Know When to Outsource Marketing and When to Keep it In-House

Every business is different and the demands of each vary so it’s important to take a moment to analyze which is best for your business.

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If you’re a business owner or in higher management you strive to make sure your marketing team is doing its best to market your company and bring in leads to the sales team. Keeping your business processes internally is important to you because you want to keep control over activities, and you want to keep costs low.

But slowly you’ve noticed that internalizing all of your digital marketing activities might not be working out as well as you’d planned.

Companies who outsource marketing have specialized marketing agencies on their side working with them with every campaign and new initiatives to make sure it’s successful.

Digital marketing agencies are often more efficient than an in-house marketing teams and at times even for a lower cost.  Systems are even created to make sure your company still has control over activities and the reputation of the company.

You might have considered outsourcing your marketing before but weren’t sure where to start. How do you know when it’s more efficient to outsource marketing instead of hiring on another graphic designer or social media manager?

Let’s review when it’s time to outsource marketing and when to keep it in-house in the points below.

When to Outsource Marketing

You’re not seeing the results you want from your in-house team/individual When to outsource marketing and not

Your in-house marketing is working as hard as they can with the goals set before them, but the results continue to be short of optimal.

It’s difficult to stay on top of performance and campaign optimization when team members are frantically working to get the next campaign out. There is no time to optimize campaigns for better performance, so they end short of hitting their goals.

Reviewing the results of marketing efforts is crucial to the success of a team not only in-house but for outsourced teams as well. If it’s been a few months or maybe even years since your business launched a successful marketing campaign it might be time to outsource marketing.

Your marketing team or individual is overworked

In marketing there is copywriting, graphic design, search engine optimization, website development, lead generation, email marketing and so much more. How many people do you have in your marketing team? One, two, five, eight?

Do you have a person designated to each activity involved in marketing or do you have one person filling many hats?

A graphic designer is not a copywriter and vice versa, but so many times business owners and managers expect so much from one marketing employee. One person can not handle everything that’s involved in effective marketing that’s for sure.

How many people do you have on your team?  Are you asking too much of them? Are they being overworked? The best thing you can do is ask.

No closed looped reporting in place

You get an influx of new business, and you’re excited but do you know where it came from? Can you repeat it next month, if needed?

Many marketing initiatives are executed in a sort of shotgun approach. “Let’s try many things and see what works.” But when something eventually does work do you know why? How much did you spend versus how many new customers you received?

When you outsource marketing to the qualified digital agencies, they will report to you on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis. They have closed looped reporting in place which means they know if a campaign works and why and the numbers to prove it.

If you’re shooting blind, you’re most likely wasting money and not getting the most out of your businesses marketing efforts. If you don’t have closed looped reporting in place, it might be time to look to a digital agency for help.

You’re always running behind what you had planned Effective time management in marketing

You were planning on launching a new email campaign this month, but you, or your team ran out of time, so you move it to next month. You’re rushing to get the offers, blog posts and social media posts out before a holiday.

If you feel like you’re always in a panic mode, then it might mean you don’t have the necessary strategies and systems in place to run smoothly and efficiently.

You’re task driven instead of strategy driven

Getting tasks checked off a list might feel rewarding but when they are not part of an overall strategy, they are time wasters instead of business generators.

Sharing a blog post or posting on Facebook is useless unless you know why you’re doing it and that it will get you closer to your goal. Posting for the sake of being active on social media is not a strategy.

You feel the pressure of being active on digital, so you tell your marketing team to make sure you social accounts are always active but you don’t give them a reason.

As a business, you have revenue goals but if you don’t have the proper strategy in place to meet those goals, then you might want to consider hiring a digital agency.

Need to start using digital marketing and move out of traditional marketing

You hear it everywhere! Traditional marketing is dead. Billboards, radio ads, newspaper ads are not effective. You can’t shove your product in people’s face, they will find your company when they are ready to buy.

You then walk over to your marketing team and tell them, “we need to do digital, traditional methods are not working anymore, let’s start today.

