Amid all the uncertainty raised by the economic impacts of COVID-19, marketing budgets are being profusely explored. With people losing their jobs and companies retreating to consolidate their positions, how do you still manage to acquire new customers but reduce your overheads at the same time? Outsourcing your marketing to an agency can save you money, but is it the right choice for your business? At some point, your business may require a digital marketing specialist to meet your business’ growing needs. So the question will be: in-house vs outsourcing in marketing?

Deciding on an operational strategy is not an easy task since it is influenced by various factors. The challenge lies in determining which factors need to be considered, given the business’s current needs and immediate plans. Will an in-house team suffice, or is outsourcing the smart and timely option? In this article, we will dissect the nuances of in-house vs outsourcing in marketing to determine the right choice for your business.

Regardless of which option, the worst choice you could make is to put a halt to your marketing efforts. If you are not proactively seeking new customers or, reminding your current customers that you are still there for them. You are likely to slip into the shadows of the forgotten and unknown.

Defining In-House vs Outsourcing in Marketing:

  • In-house Marketing comprises of employees inside your company. You get to choose, hire and build the team; it could be one person or a group of experts.
  • Outsourcing Marketing is when you hire an agency to work with your company externally. An agency (such as BUSSINESSNAV) consists of teams of experts specialising in an array of digital marketing services, ranging from Email Marketing to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Paid Advertising and more.
  • A Hybrid Marketing is a blend of both internal and external execution of marketing efforts. It involves an internal marketing resource acting as Project Manager – developing the strategy and delegating tasks to an agency.

Now let’s figure out which option is best for your business.

Pros & Cons: In-House Marketing

If you have enough individuals in the business right now that can do the job well, then all you need to do is bring them together. An in-house team comprised of people with the proper knowledge, skills, and attitude might be just what your business requires.

A team composed of individuals who are already immersed in the company culture eliminates the need to orient and assimilate since they’re already familiar with your business’s vision, mission, and goals. Moreover, an internal group already has the essential knowledge of your business’ processes and procedures. However, they may need time to adjust to new or additional responsibilities.

But what if you do not have a pool of marketing experts yet? Finding the right people is not always easy. People who are excellent at the job you require might not be available, and those who are qualified might be too costly to employ full-time. In general, hiring an in-house marketing team is pretty expensive. Depending on your marketing budget and existing resources. You will have to also factor in a base wage along with the cost of employee benefits such as:

  • Paid holidays and sick leave
  • Work cover
  • Overtime rates
  • Employing and recruitment costs (which sometimes includes the dreaded fee of mis-hiring)
  • Onboard training
  • Assets such as laptop, phone, internet, desk, chair etc
  • KPIs and performance reviews
  • Clear reporting lines and management

Additionally, if you do find a promising recruit, there would be a period of adjustment. In any organisation, new people need time to assimilate job-specific requirements. There are no guarantees that they will work at full efficiency by the time the organisation needs to launch targeted campaigns.

At a bare minimum, your in-house team will need to be qualified in web design and maintenance, SEO services, graphic design, copywriting, data analysis and possibly even media buying – along with more digital marketing skills. One person alone cannot complete this, so you may need to employ several people.

In-house vs outsourcing in marketing

Pros & Cons: Outsourcing Marketing

Marketing agencies like us consists of a collaboration of marketing experts. For the one price, you get specialists in SEO, copywriting, public relations, advertising, web development and design, and project management. No dreaded sick leave or recruitment costs to worry about, no lost days or extended time frames because people are absent. But the most significant factors is there is no need to keep your internal resources continuously training with their digital marketing skills – they will take care of it all.

Established marketing agencies have various talented staff who have experience working with and growing businesses like yours. Each member is a subject matter expert which means they live and breathe marketing and will actively seek out resources to stay on-trend with the latest developments in the industry. It can be difficult if you’re balancing your operational goals as well, so sometimes, it’s just better to leave it to the experts.

Outsourcing may sound expensive but before you rule out the option entirely, weigh it against the cost of your in-house marketing experts. You will be surprised at the results that favour outsourcing, especially when you consider the resources spent on overheads like office space and numerous marketing tools/software.

In-house-vs-outsourcing-marketing

Pros & Cons: Hybrid Marketing

Another option many companies choose is a hybrid marketing approach to maximise performance and flexibility. A hybrid strategy involves a blend of both internal and external execution of marketing efforts. Say you or your team are not proficient in SEO or creative execution, you can outsource them to us. You can divide your tasks according to your terms and objectives. In many cases, this strategy involves an in-house marketing manager developing the strategy and the agency implementing it.

The main advantage of a hybrid strategy is that you maintain more control over your marketing assets. Another advantage of this approach is that it offers greater flexibility and capacity to adapt to changing needs. The limitations of a hybrid strategy are that it might be more time-consuming and requires more management. Typically, a project manager would need to manage two separate teams effectively and have extensive knowledge of marketing disciplines; otherwise, you will have a headache.

Key Takeaway

The benefits of In-house vs outsourcing in marketing:

In-housing Benefits:

  • Greater control of the processes
  • Readily available
  • You get to build your dream team
  • Immersed you in your work culture

Outsourcing Benefits:

  • More cost benefits
  • More flexible
  • Greater expertise
  • More up to date with the latest trends and industry forecasts
  • Fresh perspectives
  • Comes with equipment, tools, platforms, licences and insurance

If your marketing strategy requires teams working for consistent and predictable targets and you have an extensive budget, then building an in-house team would be suitable. However, when your campaign requires expertise, head down the outsourcing road, the journey is generally stress-free, and the destination is ample with success.

So which is the right choice for your business?

Choose an agency that involves you in the process and views your relationship as a partnership, not just a transaction. Transparency and open communication should be established, and you should know what is happening and how much it will cost you. You will need to give them access and time to understand your business and culture. Along with your trust, to let them do what they do best and show you the results.

Consider your business model, and think about the objective of your organisation. With these considerations upfront, you can formulate the right solution. Ultimately, it all boils down to the current needs and aspirations of your business in determining the approach that would satisfy your requirements. The worst option you can choose is to withdraw your marketing to a minimum or, worse cease marketing altogether. If you’re not out there telling your story, who will?

Overall, In-house vs outsourcing in marketing both have their advantages. In-housing is a great option and an ideal one if you already have a pool of experts available. However, outsourcing various business functions is a cost-effective approach, especially for startups and businesses with limited resources.

If you find that both the pros and cons are equal, you could be like the many businesses that combine both. It never hurts to ask for help, especially in areas where you or your team are not proficient in, or you are just trying to gain a competitive advantage with new and treading tactics. At BUSINESSNAV, our team are experts in services ranging from financial and digital marketing to merges and acquisitions. We cater towards your business goals and objectives to help navigate you towards growth.

If you are having trouble deciding which approach to go with, we’d love to discuss your marketing position with you! Contact our digital marketing experts at BUSINESSNAV today, and we can guide you on in-house vs outsourcing in marketing.