Marketing is the lifeblood of every successful business. The question is, which is the better option for your business’ marketing strategy: to employ an in-house team or to outsource to a third party? Alternatively, maybe a little of both may be the best option.
Many small business owners will struggle with this issue at some point in their careers. There are several good reasons why a company may decide to keep their marketing department in-house. Direct control over marketing efforts and more intricate knowledge of the company’s core products are common reasons. About 64% of advertisers have some aspect of their Marketing team in-house.
Nevertheless, there are also very compelling reasons to outsource marketing; especially for small businesses with limited resources.
Nevertheless, there are also very compelling reasons to outsource marketing; especially for small businesses with limited resources. In 2017 marketing manage alone earned a median annual salary of $132,230. Think of the inherent costs of hiring and maintaining a comprehensive in-house marketing team. Depending on the size of your business, a group of specialists in every discipline could mean a minimum of 6 full-time employees. Double or triple that if you are on Amazon, want an in-house Design team, or are actively managing all your channels.
On the other hand, working with an outsourced marketing team could save you many resources. Instead of a full-time Social-Media coordinator, an outsourced partner could provide the service to the level needed for a fraction of a full-time employee. Plus, the individual would already be well-trained, and attendance or performance issues would be handled by the service provider, not by your company. Dollar for dollar, outsourcing your marketing efforts may be the most financially sensible option.
Many businesses excel in several aspects of day-to-day operations. However, many also don’t have the resources to design and execute an overarching marketing strategy competently. Some owners have found that outsourcing marketing to a team of experts makes the most sense.
Dedicated third-party marketers will be up to date on the latest marketing techniques, and will continuously be educating themselves on cutting-edge innovations. Outsourced marketers can also infuse marketing initiatives and guide advertising efforts with experience gained from past projects and other clients. In-house teams tend to focus on processes or task-specific goals and are hindered by the company’s structure.
Many smaller companies operate under a marketing plan that takes into account yearly cycles of customer behavior. These cycles can frequently show a high threshold of variability and demand different resources at various times. Companies that maintain a full, in-house marketing team will have to shoulder ongoing costs through “fast” and “slow” times alike. Organizations that outsource their marketing will be able to scale their operating expenses much more efficiently. In such a situation, you will be able to adjust your budget according to current needs and opportunities and maximize the impact of any expenditures on marketing.
Although there are definite advantages to in-house marketing, sometimes strength can quickly turn into a weakness. For example, an in-house marketing team is, by default, subject to the influence of its company’s culture and outlook. While this can be an advantage, it can also serve to narrow the focus of a marketing team and limit their creative and technical potential.
In contrast, outsourcing at least some of your marketing tasks to a third party can provide an infusion of objectivity into your company’s process. Third-party providers outside of your company’s culture may be able to spot opportunities for improvement more efficiently. They are also in a position that requires them to suggest new ideas continuously. For small businesses, this can be particularly helpful, since many outsourced marketing agencies employ individuals with years of marketing experience, often with several different companies.
Making the Right Decision
The decision of whether to house your marketing team or to outsource can be a difficult one. There is no cookie-cutter answer for every small business; your specific circumstances, goals, and resources all need to be considered.
One thing is sure: successful marketing is not something that is left to chance. It requires forethought, long-term planning, and the resources to implement your overarching strategy. Maybe you need some assistance to establish the right marketing strategy and tactics for your company. Reach out to us for a free consultation on your business needs. We would be happy to use our experience and expertise to help you further your company’s goals.