Study Shows Marketing Budgets & Vendors on the Rise

Study uncovers how the distribution of full-time human resources within marketing departments provides insights on where marketing budgets are being spent.

Marketing resources are scattered across more channels than ever before. New digital marketing channels like content marketing, SEO and social media seem to emerge every year, while older channels like direct mail, telemarketing and print are still hanging around.

According to a 2013 Inbound Marketing Survey, 48% of firms will be increasing marketing budgets for 2013. With marketing budgets increasing, teams are adding more resources to address the need of additional marketing talent. But where is this growth really happening?

The same survey asked respondents how each company dedicates resources to various marketing channels, including traditional channels like direct mail, telemarketing and TV/Radio/Print. Specifically – which marketing channels have a full time human resource?

Study Shows Marketing Budgets & Vendors on the Rise image full time marketing resourcesStudy Shows Marketing Budgets & Vendors on the Rise

Even though Social Media was the most common channel that required a full time human resource, only 16% of companies in the survey had a full-time social media employee! On average, only 8.2% of organizations dedicate a full time human resource to a specific marketing channel.

Therefore, organizations that are putting serious efforts towards these marketing channels are relying on vendors to fill the role. Why is this happening?

Lean Marketing Teams Focus on Strategy

Modern marketing teams are more of a collection of lieutenants rather than a phalanx of soldiers. Strategizing, measuring, analyzing and planning across the multitude of marketing channels is where savvy marketing leaders choose to spend their human resources. The strategic focus to manage such a diverse set of marketing channels is so great. Therefore, most of the on-the-ground heavy labor is left to vendors.

Expert Vendors Live & Breathe Their Craft

Niche-focused marketing service vendors that are experts in their respective fields are essential components of a lean marketing team. These vendors live and breathe their industry craft on a daily basis, which maintains a bleeding-edge strategy that in-house marketers simply cannot match. Additionally, a vendor with a large client and employee base brings an equivalent of decades of knowledge and insights across a diverse set of industries.

The Most Laborious Tasks are Outsourced First

Each marketing channel has a strategic component and a more arduous component. There are countless marketing SAAS products that can make the strategic component largely manageable by marketing lieutenants. However, more onerous tasks like regular content creation are much more likely to be outsourced to an expert vendor.

Marketing Lieutenants are Expert Buyers

All members of lean marketing teams are constantly discovering and evaluating new marketing channels, SAAS products and vendors. Therefore, lean marketing team members from the top to the bottom must become expert buyers. Don’t wait until the proposal stage to ask for case studies or talk about your must-have KPIs. These conversations should take place in the first discussion or email. “Can you show me a case study” should be the opening mantra when analyzing a potential vendor or product.

As marketing teams increase the variety of channels and total budget, expert vendors relationships will turn into true partnerships and continue to grow as a part of the overall marketing strategy. Be sure that your team has the right lieutenants and vendor partnerships to maximize the return from your marketing budgets.

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