The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Marketing

You’ve decided it’s time to get serious about marketing or your marketing is gaining momentum, but you want to turn up the volume on lead or demand generation. There are two choices: do it yourself or hire someone to help.

Easier said than done considering if you’re at that point, you’re probably busier than ever and the hiring process comes with many questions and challenges. For example, how do you balance experience level, expertise, and availability?

What’s more, because of the constantly-shifting marketing landscape, you may not have a firm grasp on exactly which skills best serve your desired outcome. Recently, we explored four things to look for when you’re hiring your first marketing resource, which offers excellent tips on understanding what to look for and how to vet candidates.

Now, let’s explore the pros and cons of outsourcing your marketing efforts.

Three Pros of Outsourcing

  1. Expertise
    Just as customers appreciate your expertise in print and copy decisions, outsourcing can do the same for your marketing. When you’re not exactly sure what you need, outsourced marketers are there to explain tactics and strategies you might not have considered. Tapping into these resources can mean the difference between crawling versus running towards business growth.
  2. Strategy-based Results
    Sometimes it’s easier than others to “fake it ‘til you make it” in marketing. For example, it’s better to engage (like, share, comment) on social media even if you’re not 100% sure how to do it than it is to forego leveraging social media altogether. However, when it comes to writing social posts and blogs, or creating graphics and lead generation content, getting the best results requires strategy (and a ton of practice). Outsourced marketing resources have an agenda; they want to remain in business. To that end, they are typically highly accountable to the results, and they strategize to achieve promised outcomes.
  3. Less Management
    Working with an expert takes some of the management burden off your shoulders. You develop a plan alongside the marketer, sign off, and they deliver. Outsourcing can put time back in your day that might otherwise be spent on managing a marketing resource or writing the next blog.

Three Cons of Outsourcing

  1. Making the Wrong Decision
    Have you ever taken your car to a mechanic only to get that sinking feeling of doubt when you’re told that thing-a-ma-gig (you’ve never heard of) needs to be replaced and it’s going to cost a small fortune? When we’re not experts but we need help, it’s easy to wonder if we’re getting the best deal. Unfortunately, it takes time before inbound, online marketing shows results so, hiring the wrong person or agency can become costly. Ask for recommendations from other organizations you work with that outsource their marketing. Check references and start with a small project and build trust until you’re confident a larger investment will yield the outcomes you desire.
  2. Higher Costs
    Out of pocket costs for outsourced marketing is inevitably more expensive on a per hour basis, which makes sense for all the reasons we outlined in the “pros” section above. When considering options, think of what you actually need to pass off to a marketing vendor. Maybe you just need a plan and someone on your team can execute. Or perhaps someone on your team has writing ability and all you need is an expert editor. There are many possible scenarios. Putting careful thought into your options before signing a contract can save costs.
  3. Availability
    When there’s a marketing person on staff, they’re available when you are and they’re likely located nearby. It’s easy to swing by their desk for this-or-that reason, or contact them when you need something. Most of the time, outsourcing marketing goes offsite. This can lead to delays in communicating, planning, collaboration, and execution. If outsourcing is the right choice, work out availability concerns up front to eliminate surprises and reduce delays.

Congratulations on your decision to increase your marketing efforts! If you choose to outsource, we hope this information will help you make the best decisions for your situation.

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