Why Outsourcing Your Marketing Functions is A Good Idea
In the corporate world, one of the more important (and possibly more visible) departments of your company is the Marketing Department. The reason for this is simple: your Marketing Department is responsible for “pushing” whatever your company may be selling to the public or to other industry players so that the Sales Department will see sales go up. That’s basically it in a nutshell. However, the truth is that not every company can afford to have its own in-house Marketing Department. The cost alone of setting up your own Marketing Department can be significant and prohibitive. For that reason alone, you may want to outsource marketing functions to an independent organization.
Outsourcing the marketing functions may sound risky especially when you consider that it is this department that is responsible for framing company communications about your company’s product/s or service/s to external audiences. The Marketing Department is responsible for doing research about markets for such product/s or service/s, for creating white papers that will discuss to internal audiences (such as Management and Investors) the market potential and profit potential of the same product/s or service/s, and collating information about these product/s or service/s that could be important for making changes in the same product/s or service/s to improve them and improve marketability. This means that the marketing functions are actually quite sensitive and very important to the company’s survival. Wouldn’t outsourcing the marketing functions compromise privacy of the company?
Of course, that is always a risk when you outsource any function of your company. But that’s what lawyers are for. Before you outsource any function (even Marketing) your lawyers and the lawyers of the potential outsourcing organization have to get together to thresh out details of the legal agreement governing the outsourcing activities. This especially means that your lawyers have to make sure the lawyers of the other organization will agree to keep all aspects of their work for your company private, confidential and secure from the eyes of any third party. It also means that before you outsource any activity that the legal representatives of the other organization will sign the legal agreement protecting your corporate information, assets and resources without any exceptions, in the presence of witnesses. This is common practice nowadays in the corporate world. Basically, the other organization’s representatives are giving you their word that they will work for your company without compromising the survival of your company in any way. That’s what it boils down to.
“Lawyers? But I thought this was going to be easy!” you might protest. Having legal agreements in place are the most important way your organization will stay protected in the corporate world because these legal agreements (if crafted and worded the right way, and signed in the presence of legitimate witnesses) will stand up in court. This simply means that if the outsourcing organization does anything that violates these agreements in any way then you have the legal right to seek compensation in a court of law. That is why it is the lawyers’ job to talk to the lawyers of the outsourcing organization because there are legal procedures and terminologies that they are skilled at executing and interpreting.
“But lawyers cost so much! I can’t afford a lawyer!” you protest again. Now you really have a problem. You should never attempt to outsource anything in business without a competent legal team on your side – consider this a necessary business expense, if you will. If you do outsource anything without legal protection you are running the risk that valuable information about your company, your products or services, and anything related to marketing and the way you do business may be sold as trade secrets to your competitors. This is especially important if your company has really valuable information in any department, not singling out the Marketing Department. If your trade secrets are sold to competitors, that may be the kiss of death for your company. Really.
“Alright so I need a legal team. What else should I bear in mind?” you ask again. Well, if you currently have a Marketing Department and then you outsource the marketing functions, that literally means your marketing staff are now out of work. This could be the most painful part about outsourcing any part of your company. So be charitable and compassionate to these employees by giving them a generous severance package as well as any assistance in finding employment elsewhere. You should also give them glowing letters of recommendation which can be very useful when they apply for work at new employers. That way you can outsource the marketing and start anew with a clean slate and a light conscience.
Written By: Daryl Diemer – Founder of Diemer Corp
August 14, 2014