Marketing Process Outsourcing: Case Studies & Business Models

Both small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as large, global corporations have witnessed the benefits of marketing process outsourcing (MPO). By entrusting specialized tasks to experts in the field, businesses can streamline operations, drive innovation, and achieve cost savings. Marketing process outsourcing offers a range of advantages, from accessing cutting-edge technology and expertise to enhancing efficiency and scalability. In this article, we will explore MPO case studies and help you determine whether MPO could work for your business.

Will Marketing Process Outsourcing (MPO) Work for your Business?

There are three ways to promote your brand, product or service: do it yourself, build an in-house marketing department, or hire outside experts to perform the work. Outsourcing, no matter how attractive, is always an option, not a requirement. The “best” method depends on the situation and your business goals, budget, and an honest assessment of your needs. Due to limited resources, small business owners and entrepreneurs often learn to do marketing and promotion themselves (at least initially) or hire a freelancer on a temporary basis to do the work.

Larger businesses and more established organizations can afford to build an in-house team from scratch, but the right way to do marketing still depends on the circumstances. Most businesses never outsource all marketing functions; instead, they tend to outsource non-core functions and hold on to core marketing activities. They also adopt a combination approach of in-house marketing, outsourced marketing and DIY.

Sometimes, it makes perfect sense for managers to just take on a fairly routine marketing activity because they have time on their hands or they feel that only they can execute their unique vision. But even if you’re running a one-man team and digital marketing is right up your alley, hiring a marketing professional or working with a service provider could be a better business decision. 

A lot of factors should go into the decision of who should be in charge of your marketing activities. The type of business, the industry, your financial situation and current market conditions are just some of the things to consider. Whichever method you choose, it should be rationalized and backed by cost/benefit analysis. The ultimate goal is to achieve long-term value and quality improvement, whether you outsource, perform everything in-house or embrace a combination approach.

Business Model

Your business model is one of the most important factors that impact the decision to outsource or not to outsource marketing. If marketing is a core activity and marketing strategy drives your business model, building an in-house marketing department to perform these functions is a reasonable option. For example, an established retailer moving very high volumes of products each year is more likely to benefit from having a team of dedicated internal marketing professionals that cover all marketing channels (print, TV/Radio, online). On the other hand, small online retailers, whose business depends largely on digital marketing, should educate themselves about search engine marketing and social media marketing, even if they eventually plan to outsource these functions to an ad agency or third party firm. 

The key to success lies in focusing on what you do best, whether it’s creating innovative products or engaging customers.  By keeping mission-critical business activities in-house and outsourcing marketing tasks to specialized professionals who can deliver superior results at a more affordable cost, you can optimize your business operations. As an entrepreneur, your time is a valuable asset, and it should be dedicated to activities that drive innovation and enhance your competitive edge. Allocating excessive time to tasks like SEO or customer analytics, instead of focusing on product development and strategic growth, can lead to an inefficient use of your skills and resources.

Availability of Talent

For many first-time business owners with limited budgets but abundant time, the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach becomes the best option. Numerous successful entrepreneurs have demonstrated that building their own websites, cold-calling prospects, and becoming part-time bloggers/vloggers to raise brand awareness is achievable. As the sole employee of your business, it follows that you should equip yourself with marketing skills and develop a promotional strategy. Fortunately, there are plenty of valuable and free online tutorials covering digital and traditional marketing, ranging from managing multiple social media accounts to building mailing lists and creating marketing collaterals. You can even find instructional videos that guide you through understanding customer behavior and harnessing the power of data analytics.

If you have a team of individuals working alongside you and a budget to hire marketing professionals, the first step is to assess your current marketing situation. Is there already someone handling marketing tasks proficiently, or are they overwhelmed with excessive work? Hiring an additional individual for the job should be considered if it would improve the quality of your marketing efforts. However, keep in mind that even with more people on board, you will still need to dedicate time to management and oversight.

