At the moment, it’s hard to find a business that isn’t outsourcing at least one aspect of their operations. If they’re not outsourcing delivery, customer support and human resources, they’re probably outsourcing their IT maintenance or at least office maintenance.
However, outsourcing one’s digital marketing is an option that’s getting more and more popular by the minute. Here are several reasons why, along with some reasons why you still might want to keep this task in-house.
Studying these advantages and disadvantages will help you make a better decision on what course your company should take in this regard.
1- Quicker Results
In order to start your own digital marketing department/team, you would have to make some serious investments in resources, effort and time. First, you would have to initiate a hiring process, or, at the very least, allow some of your current employees to move to a different work station.
Second, you would have to start a training program (which is far from inexpensive), provide them with adequate hardware and get the necessary software licenses. Even when you pull off all of that, you’ll have to wait for a while until your team becomes experienced enough. On the other hand, by outsourcing, you don’t have to wait for this kind of efficiency.
2- Represented on all Channels Equally
One of the biggest problems when running an in-house digital marketing team lies in the fact that you might start favoring one medium over others. For instance, you might be good at content marketing or email marketing, which would make you double down on these efforts while neglecting all the rest.
When hiring a professional digital marketing company, the chances of such a bias will be a lot less likely and your online presence will be much more evenly spread. Sure, you might have to show more love to a particular platform that your main demographic favors, yet, all of this is fairly normal.
3- Specific Tasks
There are some scenarios in which having a specific approach to the situation could sway it either way. Imagine a scenario where there’s a PR crisis or scandal with your company involved in it. Here, whatever you do impacts your business and there’s no option where you maintain the status quo.
Responding too quickly might make your response incomplete, due to the fact that you still don’t have all the facts, whereas postponing your response and remaining silent may make you look even guiltier in the public eye. This is why having a specialized crisis management team on your side might make a massive difference in your favor.
4- Creativity is Usually More Effective Outside of the Office
The second thing worth bearing in mind is the fact that creativity usually tends to come from the outside. When standing too close to the trees, you might lose the sight of the forest. An insider always has an insider’s look at the company, which means that they’ll have a harder job looking at their own business through the eyes of a consumer/client.
A marketing expert from an agency that you’re outsourcing to has an approach that’s more similar to that of your client than to that of your employee. This alone would be a plus worth investing in.
5- Losing Touch with Your Brand
The biggest fear, downside and concern of a lot of entrepreneurs who get to choose between advantages and disadvantages is the idea that they’ll somehow lose connection to their brand. You see, when managing all of this on your own, you’ll be in charge of the image that gets served to your audience.
If you let someone else handle this, there’s a risk that you’ll get disassociated with what your brand is supposed to stand for. In truth, there’s a real risk that you’ll lose touch with the current direction of your brand. Another related concern, while on this topic, is what would happen if you decided to change the company that handles your digital marketing.
6- Long-term Costs
The main reason why people prefer to keep things in-house is due to the fact that they believe that, at one point, the ROI of their in-house team will surpass that of outsourcing to a specialized agency. While this may seem logical, even intuitive, you’ll also have to keep reinvesting in your in-house team, thus making the break-even point substantially further.
Also, adjusting to new trends is probably the single biggest issue that your team will have to deal with but if you decide to outsource, you can just delegate this onto someone else. Moreover, this usually doesn’t require an additional fee but is calculated in the price.
The above-listed may seem quite biased towards outsourcing, yet, the truth is that this model is getting more and more popular in the business world for a good reason. The majority of startups and small businesses operate on a skeleton crew and can’t afford to start a department on their own. As they grow, they see that the outsourcing model gives them a lot of scalability options, which are quite convenient when it comes to seamless growth of their business. Nevertheless, handling things in-house might give you greater reliability, security and ability to micro-manage everything (should you see this as necessary). To each their own.