Your company’s marketing strategy is an important part of your business growth plan. It helps you acquire more customers, stay connected with your current buyers, and boost your revenue.
Determining the kind of marketing team you will need to create and execute your marketing strategy is one of the most challenging aspects of ensuring business growth and profitability.
One of the most important steps that you must take to establish effective marketing is to determine how much to spend on business marketing. The industry you operate in and your position within that industry can provide valuable insight into which budget and marketing channels make sense for your business. Once you have determined your budget, you can assess your needs and the resources that are available for you to satisfy those needs.
Inevitably you must decide whether to bring your marketing in-house or engage outsourced marketing services. Here are the key factors to keep in mind when you’re evaluating your options.
What Is In-house Marketing?
In-house marketing is any marketing endeavor that isn’t outsourced to a third party. With an in-house team, you have the distinct advantage of controlling the full work environment of your employees. Communication is often a key benefit as well, given that meetings can happen at a moment’s notice if needed.
The costs of moving forward with an in-house marketing team, however, can be much higher than what’s initially apparent. You’re responsible for the employees’ salaries and benefits, as well as unemployment insurance and other associated expenses.
The Hidden Costs of An In-House Marketing Team
A serious consideration in deciding on an in-house team is employee turnover. The costs are often hidden but very real.
In-house marketing professionals, strategists, designers, developers, and copywriters will all fall under the responsibility of your Human Resources team or department. Depending on your current setup and the resources that you need, bringing on an in-house marketing team could also mean a need to ramp up your HR operations as well.
You must source potential employees, pay for job postings, sort through hundreds of resumes and conduct interviews to determine whether a candidate is a fit within your organization.
Once hiring managers bring in someone new, they kick off the training process. If something goes wrong with the staff, HR needs to go through the firing process and start over.
What Is Outsourcing in Marketing?
In direct contrast to in-house marketing, outsourced marketing involves hiring a third party to perform a specific task within your organization. For example, a marketing agency that specializes in digital marketing can be hired by a business to handle all the online marketing needs of your business.
Why Outsource Marketing?
Outsource marketing lightens the burden for busy business owners who may be wearing too many hats within their organization. With marketing channels evolving practically every day, many businesses have turned to outsourcing specific tasks to specialists. Doing so saves business owners time and money they would have to spend otherwise to keep themselves up to date with the latest trends in their industry.
Benefits of Outsourcing Marketing
The vendor or independent marketing contractor maintains their workspace, pays for any necessary software and equipment and carries their own insurance. You don’t have to worry about all the related HR, training, equipment and payroll costs with an outsourced marketing partner.
Communication is a critical factor and should be addressed up-front with any outsourced partner you consider engaging. Set expectations regarding the frequency of reviews as well as response times for day to day communications.
The only thing the business owner needs to worry about is picking the right service provider for their specific marketing objectives. Everything else happens behind the scenes, so they don’t have to worry about having these resources in place.
Expertise and Specialization
Recruiting and retaining top marketing professionals is a challenging task. You need to brand yourself as a great place to work, perform one-to-one outreach with your dream candidates and put together a package that stays competitive in your industry. Everyone wants highly effective marketers, and the more stringent your requirements, the more likely you’re going to run into a talent shortage.
Business owners often make the mistake of assuming that bringing in a single marketing professional will fill all of their marketing needs. In some cases, this may be true — there are some very talented and capable marketing practitioners in the workforce today. In most cases, however, this is not the case.
Marketing is multi-faceted and generally requires individuals with varying skill sets to effectively execute on a given strategy. The best marketing departments include people in the following roles:
Marketing Strategists (Marketing Manager, Director, or CMO)
Online / Digital Marketing Specialists
Direct Mail Specialists
Writers and Content Marketing Services
Call Center & Telemarketing Experts
Only you can determine your marketing needs, and which of these roles warrant bringing talent in-house. Regardless of whether you decide to bring one or more of these roles in-house, someone must perform the tasks of all positions.
This could mean asking that your employees act in multiple capacities or outsourcing the areas where your staff falls short. The reality is that almost all in-house marketing departments outsource at least a portion of their marketing needs.
Outsourced or In-house Marketing – What’s the Best Choice?
Quite possibly the most important determining factor when considering outsourced vs. in-house marketing is the size of your business and how you weigh that against your marketing needs.
Large enterprises often have the resources on-hand to support an in-house marketing department. They can aggressively recruit top talent through high salaries and the name recognition of the company. They have well-established HR departments and their marketing needs justify the additional cost of having an in-house team.
Small to mid-sized businesses frequently don’t have the infrastructure or marketing needs to justify the cost of a full in-house team. All too often, unless they supplement their efforts through outsourced services, their marketing suffers for it.
Outsourced marketing, whether in its full capacity or a supporting capacity for a marketing professional, allows for small to mid-sized businesses to present a professional and results-driven marketing strategy that would not be possible with comparable resources allocated toward an in-house team.
You have a lot to consider when you decide between in-house and outsourced marketing. Keep these key factors in mind when you’re evaluating what’s best for your business and its future growth.
MARKETING STRATEGIZERS is committed to helping you grow your business. We’re a Houston-based marketing company that offers a full range of services to help fill the gaps missing from your in-house team.
Contact us today to get started with a consultation.
Jason R. Morton is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Marketing Strategizers, one of the nation's leading Marketing & Advertising firm headquartered in Houston, Texas.
Visit our interactive website at www.MarketingStrategizers.net.