Are Staffing Shortages Impacting Your Marketing ROI?

10/6/2022 Lisa Zizas

Are Staffing Shortages Impacting Your Marketing ROI?

For the better part of 2022, many organizations have struggled with staffing shortages and the resulting impact on their marketing efforts is finally being realized. A lack of internal resources, talent, and bandwidth pose a real, ongoing challenge for how effective their data-driven marketing efforts truly are.

According to a recent multichannel marketing study by Ascend2, marketing executives consider “insufficient budget/resources” as one of their biggest obstacles to realizing multichannel marketing success — a close second to “creating an effective strategy.” 

We’re seeing first hand how labor shortages in key areas such as data management, analytics, campaign management, and customer experience are driving the need for more automation and strategy optimization. Companies need to be able to do more with less people and smaller budgets. If your organization is struggling to get by, outsourcing some key elements may be your best option at minimizing further impact.

A direct line to improving marketing ROI

When I talk about a labor shortage in this space, it centers around finding and affording the right person or persons who can effectively gather data, prepare it, clean it, store it, and also apply it. That’s a tall order — and something CMOs across America are struggling with. 

According to a new analysis from the GfK/CMO Council (via Digital News Daily), America’s CMOs say “their organizations are still hamstrung by the lack of talent and budgets, and departmental silos prevent them from getting their hands on the data and insights they need to do their job effectively.”

Additional points worth highlighting from the study include:

  • 28% of America’s CMOs have substantial confidence in their analytics
  • 64% of CMOs cite “systems that connect data siloes and boost accessibility" as their No. 1 barrier to effective use of data
  • “Adequate talent” and “budget” were tied (at 58%) for the next most significant problem
  • Only 48% say their data is readily accessible
  • 8% can quickly transform data into insights

Optimal data management, analytics, and campaign management will always be a business goal. However, today, building a high-functioning data, analytics or campaign management team in-house can take an indeterminate amount of time. If that unknown is something you can’t afford, consider shifting your focus from building (a team) to outsourcing (to a proven service provider). 

Many of our clients were once in your position. What drove them to outsource some of their marketing services needs? Here is a list of their greatest motivating factors (in no particular order):

Immediate access to the right skill sets

According to online recruitment service Zippia, it takes 36 to 42 days to fill an average position in the U.S. and average productivity rates for new employees hover around 25% during their first 30 days of employment after completing new employee training. 

A proven marketing services firm can provide immediate access to seasoned data engineers, analysts, data scientists, and campaign experts. Not to mention, service providers are often held to a higher standard of output and accountable for providing tangible ROI that includes industry knowledge, data security and compliance, and in-depth analysis.

A legitimate tech stack without the investment

The marketing technology landscape is a prolific and confounding place. According to Chief Marketing Technologist, nearly 10,000 solutions are at your disposal and a continuous stream of new ones emerge every year. 

A provider with a track record of success will know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to prescribing the tools and tech that best match your needs and goals. This will help future-proof your company’s martech requirements without having to make the usual up-front, expensive capital investments. 

We’ve witnessed companies invest in world-class technology solutions, but don’t understand how to fully utilize and integrate them to effectively maximize usage. A partner who understands your tech stack can help optimize those investments.


Too often, companies will limit themselves by the productivity of their staff or the capabilities of a certain technology that they have already invested in. 

Businesses that fail to scale often do so because they don’t have the ability to pivot quickly in response to a changing market. A well-fitted partner will fill in the talent, technology, and experience gaps your organization lacks. Having access to a scalable resource means increased ROI can be achieved at a faster rate, plain and simple. 

Domain knowledge

When it comes to effectively managing your data, domain knowledge — understanding topics that are specific to the industry and company that you work for — can be a significant advantage. Why? Two words: strategy and efficiency.
The growing pain of getting up to speed is often the single most reason for a business’ lack of success within a defined period of time. A service provider with industry experience and success working with similar types of data can make recommendations to help you improve and further streamline your marketing activities.

Short term solutions lead to long term value

Every one of our clients had a challenge they were trying to resolve. Whether it started with needing additional resource support for campaign execution, or analytics resources to build and implement modeling or machine learning, they quickly realized the value of having immediate access to resources and expertise in those areas.  

These short term solutions evolved in such a way that, eventually, the resources functioned as an extension of their team. The organizations realized immediate value without having to recruit and build up their internal team. 

Look for partners who offer flexible support models and are data and technology agnostic. They will be more effective in the long run and help you realize better ROI sooner.

Better ROI through expert marketing services support

Given the current climate, there’s a good chance your business has changed the way it looks at marketing. And data. The growing urgency, from both big and small businesses, to inform decision making through data analytics will only increase the competition for finding quality candidates. Candidates who can a) squeeze every bit of value out of your data, and b) make it visible and accessible for key stakeholders across your organization. 

As another batch of resumes reaches your inbox and video interviews fill your calendar, it’s important to ask yourself this: Is a commitment to in-house resources best for my organization — right now?

If the answer isn’t an obvious one, it may be time to have a different conversation around who is best positioned to manage your data and marketing activities. I’m convinced this new dialogue can have a tremendous impact on your company’s bottom line.


Lisa Zizas is VP of Business Development for Data, Insights & Customer Engagement (DICE) by RRD.


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