Right Talent + Right Position = Best Utilization
One, if not the first, piece of advice when starting an investment portfolio is to diversify. It's a way to help reduce the volatility of your portfolio over time, and essentially balance the risk and reward for your investments. A simple concept that puts the investor in a good position. However, many marketers aren't taking the same approach with their staffing and resourcing models causing them to deplete their budgets too fast, put their current employees at risk and simply not get as much done in their organization. Let me explain.
First, let's establish the staffing and resource buckets for most organizations, along with a quick description to give you context:
- In-House Staff - Steeped in your business and establishes your marketing objectives
- Full-Service Agencies - Drives brand strategy and has specific specialties for a premium
- Contractors - On-site arms and legs to kick projects and assignments out at an hourly rate
- Outsourced Production - Produces templates, versions and renderings at affordable rates
- Freelancers - Self-employed specialists who act as short-term, supplemental employees
- Consultants - Senior strategists who provide high-level counsel within specific skills
As you can see, these buckets accomplish their own individual responsibility without a ton of overlap in capability. The trick is using most (or all) of these areas to ensure you're benefitting from the right talent for the right job and investing your time and budgets in the right utilization mix. Managing these areas can also be a tremendous challenge. However, if you're using the right utilization percentage for your organization, the time you spend managing will be in the priority areas you want, and you'll spend less time spinning your wheels.
Using the same diversified strategy from the investment scenario, you'll accomplish several things including:
- Fully making the most of your personnel and operational budgets
- Get more work (plans, projects and production) through your organization
- Protect your team from company-wide staff reductions
- Run more efficiently and set a benchmark for effectiveness
- Safeguard against non-engaged team members and mid-level leadership
As our CEO, Kathy Hollenhorst, explains in her blog post Call Me Difficult - But Why Do I Have To Pick Two? - you CAN have all three (quality, quick, affordable). She also points out, "I have learned over time that trade-offs are often required in business, and that making the RIGHT trade-off was a skill I had to quickly develop to be successful as a business leader."
It's a great way to find your gaps and get more work done.