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How Innovative Brands are Outsourcing Email Marketing Operations and Why Are They Doing It?

You may have heard of or participated in numerous debates and discussions about the importance and effectiveness of outsourcing, including whether you should hire an agency or a consultancy team. While the discussions will continue, one of the failsafe approaches is to become inspired by and learn from big brands on why and how they are outsourcing their email marketing operations. 

As a marketer or a business owner, you need to analyze which part of the marketing operations is best to handle with your in-house team and which parts to outsource with an agency. While business owners aim to achieve cost-effectiveness, agencies present multiple expert-level capabilities in various areas of email marketing operations, including reports and analytics, that contribute to increased efficiency of their solutions for an affordable price.

Top reasons that lead to the increase of outsourced marketing

Specialized services lead to success in marketing operations. 

Commonly, business owners or CMO’s demand their team of marketers to take up functions that are outside of their key responsibilities, instead of spending marketing budget on hiring suitable marketing experts or outsourcing the functions to an agency or a consultancy partner. There are various functions in and around email marketing operations, such as event marketing, referral marketing, and public relations — those functions may even have sub-functions. 

If those functions have become demanding, and your goal is to achieve revenue generation from them, then it is best to hire specialists. Opposed to overloading your staff, who also may not have the expertise to perform these tasks effectively.

Outsourcing to achieve flexibility

Getting the job done through contractors or specialists from outsourced agencies instead of hiring additional full-time marketing specialists can always bring more flexibility. It is always easier to switch agencies or contractors if they are not performing well or if the priorities of your organization change. In addition to flexibility, businesses are also benefited by cost-effectiveness. Making the switch from one contractor or agency versus multiple in-house full-time professionals is much less expensive, as hiring and grooming professionals for operations costs more money and time than just switching outsourced specialists.

As businesses struggle to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, companies are more often outsourcing their marketing operations instead of spending their tight budget on recruiting and training new staff, since that may not guarantee desired results.

In the post-pandemic era, businesses need to focus on creating brand awareness and engaging customer experiences to improve sales prospects and revenue generation. While business owners are looking for specialists, the current economic environment may not aid them in hiring new resources to expand in-house teams. This is especially so when their budget has become restrictive, and marketing goals are steep for success in competitive markets. 

Changing or receding marketing budgets

The most recent annual CMO Spend Survey by Gartner stated that CMO’s are prioritizing on managing marketing budgets and limiting the costs of marketing technology, paid media, and in-house resources. Their focus on MarTech tools has increased their requirements for experts from the fields of MarTech, and various channels of marketing. This indicates the growing demand for Martech and omnichannel marketing professionals who can improve results in email marketing, as well as social media, paid marketing, mobile marketing, and other digital marketing channels.

However, hiring marketing specialists, especially post-pandemic, costs CMO’s more than ever. More affordably, businesses can outsource the strategist, or even senior-level specialists on a project by project basis.

Delivering to expand the range of marketing responsibilities

The marketing team is expanding with various roles and responsibilities such as MarTech experts, social media managers, video bloggers, data scientists, customer listening specialists, content marketing specialists, and many others. Similar to the marketing process, other related departments including the sales process also witnessed an expansion of responsibilities such as sales operations, sales enablement, inside sales, and others. 

One of the most effective solutions to fill these expanding new roles with the specific skill sets and responsibilities of marketing and sales departments is to outsource to agencies that have specialists in these areas. That way, you can instantly start your projects without spending time in training for those roles and responsibilities. 

Below we have shown four major brands that outsource their email marketing operations and how they are doing it.

Comcast Spotlight, a division of Comcast Cable

Comcast Spotlight was planning to tap the potential of marketing automation, and they had chosen to adopt Marketo Engage as their automation platform. The only challenge they faced was implementing the new marketing suite. It was not an easy nut to crack, given the many moving pieces and tasks of a large organization, as well as the hundreds of marketing employees and no marketing automation expert.

Though the large marketing team had a varying range of skills in email marketing, email design, email testing, and email analytics, they could not fully utilize the potential of Marketo Engage. Hence, Comcast Spotlight consulted Marketo Engage Professional Services to implement and manage a sophisticated automation integration with their existing CRM platform, and also to seek assistance in Marketo Engage strategies and training.


By outsourcing, their marketing team had the specialities to:

  • Identify skills and process gaps throughout the decentralized team members.
  • Strategize training plans to reduce skill gaps.
  • Plan corporate communication strategies within regional offices and the corporate office.
  • Build templates for best practice programs intended for regional team marketers.


Within less than a year, Comcast Spotlight had built a well-oiled, centralized Marketo Engage automation system with a team of hundreds of US-based marketers. With the strategic training program, they also managed to make sure that their marketers were trained to work with Marketo Engage. By adopting this centralized automation system, the brand has managed to reduce the cost of Marketo Engage implementation and cut down on the use of other email vendors. The company also benefits from a centralized and robust reporting tool that can be accessed to understand what marketing strategies are performing well, and what are not, throughout the company.


DaVita is a Fortune 500 company that offers a wide range of health care services across the U.S. and other countries. Its marketing and sales processes require efficient management of data on different types of patients and physicians to deliver specific information relevant to unique needs. Though its Kidney Care division has adopted the Marketo Engage system for years, the organization as a whole lacked integration within its CRM and marketing automation system. Additionally, sales professionals were still relying on age-old platforms.


