Outsourcing Savvy

Happily, outsourcing marketing strategy works for everyone.

Last year I got a call from a global conglomerate that rakes in over $20 billion each year. They were launching a new product from within one of their divisions. Savvy as they were, they needed help in new product go-to-market messaging.  In the division of that giant corporation, the native knowledge was unavailable.

Sadly, this doesn’t happen all the time.

Nobody is universally competent. In large companies, even specialists with necessary knowledge are not portable between organization boundaries. Smart marketing executives inventory their talent and outsource as needed to assure everything that needs to be done is done, and is done well. Companies that don’t fail.

Early in my consulting career I was hired to help with the pivot of all pivots, changing an entire post-IPO enterprise from a hardware company into a software vendor. The company was successful at what they did, but their market was dissolving from around them. They had no clear notion of their new market segmentation or core market messages, much less how to stitch it all together. But they didn’t have the internal strategic focus to realign themselves around an entirely new business.

Sadly, few companies can admit their lack of specific expertise.

When SuSE Linux brought me in, their North American marketing strategy wasn’t. They didn’t understand the problems they had internally, but were willing to learn. Between a revamped marketing strategy and a solid PR team, SuSE went from being an also-ran to the undisrupted #2 enterprise Linux distribution. Management understood that they didn’t understand marketing, and were flexible in acquiring expertise for their weak points.

Sadly, few founders are that flexible.

Every company, from the smallest boot-strap start-up to the largest conglomerate has holes in their marketing discipline. Every company needs to fill those holes, but cannot hire full time people for every possible marketing task. Outsourcing to marketing experts is as wise as outsourcing coders – hire the experts you need, when you need them, for only as long as you need them in order to acquire the skill sets you need. It is inexpensive, flexible, and completes your marketing savvy.

Sadly, someone reading this will ignore the advice.


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