In-House vs Outsourced Marketing: Pros & Cons

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By Valerie Castro on June 13, 2017
Valerie Castro

Businesses face difficult choices every day, but the least of which should be deciding the best approach to marketing. There are essentially two possible options—organize an in-house team or hire an external provider. However, some also consider a third approach, opting to implement a hybrid of in-house and outsourced marketing.

Choosing a marketing channel is influenced by numerous factors and is not an easy task. The challenge lies in determining which factors should be taken into consideration given the current needs and immediate plans of the organization. Will an in-house team suffice or is outsourcing the smart and timely decision? What if a hybrid approach is the best way towards achieving the company’s priority goals?

Decision makers should steer themselves in the right direction using the right framework. Let’s dissect each approach to determine the right marketing solution for your business.

Pros & Cons: In-House Team

In-House Marketing

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

A team composed of people already immersed in the business culture eliminates the need to orient and assimilate since everyone’s already familiar with the brand’s vision, mission, and goals. Furthermore, an internal group already has vital knowledge of the organization’s processes and procedures. Although some may need to adjust to new or additional responsibilities, it shouldn’t come as much of a shock for the majority of people involved.

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 jobs you require might not be available, and those who are qualified might be too costly to hire full time. In general, hiring in-house teams can be pretty expensive, depending on your marketing budget and existing resources.

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

Pros & Cons: Outsourcing

Outsourced Marketing Agency

If you’ve determined that your organization doesn’t have the necessary expertise and you don’t have the resources to build it, it’s time to consider outsourcing. Just keep in mind that any marketing initiative is only as good as the people who design and execute them, so you should choose wisely.

An established marketing agency will likely have experience working with businesses like yours, helping them grow within particular industry segments. Agencies focus on a specific business function and this means they keep up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices within their scope of work. This can be hard if you’re juggling your business’ operational goals as well, so sometimes it’s just better to leave it to the experts.

Outsourcing fees may be more costly than you expect, but before ruling out the option completely, weigh it against the cost of hiring your own team of experts. You might be surprised at the results that favor outsourcing, especially when you consider the resources spent on overheads like office space and various marketing tools/software.

The single biggest issue with outsourcing (no matter what the function) is that your business loses a portion of control over their marketing assets. Although this isn’t always an issue, some businesses might have strict operational regulations or sensitive materials that they want to keep closer to their chests.

Pros & Cons: Hybrid

Hybrid Marketing Strategy

Outsourcing various business functions is characterized for being a cost-effective approach, especially for startups and SMEs with limited resources. Whereas making the most of in-house talent is another option and an ideal one for organizations that already have a pool of experts.

To get the best of both worlds, many businesses choose a hybrid marketing channel to maximize flexibility and performance. A hybrid strategy involves the both internal and external execution of marketing efforts. In a typical scenario, a marketing manager develops the strategy and the agency produces the content.

The main advantage of a hybrid model is that your brand maintains more control over their marketing assets. Another advantage of the approach is that it offers greater capacity to adapt to changing needs. The limitation of a hybrid strategy is that there might be more to manage, as the marketing manager would have to effectively direct two separate teams.

What's the right choice for your organization?

If your marketing strategies require a group of people working for consistent and predictable targets and you have an extensive budget, perhaps an in-house team of capable individuals would suffice. When your campaigns require expertise you do not have, outsourcing is an important and viable option.

External providers allow you to focus on internal tasks while their marketing specialists work to attain the goals of your organization. When your needs are varied and will benefit from both outsourcing and in-house efforts, then a hybrid approach is the most feasible option.

Consider your business model, and think about the objective or your organization. With these considerations upfront, you can come up with the right solution. It all boils down to the current needs and aspirations of your business when it comes to determining the right approach that would fulfill your requirements.

Guide to Hiring a Killer Marketing Agency

Topics: Outsourcing, Marketing Agency

Valerie Castro

About Valerie Castro

Valerie is the go-to specialist in Spiralytics when it comes to anything Online PR-related. She gets a real kick out of building online brands through positive word-of-mouth.

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