DaVita sought out strategic marketing automation assistance to create structured marketing automation processes to manage its vast database of patient and physician data, delivery of personalized marketing for its patients, optimizing events, and lead nurturing strategies that would create, schedule, and deliver targeted prospecting emails. By outsourcing these processes and process transformations, DaVita managed to effectively collect, organize, and process real-time and lead data that had been stored for years on patients and physicians from its events.


As a result of outsourcing their email automation and data management processes, DaVita modernized its sales processes and implemented the Marketo Engage system throughout its business consisting of 10,000-employees. By consolidating marketing systems, lead data, and best practices, the company attained better visibility of processes and data, and delivered better customer communications to its physicians and patients. DaVita succeeded in collating data from diverse sources, including personal Excel files and handwritten Rolodexes, to bring access to all useful data across its thousands of team members throughout different departments, by using a centralized, secure system like Marketo Engage. 


Most of you know that Lenovo is a fortune 500 company and is the world’s largest PC vendor, delivering innovative computers and mobile internet devices drawing more than $45 billion in revenue per year. However, what we may not know is that Lenovo EMEA unit delivers demand generation campaigns targeting various countries to achieve better effectiveness and production efficiency. In order to accelerate the campaign performance, Lenovo outsourced its Marketo automation operation to an agency that provides campaign managed services and also that can help Lenovo measure the contribution of marketing efforts and boost the sales pipeline. Lenovo wanted understanding on how strategic adoption of Marketo can drive their demand generation campaigns, improve their overall marketing campaigns and attain a center of excellence by utmost optimization of the automation technology.


By outsourcing the Marketo operation to a specialist outside its in-house team, Lenovo managed to enhance the efficacy of its marketing campaigns conducted on a global scale starting from planning and strategies, to execution and managing performance. Lenovo EMEA team became empowered with the best practices and strategic execution of campaigns to heighten the revenues from their investment in Marketo Engage, and consistent benefits of aligning with an outsourced team of specialists. 


Equipped with a strategic marketing campaign roadmap and high-impacting lead scoring model to analyze each task, asset, program and campaign at every level, Lenovo started getting better performance from its campaigns and effectiveness on every level of process, from strategies to post-launch analysis. Additionally, it also achieved a drastic improvement in their email delivery up to 98%.


The major challenge that McAfee had to overcome was integrating their webinar series with a marketing automation platform to automate their webinar series, and optimize their webinar content targeting their large volume of customers.


By outsourcing its marketing campaign process, McAfee substituted its manual process with a marketing automation platform that enabled them to create a more personalized customer experience for the right segments of their customers with relevant content that can address customers’ needs and preferences, based on their position in the buying cycle. Outsourcing marketing operations also helped McAfee manage and analyze data on webinar attendance, participant feedback, webinar content, speaker’s efficiency in addressing issues, event presentation, and handling live questions from a single marketing system.All this webinar data can now be used to improve product development and customer experience. 


Implementation of the new marketing automated platform enabled McAfee to target new leads, and customers in various cross-selling opportunities. The company started sending personalized messages to different segments of customers, as well as its technology partners. It has also improved lead nurturing programs and sales processes with a better lead scoring system which has generated more sales-qualified leads for their sales team, and has improved its sales process and conversion. All in all, outsourcing increased McAfee’s sales-qualified leads by 106 percent, and improved their marketing performance by up to 91 percent.

So, are you considering outsourcing your marketing automation process? Evaluate the agency or contractors by these following parameters to know if it will benefit your business:

If your team lacks the required expertise

Most marketers reportedly lack certain digital marketing skills such as efficiency in specific marketing systems, omnichannel marketing processes, data and reporting, and the like. If your team members need developing expertise in diverse areas of digital marketing and technologies, it is best to make use of specialists outside your team on a project-to-project basis to control costs and ensure quality in delivery.  

If your business does not use certain marketing technologies

Many organizations are still known to lack marketing technologies, or are bloated with too many and lesser-used technologies. They need to modernize, reduce, and streamline their marketing operations and better manage their data from diverse sources. If you are facing these same challenges and issues, avoid expensive investments and more headaches in your MarTech stack by outsourcing marketing functions required for your marketing goals, and the experienced specialists who can make the most use of those marketing tools and improve results.

If you want to elevate the standard of quality of your marketing operations 

By outsourcing your marketing operations, you can implement the latest standard of best marketing practices and use their resources for improved operational models, workflows, and more customer acquisition and business partnerships. Building your in-house marketing team to achieve this goal on your own can be time-consuming and expensive. Marketing service providers can assist you by employing their specialists to deploy their skills and yield results sooner, and even immediately.

If you want to manage and reduce variable expenses

While you may not avoid or reduce your certain fixed expenses such as human resources, marketing systems, rent and facilities, you can reduce and control variable expenses from one project to another, and also achieve greater flexibilities. There are certain hidden costs in maintaining marketing operations, including costs incurred from delays in delivery by training and changing instruction. Even if an outsourcing solution seems expensive, they can help you avoid delays caused by the risk of skill gaps and changes in business processes.

Final Tip 

If you want to focus on analytics and data over core marketing processes, then it is best if you outsource your marketing operations to an agency which can provide you with various marketing experts such as email marketers, designers, content marketers, social media marketers, paid marketing experts, and any other specialists you may need to carry out your operations while you remain focused on insights, and planning data-driven marketing strategies.