In today’s post, I will stretch myself between two worlds. On one side, I point out when to outsource your business marketing to a PR or marketing firm. On opposite side of the divide, you learn when not to outsource but handle marketing in-house (or all alone, if you fly solo).
At the end of the post, however, my aim is to help you choose which side to lean on. Why should you take my advice? Simple: I did a lot of research. Plus, in my own small ways, I’ve been there and done that. But I digress.
If you choose to outsource, that’s entirely up to you. If you go all DIY, well and good. My overarching goal is to help you get your marketing done, so we can all pop the bubbly at the end of the day. Isn’t that why you are here?
Have questions or suggestions? I’m always open to criticism and your views, so don’t hold back. Instead, bring the battle to the comment section, and I will gladly indulge you. We roll like that, plus I won’t hold it against you, because that’s not why we are here today.
We are here to learn whether it pays to outsource marketing.
Isn’t that right?
Another thing, by the way, I lean towards digital marketing because we have the internet – and it’s a huge part of how we do business nowadays.
But don’t despair – if you’re still doing marketing the old way, you might find a gem to take your business to the next level.
One final thing. I wrote this article with small businesses in mind, but just because I’m vain (who isn’t, duh), I believe big wigs can also grasp a few tips today. If not, let’s stick to small businesses…. You know, just like the businesses Rafi Chowdhury has grown into successful ventures ????
Now that we have our aim, let’s dive in because time is money. Should you outsource marketing?
Should You DIY or Outsource Business Marketing?
For some businesses, outsourcing is a no-brainer. They invest a lot of time in chief business tasks they need help with effective marketing. Other businesses simply lack the resources to run an in-house marketing team, which makes outsourcing the cheaper option.
For other businesses, outsourcing is not an option. If you’re an expert marketer, you probably handle marketing activities without outside help. Other businesses don’t outsource simply because they have strong in-house teams and resources.
Choosing whether to outsource marketing depends entirely on your business. Start by understanding your marketing goals, and if you’re achieving them with your current methods. The great news is: Nowadays you can easily see the numbers in analytic tools such as Hubspot, Google, etc.
Digital marketing is a huge field with many roles. Can you handle SEO, content marketing, link building, social media marketing, PPC ads, etc. easily? If that’s a definite yes, don’t bother outsourcing. Keep doing what you do to drive results.
If you don’t know what SEO and the other terms mean, you’re better off hiring a digital marketing firm. Taking to the internet to learn all there is about digital marketing is futile, more so when running a business. Remember that information overload stops you from crafting effective marketing strategies.
That being said, let’s delve deeper into outsourcing your business marketing.
DIY or Outsource Business Marketing?
In the following section, find reasons that might push you to outsource or do marketing yourself.
You’re Overworking Your Team
Outsourcing your marketing can help you save the time you need to focus on vital business tasks such as sales, customer service and product creation, among other things. That’s why during hard times, marketing is usually the first to go, since it’s an expense unlike sales, which is a money-maker.
In most businesses, it’s common to find one employee handling a cocktail of tasks. And your business is probably not different. If you’re overworking your marketing team/person with other vital business tasks, it’s time to outsource marketing or some aspects of it.
Overworking your team leads to stress, which translates to low morale, reduced productivity, and loss of revenue down the line. Outsourcing marketing allows you to free-up time that you can direct to crucial business activities.
When not to outsource: Don’t outsource if you have the manpower and resources to execute effective marketing campaigns without overworking your employees. If your team members are always exhausted because they have too much on their plates, you can only expect a lackluster performance across your business.
You Lack Adequate Marketing Skills
It makes perfect sense to hire a marketing firm if you or your team lack the skills, education or experience to launch effective marketing campaigns. This is especially true for freelancers, agencies, and small businesses without big budgets to hire top talent.
Besides, it takes years to gain valuable marketing experience, even if you plan to handle marketing on your own. Do you or your team know the perfect marketing channel for your specific product(s)?
Can you analyze data and track your results effectively? If you not, you’re better off leaving marketing to the experts. The people who do marketing daily, even during their time off.
When not to outsource: If you have a team that can launch marketing campaigns and track results satisfactory, don’t outsource. Instead, test, improve, and repeat. If you want to stick to your in-house team while improving results, consider sending a current team member back to school to learn marketing.
You’re Overhauling Your Entire Marketing Strategy
Here’s a situation, which – by the way – is a reality for many business persons. Say you’re not realizing the results you want from your in-house marketing team/manager months after implementation.
Instead of rinsing and repeating a poor marketing strategy, you choose to invest in a new marketing strategy.
The only problem?
You or your team don’t know what to do; you’re all confused and training is expensive and will take time. You can opt to outsource to a marketing agency and save the day.
Perhaps our example above doesn’t drive the point home. Here’s another one.
Say you want to move from traditional marketing and dive into digital marketing but nobody in your team knows what to do – you might consider outsourcing to experts, instead of recruiting, training, paying benefits, etc.
When not to outsource: Don’t outsource if your marketing strategy is working and your in-house marketing team is generating enough leads to keep your business growing. E.g. if you can transition from traditional marketing to digital marketing without hiccups, you don’t need outside help.
That out of the way, let us cover the pros and cons of outsourcing.
Pros of Outsourcing
- You save more time to focus on vital business responsibilities
- You can generate more engagement, but only when you hire the right marketing agency. Some marketing firms will even handle customer service on your behalf, especially when answering questions from media outlets.
- Marketing firms can help you to pinpoint your target audience and strengthen your marketing strategy.
- Reduce overhead – consider the cost of hiring extra staff. Before outsourcing, consider your options. Is an in-house team cheaper than outsourcing? If outsourcing is cheaper, then it makes a lot of financial sense to hire a marketing firm. If it’s pricier, it is better to go with another option – perhaps, an in-house team, or a marketing manager to train your team ????
- Access to a wide pool of marketing experts who bring a lot of experience to the table
- You receive great data reports that can help inform your business strategy
Cons of Outsourcing
- Outsourcing marketing activities can be costly if the results don’t match the financial investment
- Fully controlling your marketing activities can be a challenge
- Outside marketing firms don’t know your company culture
Over to You
Would you consider outsourcing your business marketing? If so, what are your reasons? If not, how do you market your business without outside help?
Keep in mind that an external marketing agency is like a full-time employee, without the extra burden of health benefits, free lunches and paid vacations, among other perks. Additionally, a marketing firm can benefit your company, more so if you need help creating an effective marketing strategy.
At the same time, not every business needs to outsource marketing. Only outsource to a marketing agency if they can help you increase profits, and improve your brand image.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments.