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Insourcing or outsourcing: Which is right for you?

When it comes to marketing, businesses have two options. They can either insource with their own internal marketing team or outsource projects to an external agency. But the decision shouldn’t come down to the flip of a coin. As an agency, you probably guessed we consider outsourcing marketing the better option. But that’s not just our bias talking. When you consider the costs and benefits, outsourced marketing just makes more sense for small and mid-sized businesses.

Weighing the Options

Let’s say you own a small company. Business is good, but you could benefit from marketing and want to start exploring some options. In particular, you’re aiming to upgrade your website, create and maintain active social media accounts and run online ads. On the surface, you like the idea of insourcing. You have the capacity to take on another full-time employee dedicated entirely to attracting new customers. You’re not so keen on working with an agency for a few reasons. It seems like it would be more expensive with less control and infrequent communication.

However, trying to find a single marketer with a skill set that includes all of these channels doesn’t come easy or cheap. Most marketers focus on one or two areas. The salary requirement for an internal position would have to be fairly substantial, without even factoring in the costs of employee benefits. Would you be better off putting those funds toward other areas of the business?

With outsourcing, this business could pay by project, which is less of a financial commitment than funding an employee’s salary and benefits. Agencies generally offer a wide range of solutions provided by a team working within their personal areas of expertise. They also bring an outside perspective, which isn’t necessarily antithetical to your goals and needs. Your marketing accomplishments are theirs too. Ultimately, agencies are paid to be accountable for results. If you feel they haven’t fulfilled their end of the bargain, you can find another agency pretty easily. That definitely beats going through the hiring process all over again.

The Outsourced Advantage

Business owners have to consider not just the cost of designing a marketing campaign or building out marketing channels, but also labor and opportunity costs. Building an internal team takes a lot of time and funds, which are usually more readily available to bigger companies. Outsourced marketing gives small- and mid-sized companies the ability to pay for marketing by project, reducing overall costs. But the benefits don’t stop there. An agency can be an expert partner backed by a team with multiple skill sets. They bring a wide range of professional resources, affiliations and recognition with them to produce deliverables designed to get results.