Marketing needs have significantly changed since the turbulence in 2020.
Limited budgets, deficiencies in current operating models, outdated technology stacks, as well as lack of skills and expertise are barriers to successfully adapting to the new normal. To top it off, a lot of marketers think that leveraging advanced technologies is the only way to transform, which is inaccurate. So, they feel stumped when they can’t afford to do so.
To gain innovative and data-driven marketing capabilities, you don’t necessarily have to buy a new technology stack. You can access them in the form of a managed service instead – this is where Marketing-as-a-Service (MaaS) comes in.
Continue reading to learn more about MaaS, how it stands apart from other operating models, and why it’s essential to your 2021-and-beyond marketing strategy.
A Quick Guide to Marketing-as-a-Service
What Is MaaS?
As mentioned earlier, MaaS is a type of managed service. Based on an EY survey, 84% of organizations are turning to managed services to address the shortcomings of their current operating model. Judging from this trend, MaaS will only be more prominent in the B2B marketing landscape in the coming years.
But before jumping ahead, let’s define MaaS.
What is MaaS?
MaaS or Marketing-as-a-Service is an agile, tailored solution that supports your marketing functions by delivering on-demand, value-based marketing services from strategy development to execution.
The concept is simple, MaaS providers meet you where you’re falling short. If you lack marketing assets, then they’ll help you create collateral. If you struggle with lead conversion, they’ll optimize your campaigns. If you don’t have an effective campaign, they’ll help you build and scale one.
Bottom line: They deliver services tailored to your marketing needs and market requirements.
MaaS providers are usually made up of a team of expert marketers ranging from content creators to developers who can execute marketing strategies for you. In fact, with the right partner, they can help you assess your needs and your market performance to develop a marketing plan that is aligned with your business goals.
A unique, modern-day solution, MaaS also stands out because it:
- Delivers high-impact marketing at a lower cost
- Focuses on data-driven strategies and decision-making
- Leverages new marketing technologies
- Adheres to the latest market requirements
- Adapts industry’s best marketing practices
- Is a long-term solution that can drive continuous growth
How MaaS Stands Apart from Other Operating Models
Now that you’re familiar with MaaS, it’s good to have an understanding of how it’s different from other marketing operating models like in-house teams, freelancers, and marketing agencies. Here’s a simple comparison table that can paint a clearer picture:
There’s an edge to the MaaS delivery model that can enable you to truly transform your current marketing function. This is not to dismiss the capabilities of other operating models. The reality is that you need to be able to do more with less, and MaaS can get you there.
|Marketing-as-a-Service||In-House Marketing Team||Freelancers||Marketing Agency|
|Cost||Low and manageable as you only pay for the services that you need.||High as it involves paying for salaries and benefits, technology maintenance, and training.||Manageable and economical. Depends on the size of the project since the rate is hourly.||High as the fee is per marketing function (e.g., social media campaign, website development, marketing automation)|
|Skill set range||Wide-ranging skill sets as the team is made up of industry experts from different marketing functions.||Limited by your budget and ability to hire the right expertise.|
Very limited as each freelancer has a different range of capabilities. Their knowledge of the business may also be limited which impacts value in delivery.
|Limited to the marketing service that they offer. If an agency only specializes in social media campaigns, then their skills would only be within that particular scope.|
|Marketing strategy execution speed||Quick, as they tend to offer on-demand services. The expertise is readily available as well.||Can be slow, depending on resource availability.||Slow since freelancers have very limited capabilities. It’s difficult to scale for growth with freelancers.||They can execute strategies pretty fast since they’ve built their expertise around a particular marketing function.|
|Access to marketing technology||Immediate access. A good MaaS partner will bring a proven tech stack to the relationship, accelerating your digital transformation.||Limited access, depending on resource availability.||Limited access, as they are working independently and rely on the organization’s technology access (if any).||Immediate access.|
|Adaptability to market needs||Good adaptability, attuned with trends, and agile as a team.||Low adaptability, as it can be difficult to reallocate or retrain fixed resources.||Adaptability depends on the depth of their knowledge and familiarity with business practices.||Limited, since retainers are based on a fixed scope of work. Contracts can make it difficult to shift resources quickly.|
Why You Should Leverage MaaS
If you’re struggling to deliver results with your current marketing approach, then it’s time to look into what MaaS has to offer. Still wondering if this solution is right for you? Here are four reasons why MaaS is your gateway to success:
#1: You Can Spend on Strategic Initiatives that Actually Deliver Growth
When you’re already operating on a tight budget and limited resources (skills, time, technology), the investments you make have to be accurate – they have to deliver results, too!
