. Their organisational skills, effective communication and their trust in my ability has been exciting and challenging, allowing me to grow significantly in new areas within the digital marketing landscape.” - Indira Pandey, Digital Marketing Executive, Multi-Brand Internal Resource.

Whether you need help with hiring, training and supporting an in-house marketing resource, or an end-to-end plan to market your business. We are here to help. You can view our approach here, or you can go one step further and, start the conversation. 

Learn more about next-generation marketing, current trends, insights and practical tips for your business. Follow us on LinkedIn today.

Alexandra King

Ali has a proven track record of aligning with commercial business objectives and translating research into key insights that result in exceptional marketing strategies, online user experiences and positive financial results.