marketing and advertising

In-House vs. Outsourced Marketing: The Rundown

Of course, you want to grow your business! The failures are both lessons and launch points, and the successes are nothing short of being outright exciting. When thinking about growing your business, one of the most often recommended methods that will come to you over and over again is marketing. The concept of marketing is usually pretty easy to understand, but how to leverage it to your advantage and grow your business is an entirely different ball of wax. Luckily, there are people who really have a knack for getting consumer attention and creating memorable messages that resonate. As you begin to build or grow your business, you will definitely want at least one individual with this skill on your team. But the real question you may have is, should I use an in-house marketing team or outsource marketing to a marketing firm?

The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to marketing. Every company is different, and the approach a marketing team needs to take will depend on several deciding factors, including whether or not it’s B2B, the size of your marketing budget, and what your specific marketing goals are. The answers to all of these questions will be invaluable to deciding whether to go with an in-house marketing team or outsource your marketing altogether. Let’s take a look at the marketing landscape and see if outsourcing digital marketing is a good move for your business.

Specialized Talent

We’ve already established that marketing is a very nuanced and fluid industry. It leans heavily on psychology and sheer talent. That’s why it is so important to find the right kind of talent in a marketer or your marketing team that really understands how to put the company forward in the best light that moves you closer to your business goals. There are tonnes of great marketers, but then there are only a handful with the specialization that you’re looking for. This idea of niche marketing is what makes outsourced marketing so appealing.

One of the biggest draws for outsourcing is that it opens the door to a global talent pool, whereas an in-house marketing team tends to be more largely drawn from a local talent pool. It feels good to know that there are individuals with niche knowledge that are committed to staying up to date within their particular specialty. The question that must be asked is, is it better to know a little bit about a lot of things, or is it better to know a lot about one individual marketing tactic? As I said earlier, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. For example, if you want a good result, the strategies used for Healthcare Marketing should be different from those used in other niches. It should be tailored to the needs of the business. Outsourcing gives companies the ability to tap into multiple specialists simultaneously.

Team Size

More often than not, in-house marketing teams are fairly small. This is in no way a bad thing. It just means that there may be fewer ideas to pull from. This could also be the case when you outsource. If you want to have more brains on the project, you’ll need to specify this to the outsourced firm. For instance, when you outsource an IT team, you will often get a dedicated team and 24/7 access should problems arise. In many cases, you get the same dedication from an outsourced marketing agency. These agencies employ a great number of marketing specialists, oftentimes more than a small business or startup can afford to employ. Since outsourced marketing groups are marketing to other businesses, their goal is to provide top-notch service to their clients, because that is what will keep them in business. It is also important to note that an in-house marketing team may also be tasked with other duties besides just marketing. This may or may not be problematic, but bear in mind that too much multitasking is one way to increase the turnover rate of in-house marketing specialists.

Brand Knowledge

An in-house marketing team is truly your best bet when it comes to having a team with brand knowledge. Relying on a team that really knows the ins and outs of your business, its goals, its customer base, and brand message is very comforting. This is the team that can make the decision based on targeted practice rather than just a theory that a particular approach should work according to algorithms and stats. If you do want to outsource, it will be in your best interest to find a middle ground that allows for collaboration between the outside agency and your business to make sure that you’re needs are being met and that they have enough in-depth knowledge of your brand and company to make the right marketing approaches for your business goals.

Scalability

It’s one thing to scale a business into local or even regional stardom, but to take a business into the global marketplace takes a lot more oomph, and all too often, a different kind of approach. Some in-house teams struggle to navigate tight targeting regions and track conversions. Not only do budgets make a huge difference in scaling, but so does a tight organizing scheme. Attempting to manage hundreds of localized campaigns simultaneously is time-consuming and requires a lot of personal connections to ensure that cultures and subcultures are being respected and considered and that the advertising is relevant. Tone deaf marketing is one way to get a business nowhere fast.

As you can see, the debate can go one way or the other according to the needs of your business and what has or hasn’t worked in the past. The real question isn’t whether to outsource marketing or keep it in-house. The real question is how to create a collaborative atmosphere and balance that makes marketing as logical and effective as it needs for the business to succeed. It is true, that keeping marketing in-house makes acquiring the right talent more difficult, but outsourcing makes getting the right voice and brand connection a little more difficult. So whichever option a business chooses, there will need to be a lot of flexibility and open-mindedness to balance the marketing scales.

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