In 2018, only 37.5% of SMBs considered their marketing efforts successful, with 45.9% considering their efforts ineffective. The problem here may stem from the fact that some marketers focus on execution more than strategy, which can lead to quick wins but unsustainable end goals.
Not having the strategic capabilities on the team doesn’t improve the situation either. You need a game plan – a solid one! To succeed in the 21st-century B2B marketing landscape, you can’t gamble with your chances. You need to base your strategies on data and experts’ insights.
MaaS helps with both – they can either take up the execution work or bring world-class strategies to the table (or do both) – freeing up internal teams to work on more manageable projects. You also spend only on the capabilities and initiatives that you require, and you receive quality, continuous results that have growth prospects.
#2: You Can Scale Your Marketing Needs and Drive Continuous Growth
The B2B landscape is highly competitive. You’re expected to deliver stellar marketing results while maintaining a minimal operation cost, which can be difficult.
MaaS gives you the power to scale your marketing for less cost than in-house resources – leaving you budget to support additional marketing initiatives or projects.
Need to launch a new product or scale a campaign? With the on-demand services offered by MaaS, you’re able to shift resources quickly and painlessly. You can also draw meaningful insights from your campaign data to find new market opportunities and fuel greater innovative efforts.
However, a key point to remember here is that MaaS isn’t a short-term solution. If you’re looking for quick wins or marketing services for a one-off project, then MaaS isn’t for you. It’s a partnership built on the common goals of achieving continuous growth and building a business that is more flexible, agile, and data-driven – which is only possible when your marketing efforts are consistent.
#3: You Can Adapt to Changing Business Needs in Real Time
While it’s important to stay on top of marketing trends, it can be difficult to adapt to changing business needs in real time. Can you imagine the cost, time, and energy it will take to even develop a new strategy?
It’s even more troubling if you have limited in-house capabilities or fixed resource commitments. For one, it’s difficult to scale a digital marketing program if you only have one digital marketer and your headcount is committed to other areas.
On top of that, marketing technology and practices are evolving quickly. In-house teams can struggle to keep up with these changes, leaving the organization with a skills gap.
This is when working with a MaaS provider is the most rewarding. You don’t have to start from scratch to develop new strategies or fear that you will fall behind because your partner will always be attuned with the latest trends – it’s part of their best practices and business model. Not to mention they also have all the capabilities on board to work on your marketing projects.
Once they have access to the latest tools and infrastructure, it’s only a matter of time before your marketing function is ahead of the curve.
#4: Your Marketing Team Can Direct Focus to Help the Company Grow in New Ways
What’s rewarding about leveraging MaaS is the fact that your team will have the capacity to take up higher value work like maintaining brand consistency across all products and offerings.
If previously, the team was overburdened with executing marketing campaigns, now they can channel their energy towards developing strategic initiatives. This way, you get to improve the workflow within your marketing function and allow team members to actually focus on their core responsibilities.
Additionally, greater focus can be directed towards aligning marketing goals with sales and customer service. For instance, now you have more capacity to address customer requests, concerns, or questions. Not only that, but you can also experiment with personal messaging to maintain relationships with existing customers or develop new approaches to manage customer demands.
Taking the Next Step
If you’re struggling to produce marketing assets, having trouble onboarding new customers, or finding little success in maintaining your campaigns, then it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate your strategies.
Brighttail is an established MaaS agency that provides agile and cost-effective solutions to help your business flourish. Through our top marketing strategies, our clients have found success in lead generation and customer conversions. Get in touch with us and find out how our MaaS expertise will set you apart from the rest.