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HomeMarketingLack of skills and shrinking teams leading to increased outsourcing, marketers say

Lack of skills and shrinking teams leading to increased outsourcing, marketers say

Outsourcing is becoming increasingly common as nearly half of marketers say an element of marketing was outsourced in 2024.

Marketing Week’s exclusive Career & Salary Survey finds 46.2% of marketers agree that an element of marketing had to be outsourced over the last 12 months to an agency, specialist or consultancy.

The number is perhaps not too surprising when you consider the stagnant recruitment market and the general increased workloads and responsibilities that marketers say they have had to take on, as revealed earlier in our analysis of the data.

Just shy of one-third (28.7%) of marketers say the reason areas of marketing had to be outsourced was because team sizes have shrunk. Other factors include a lack of skills in-house (48.7%), no need to employ someone full-time for the task (28.9%) and as a cost-saving exercise (14.4%).

Marketers point to data analysis as biggest skills gap in teams, survey saysAs a way of bridging the skills gap, outsourcing has taken on a key role in relieving the burden for many marketing teams with nearly a quarter (24.5%) of marketers saying their business employed consultancies or freelancers in 2024.

Outsourcing is significantly more prevalent in B2B than it is in B2C. Over half (53%) of marketers working in B2B say they have outsourced an element of the business compared to just two-fifths (40.6%) who say the same in B2C. Those with a mixture of B2B and B2C sit in the middle (43.5%).

As to what is being outsourced by marketing teams, the most common aspect of the role being delegated is digital marketing. More than a quarter of marketers (28.2%) say digital marketing has been outsourced putting it far ahead of content (16.6%), public relations (13.5%) and market research (10.3%). Another 9.5% of marketing teams have outsourced social media.

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Digital marketing is the most popular aspect of marketing to outsource across B2B (29.3%), B2C (28.7%) and businesses with a mixture of B2B and B2C (26.5%). Content and public relations are in second and third, respectively, irrespective of whether you work in B2B, B2C or a mixture of the two.

Marketing Week will be publishing a series of exclusive news and features based on the findings of the 2024 Career & Salary Survey, including the impact of burnout and the evolution of working patterns. Click here to view everything we’ve published so far.

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