Outsourced vs in-house marketing, what is best for your company?

Matt Hamill

November 1, 2018

SME Marketing

5 min read

A problem that many business owners face in this day and age, is deciding whether to have their marketing handled in-house by company employees, or to outsource it to a creative marketing agency. We’ve outlined below the pros and cons of each to help you decide what will work best for your company.


In-House Marketing: Pros

Complete Understanding

The most notable benefit of in-house marketing is that your team will already be familiar with your company’s product or services, making it easier for them to devise a marketing approach in keeping with the company’s desired aims and goals.

Rapid Communication

Another advantage of in-house marketing is that it allows for almost instant communication. This allows you to set up and run your marketing campaigns quicker, organise meetings as and when they need to happen and ensures that everyone is on the same page with regards to the direction you want to go in.

Dedication

If you choose to keep your marketing in-house, it is likely that your team will be extremely dedicated to achieving success. An interest in the product or service will serve only to increase your marketing team’s motivation to reach their goals.


In-House Marketing: Cons

Disinterest

There is, of course, another side to every coin. Whilst an interest in a product or service could serve to boost motivation within a team, it can also have the opposite effect. It is very easy for a team to lose interest and become apathetic towards their work if they only have one area to focus all their creativity on.

Lack of Resources

Most small business can’t afford to create an entire marketing department complete with campaign managers, content writers, web designers, and all the other individual roles that come with it. Marketing agencies, on the other hand, employ experts that can fulfill these roles to an extremely high level.

HR Responsibilities

If you decide to keep your marketing in-house and recruit a marketing team, you have then made a long-term commitment to these employees. If they are underperforming, problems arise when it comes to getting them back on track. You may have to restructure the department, hold more meetings to adjust the strategy, and should you have to release any employees then you will have a much more delicate situation on your hands with regards to HR. These are all problems that you can avoid by outsourcing your marketing. If you are unhappy with the direction things are going with the agency, you can simply sever your engagement with them, without any hassle.


Outsource Marketing: Pros

Communication is no issue

With modern technology, there is no real reason why you shouldn’t have instant communication between your company and the outsourced agency. Most marketing agencies are excellent at ensuring you can contact them whenever you need to via phone, email, or business communication apps such as Slack. In the past, fears surrounding communication might have been a reason to keep your marketing in-house, but this is no longer the case.

Experience and Perspective

Whilst your in-house marketing team will have a direct knowledge and understanding of your products or services, they lack the varied experience that marketing agencies will have in the different areas of marketing campaigns. These agencies specialise in thinking outside of the box when it comes to marketing your business. Their experience in different industries gives them a fresh perspective on how to market each and every business effectively.

Hit the ground running

When you outsource your marketing, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of hiring, on-boarding, and training every individual member of an in-house team. Your outsourced partner will have a strong and experienced team ready to go from the moment you hire them. You simply work with them to create the strategy and then it’s over to their team to implement it.


Outsource Marketing: Cons

Split focus

A lot of business owners fear outsourcing their marketing because they can’t guarantee that the agency will be able to devote as much time to their business as they’d like. After all, these agencies have multiple clients to focus on. This is a perfectly rational fear. It's daunting, entrusting another company to market your business that could be the key to your success. However, this shouldn't be a concern. Remember that the success of the marketing agency depends on their ability to market for you successfully. Rest assured they will create a schedule with the required time commitment from their team to meet and exceed your expectations. For them to succeed, so do you.

Finding the best fit

The marketing business is a competitive industry. There are a lot of agencies to choose from, so how do you decide which one will be the best fit for your company? If you aren’t careful, you risk hiring a company that can’t deliver the results you expect. This shouldn’t deter you from outsourcing your marketing, however. It just means that you should take your time to decide which agency to go for. Do your research, contact their clients personally, meet with the agency face to face to discuss what they can do for you and only then should you make a decision.


Conclusion:

There are of course benefits and pitfalls of either option available to you. In the end, it comes down to what you think will work best for your company. If you feel that your own in-house marketing team will generate the most success then there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t go down that avenue. However, if you’re willing to take the leap and outsource your marketing, it’s likely that you will see similar if not better results, with significantly less hassle.

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