For those unable to find suitable marketing talent locally, outsourcing the job to a service provider can be an ideal solution. Many service providers operate at a national or even international level, allowing them to tap into extensive networks to source marketing talent and bring them to you. If you opt to hire an offshore service provider, it is crucial not to be solely swayed by cost. Consider factors such as time differences, connectivity, language proficiency, and cultural compatibility. Outsourcing undoubtedly presents its own set of challenges, and to ensure the success of the project, you must be prepared to tackle these challenges head-on and adapt to changes along the way.

Outsourced Marketing in Action

Crafting an effective marketing strategy is a dynamic and iterative process. It begins by exploring various concepts, subjecting them to rigorous testing and ongoing monitoring. Eventually, the most promising concept is selected for implementation. Whether you opt to establish an in-house marketing team or entrust your marketing efforts to a third-party provider, it is crucial to remember that a successful campaign is not haphazardly constructed or based on guesswork. To elevate the caliber of your marketing endeavors and ensure long-term value, meticulous planning, precise execution, and vigilant monitoring are indispensable elements.

Case Studies

 Case Study #1

A Global financial services provider that operates in over 50 countries recognized  the importance of social media in their communication strategy, they decided to outsource social media monitoring services to a prominent service provider. While they had existing systems to monitor traditional marketing channels like newspapers and print media, they lacked the expertise in effectively navigating social media platforms. By partnering with a third-party provider, they were able to access a comprehensive outsourced solution that not only reduced complexity but also minimized costs. The service provider developed and managed a robust social media monitoring strategy and seamlessly integrated the new system into the organization.

Case Study #2

Procter & Gamble (P&G), another established company with a global presence, outsourced consumer research and analytics to a third party provider. P&G chose to outsource their consumer research and analytics to a third-party provider with the goal of enhancing their virtual solutions program while achieving cost savings. The service provider used virtual reality centers worldwide to create, test, and optimize virtual product packaging, shelving layouts, and store designs for P&G. This innovative approach enabled P&G to complete their product design activities in a matter of days rather than months, resulting in significant time and cost savings compared to traditional physical store designs.

Case Study #3

In the pursuit of delivering value and improving quality, an offshore marketing service provider prioritized a combination approach. They employed local marketing professionals to handle online marketing, content development, and campaign management in-house for their clients. Additionally, they sourced experts for specialized tasks such as research and data analytics. This well-rounded strategy, coupled with an insight-based approach, allowed the company to consistently provide high-quality marketing services, ensuring client satisfaction.

Case Study #4

British mass media firm Guardian News & Media (GNM) is another example of a company that understood the benefits of MPO. GNM outsourced advertising, sales support design, presentation, and events marketing to a design agency. Additionally, they delegated the production of commercially-funded supplements, ads, and microsites to a trusted service provider. However, GNM retained control over certain functions such as the production of promotional materials like the Guides booklets, as well as editorial oversight of all commercial publications. According to a representative from GNM, collaborating with an external expert has resulted in more flexibility and responsiveness in their marketing and design services.

These real-world examples demonstrate the diverse ways in which MPO has been successfully leveraged by various organizations. By strategically outsourcing specific marketing functions, businesses can tap into specialized expertise, drive innovation, achieve cost savings, and ultimately enhance their overall marketing effectiveness.

To learn more about outsourcing, you can read our Top 8 Qualities of an Outsourcing Company in the Philippines article. We invite you to follow us on social media and to visit our website to learn more about our services.

About Us: Sourcefit is a widely recognized US-managed business process outsourcing company based in Manila, Philippines. We proudly serve over 100 clients with a workforce of more than 1,300 employees. Our global centers can serve multiple markets, and our staff is highly proficient in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Whether you need a few or many employees, we can help you achieve your business goals and build high-quality offshore teams.

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Sourcefit’s commitment to excellence has been recognized through numerous industry awards and certifications.

We recently received the Fortress Cyber Security Award from the Business Intelligence Group. Sourcefit was also honored with the prestigious recognition of Best Outsourcing Solutions Provider in the Philippines during the 2023 Business Excellence Awards.

Other awards include: FT ranking of 500 high-growth Asia-Pacific, The Marketing Excellence Awards, Inquirer Growth Champion,  HR Asia Awards, among others.

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