Can Marketing Be Outsourced?

It takes a few seconds to wrap your head around this graphic, because the amounts of the two axes diminish  as you travel out the arrows, instead of climbing like normal.  My argument is that the further up and to the right a function is, the better suited it is for outsourcing.  E.g. almost no-one has janitorial or groundskeeping staff on payroll – they hire maintenance companies.  And almost all simple manufacturing these days happens in Asia. 

I made it originally to illustrate why it’s often OK to outsource the sales function of a company, especially since sales has become less about blunt force persuasion and more about systematically working leads and prospects through a “funnel.” 

But I’m showing it here for a different reason.  In this chart, I show Marketing as one of the most complex activities a company engages in, and one of the things that differentiates it the most.  That’s because good marketing actually helps define a company, as well as vice versa.

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One Response to “Can Marketing Be Outsourced?”

  1. netdud Says:

    Ha. I can already hear the footsteps of the geeks on their way down the hall to shoot you with their Nerf guns! Best of luck if you ever need to retrieve your password! 8->

    I agree with MOST of this. I would probably put internal IT in a mirror position to what you did with finance–the left edge of it would splash over into “Critical” and the vast bulk of it would be generic. There are some things that need to be kept close. They are not many, but the risk cost makes them critical.

    I’d put Marketing on its own, with no overlap, just to isolate its bar tab from the budgets of the other groups. This will stabilise the company finances and ensure that EVERYONE comes to talk to Marketing on a regular basis.

    I’m also assuming that the decisions and management of all of these elements are down and to the left, and the actual implementation is what you’re blobulising ™ in this graphic. Actually, I’m only mentioning that in case anyone else ISN’T assuming it.

    You could make this more accurate by using a different shape for the blobs. Have them START in the purple, and then have appropriate amounts each shape flow into the other areas. This has the added bonus of allowing you to use Swooshes for your shapes, which would make the graph both Web 1.0 and 2.0 compatible.

    I so rarely get called to consult on corporate structure. I am sure this comment will help with that.


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