Experiencing a marketing resources gap is like playing executive chef in a premier, 5-star restaurant … on a Saturday night … without any cookware …

Even Bobby Flay couldn’t sauté his way out of that disaster. No marketer wants to work in a marketing department that feels like Hell’s Kitchen. But marketing resource gaps throw off some serious heat, and getting burned is a likely outcome for CMOs.

Without the necessary resources in place, consistently reaching your marketing goals is impossible. Resource gaps also create a disconnect between campaigns and performance metrics, which prevents leaders from proving marketing value. Poor ROI insight doesn’t sit well with the C-suite and puts your job at risk.

How do you know you’ve got a marketing resources gap?

  • Your distribution calendar lacks consistency
  • Content quality is subpar
  • You don’t know the value of each lead you acquire
  • Campaigns aren’t engaging audiences
  • It’s common to miss deadlines
  • Your team doesn’t collaborate with sales
  • You don’t analyze the performance of every campaign
  • Analytics rarely influence strategy
  • You have little or no social media presence

But the biggest indicator of a marketing resource gap is time. If you find yourself constantly burning the midnight oil and sacrificing quality at times to meet demands—you’ve got a resource problem.

The fix? Consider bringing in a marketing agency. But before we get to that, what causes a marketing resource gap?

  1. Budget
  2. Lack of Skill
  3. Unawareness

Most people answer “A”—but in large organizations, funding is less problematic. If you answered “B”—don’t be so hard on yourself or your team! Resource gaps aren’t a reflection of your talent or drive. In fact, if you’re surviving under the pressure of a resource gap, consider yourself a warrior among marketers. It’s not for the fainthearted.

The correct answer is “C”—unawareness. In most cases concerning large organizations, marketing leaders are too busy trying to keep all the metaphorical balls in the air to realize that they don’t have the necessary resources to do so effectively.

2 Options for Resolving a Marketing Resource Gap

Option No. 1: Hire In-House Talent

Your initial instinct may be to expand your marketing team or hire freelance support. This isn’t a bad idea, but it’s important that you consider the true cost of recruiting, hiring and training a new employee. You’re looking at a base investment of $45,000 to $50,000 a year for full-time talent (depending on the role). Plus benefits, payroll taxes, internal equipment and space—the list goes on. And if you require specialized talent like an SEO marketer or a digital marketing manager, bump that base up to $60,000 to $73,000. Don’t forget about the time it will take to onboard and train this individual.

All that money for the perspective and expertise of just one person …

In some cases, it makes sense to hire in-house. But if maximizing your investment is a priority, and putting all your eggs in one basket makes you leery, this may not be your best option.

Option No. 2: Partner with a Marketing Agency

When you partner with a marketing agency, it’s like hiring an entire team of professional writers, SEO experts, social media specialists and graphic designers. No matter what resources your team lacks, an agency will fit the mold. Here are nine other benefits:

  1. Diverse Experience: Marketing agencies have a wide breadth of experience in different industries, which means they require minimal onboarding and possess a unique vantage over the global marketplace. Your team gains the perspectives of many instead of the viewpoints of one.
  2. Tools, Technology & Trends: A dedicated agency will have (and provide access to) the latest marketing tools and technology. They know all the top trends and exactly how to use marketing tech to leverage new opportunities.
  3. Support System: Partnering with a marketing agency doesn’t mean replacing your current team. It means bringing in a support system that will empower your team to work smarter instead of harder.
  4. Analytics: The right marketing agency is performance-based. They scrutinize campaign analytics and feed data back into your marketing strategy to improve performance, and they have the resources to do so consistently.
  5. Sales Enablement: A marketing agency also understands the importance of sales’ role in the marketing strategy. They have a system for bringing marketing and sales together to create a powerhouse operation that deeply understands the buyer’s journey from start to finish and beyond. For more information, check out The CMO’s Guide to Sales Enablement & CRM.
  6. Maximum ROI: You’ll get more value out of an entire team of experts than you will a single person. Furthermore, the total annual cost of your partnership may be less than the cost to recruit, hire and train an in-house team.
  7. Accountability: With internal talent, there’s always a risk of complacency. Agencies don’t have the luxury of “job security” with your organization. Delivering results is their meal card, and they must be able to sustain performance if they want to keep you as their client.
  8. Competitive Edge: Ad agencies are highly competitive with one another, and your organization benefits from all that contention. Their driving motivation is to deliver brag-worthy results.
  9. Thriving Talent: A corporate environment can stifle creativity, and it takes great effort from upper management to keep teams inspired. The very essence of an agency is conducive to innovative thinking, and will help keep your internal team thinking “outside the box.”

The Takeaway

Marketing agencies are like the Navy Seals of the digital realm. They are quick-witted, tactical and extremely good at executing strategic plans. They have a keen eye for marketing metrics and understand how every ingredient must work together to serve customers with the best possible brand and buyer experience.

They also know the telltale signs of a poor marketing operation. This makes them uniquely qualified to identify and fix issues in your processes. In short, they make a great support system for your marketing department and deliver the greatest ROI.