Outsourcing vs. In-House Digital Marketing: Choosing What is Best for a Small Business
When you first started your business, you may have worn every single hat yourself, including marketing. Now you’ve grown to the point that you need help – but do you hire an in-house staff member or outsource an agency?
1. Does Your Staff Have The Required Resources And Skills For Your Needs?
Understand which marketing tactics your business needs and the resources and skill level needed to do it. If you’re interested in social media and doing a weekly newsletter, you can likely find a local specialist and hire in-house. If you’re looking for more comprehensive marketing services, an agency is a better bang for your buck as they often have staff skilled in many areas of marketing. – Julie Howell, Postali
2. Are You Willing To Invest In Continuous Learning And Development?
If you bring digital marketing services in-house, you will need to help that team stay educated in their respective specialties – in professional organizations, we often hear brand-side digital marketers saying they are isolated as the only expert in their company. So a willingness to invest in education and staff development has to be there from Day One. If it’s not, consider a partner. – Marti Post, Mindstream Interactive
3. Can You Learn Something About Future Hires By Outsourcing First?
Hiring for any position, let alone a whole team, is a resource-draining task, especially when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. It makes more sense to outsource first, learn from that experience and what that team does for you. Then, slowly start to piece together your all-star in-house team. This route will save you money and time in the long run. – Vinny La Barbera, imFORZA
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4. Can Outsourcing Help You Reach Short-Term Goals Faster?
Sometimes outsourcing provides the leverage you need to excel in digital marketing. Focusing on your business and bringing in outside help will allow you to reach your short-term goals. It doesn’t mean you have to outsource forever; it just means you will do it in a timely matter without the rush of doing it right while learning. Bringing in an external team that can teach you along the way is key. – Martha Madero Gonzalez, GROU Crecimiento Digital
5. Do You Have The Resources To Hire And Maintain In-House Talent?
Most large companies that have the resources will benefit the most from leveraging their own in-house marketing team. They can better control the cost and have dedicated personnel who are a part of the company on a daily basis. If a company does not have the necessary resources, then they should let their own expert lead a team of highly qualified professionals or agencies to complete the work. – Aaron Henry, FOUNDRY512
6. Whom Do You Trust?
When it comes to digital marketing, you are very likely betting the future of your business. The bet is big, so you can’t afford to get this wrong. Those who master digital will win. Those who flounder, fail to execute, lack strategy or don’t produce meaningful outcomes will fail. So you have to ask yourself: Who am I confident in? Who has an unquestionable history of delivering results? – Randy Shattuck, The Shattuck Group
7. Can You Easily Train An In-House Person Based On Your Core Competencies?
If you’re trying to decide between hiring or outsourcing, think about what your core competency is and what you’re good at. Is it going to be easy to onboard and train because it’s a side-step from your core marketing competency? If so, hire. If not, you should seriously consider outsourcing to learn if the new campaign will be effective. Then you can make a decision to bring it in-house. – Marc Hardgrove, The HOTH
8. What Is Your Ultimate Goal?
What is your marketing goal? This is the first question I ask all my clients. The answer will determine your path. Do you just want to do a little bit of lead gen and focus on your local market, or are you looking to do a complete rebrand and scale your product or service nationally? The other item to consider is if you want to focus on building a marketing agency or on your product. – Andrew Miller, WisePrime
9. Can An In-House Hire Remain Authentic And Consistent?
Digital marketing requires being “real” with your customers and connecting with them based on their interests consistently. If your team gets too busy and abandons your social media for a week, the consumers won’t understand, and their perception is their reality. My tip is to make the decision objectively while understanding your limitations and those of your potential agency. – Ahmad Kareh, Twistlab Marketing
10. What Value Are You Getting For The Cost?
When evaluating an in-house position versus hiring an outside agency, the math needs to be done to compute the true cost of each employee/hire. With an agency, you get an entire team of support and not just one person, so often times you can get more for less than the true cost of each employee hired. – Duree Ross, Durée & Company.com
11. Would In-House Talent Be Spread Too Thin?
If you have a big marketing budget and can hire multiple layers and build a deep team in each of the disciplines, hire in-house. If you will have individuals responsible for multiple disciplines or channels, or both, consider an agency. Spreading resources thin will cost in a lack of excellence. When the need is large and resources small, an agency offers better performance and less risk. – Dan Golden, Be Found Online
12. Where Is Your Staff’s Time And Talent Best Spent?
The core questions to ask yourself should be: Do I have the marketing skills in-house to reach my business goals? And is my internal staff’s time best spent on all aspects of marketing? If the answer to either question is no, then you should consider outsourcing at least part of your marketing. Optimize your time where it’s best spent and leverage external expertise to fill the gaps. – Todd Earwood, MoneyPath Marketing