Either you’re team is very excited, or there is dead silence. They go ahead and start doing “digital marketing” for the fear of losing their jobs, but they are as lost as you are.

If you’re a company, that has primarily been doing traditional marketing and want to move your activities to digital you should consider outsourcing your marketing. You need an agency that knows the industry, what’s effective for your company and how to put together a digital strategy that will target your ideal buyers without ignoring your current customers.

Before you even consider hiring a digital agency to help with marketing you need to know your company goals. Where are you currently at and where do you want to be six months or 3 years from now.

Digital agencies work off performance goals. They report to you how effective they are being, and you judge them off of performance. There is never a reason to doubt digital because the truth is in the numbers, the results.  

When to Keep Marketing In-House

If you’re on the other side of the spectrum from the situations I mentioned above, then you might not need to outsource marketing. Your team might be doing a fine job, and you are hitting your business goals on a consistent basis.

Here are a few situations in which your marketing team is doing a kick-ass job, and you should keep your marketing in-house.

Marketing is already bringing in lots of leads to your sales team When do you outsource marketing

You have more leads than your sales team can handle. Your sales team is busy talking to prospects and closing deals. Your team has no problem bringing in new leads every month, and your business is growing.

If this sounds like your company, fantastic. You don’t need to outsource marketing if leads are steadily flowing into your database.

You have enough team members in your marketing staff to take care of graphic design, copywriting, website maintenance, social media Internal Marketing Teammanagement, email marketing, reporting and lead generation. 

If every aspect of digital marketing is covered by your current team, there might be no reason to outsource.

But if you are in need of even one specific specialty you could look for a digital agency to take care of that area. For example, if you need help with email marketing but you have a copywriter and graphic designer in-house you could outsource just email marketing.

Outsourcing doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your entire in-house team, and the agency would then take care of everything. Some agencies work with your team members, and activities are split.

Have a closed loop reporting in place. You know the lifecycle of every potential from the first moment they come in contact with your company to when they become a client and start referring their friends.

Like I mentioned before, closed loop marketing is now something available in marketing. Before you might put out a billboard ad and hoped people saw it driving down the highway.

Now we put out a Facebook Ad, and we know how many people saw it, how many people shared it, clicked on it, commented and eventually bought. This is what closed looped reporting is all about, are you activities leading to sales?

If this is something you already have in place, then you’re ahead of millions of other companies.

The knowledge of your marketing is vast. They attend conferences in digital marketing and stay on top of the latest changes and developments.

The advantage of working with a digital agency is that they have a variety of staff members whose whole profession is digital. They live and breathe marketing and continuously seek out resources to learn more.

The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and it can be difficult to stay on top of the latest and greatest. If your team is filled with members that love marketing so much that they even do it on their time off then, you have a great team.

Here at Uhuru we are the individuals that live and breathe digital. I’m the creator and editor of the fashion blog, Stylishlyme. When I’m not working with the company or with clients I’m working on my blog. I not only read the changes that go on with Google to help my blog but everything that I learn on my “off” time I apply it to our clients. It’s one of the reasons our clients are so successful.

Uhuru Is also home to TrucchiFacebook.com, the largest blog about Facebook in Italy. Fabrizio and Peter started that blog back in 2009.

Every business is different and the demands of each vary so it’s important to take a moment to analyze what situation you’re in. Could you use more help or are you perfect where you are?

-Vanessa

Let's Review Your Goals - Free Consultaiton   Categories: Marketing

One thought on “Know When to Outsource Marketing and When to Keep it In-House

  1. Very good question! If you outsource almost everything, your competitors can buy exactly what you buy. How do you then differentiate your offerings? What should you own to have pricing power and be able to capture value? Michael Ehret and I just published a book chapter addressing these questions.

    You can read it here – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326222659_Asset-Based_Strategies_for_Capturing_Value_in_the_Service_Economy

    Also, if you outsource marketing, ensure you keep ownership of the brand and the customer relationship. See discussion on our paper.

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