The Marketing Dilemma: In House vs. Outsourced Marketing

Evie McQ-1Marketing is one of the largest industries in business.  It seems that almost everything could benefit from the use of marketing. One industry where marketing is indispensable is the retail industry. A product without the correct marketing strategy might as well not even be a product. Marketing is what gets a product recognized, gets the population interested, and gets consumers to buy. Due to this, companies or manufacturers, no matter what size, should place a large emphasis upon the correct marketing strategy.

However, before deciding upon this strategy, there is another decision to be made: do you want an in-house marketing department, or do you want to outsource marketing responsibilities? Today, we are going to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each and what factors should play into your final decision.

First, lets start with a definition of each type of marketing. In-house marketing is when marketing responsibilities are carried out and completed by an employee of a company. Outsourced marketing, a newer and growing frontier, on the other hand, is when a third party is hired to complete marketing tasks for a business. Neither is better than the other, it all depends on the needs of your business. So which factors should play into this decision?

1. Does your business have enough work to employ someone full time?

If you have marketing needs, but do not think you can allocate an appropriate amount of hours each week to marketing needs, then hiring an in house employee is probably not the right option. Outsourced marketing can be beneficial here because you set the amount of hours you need per week. There is no pressure to continually have enough work for your marketing employee. Outsourced marketing is an used on an “at need” basis. However, if you have enough marketing responsibilities to fill a full time position, then hiring in-house is a good way to ensure always having someone available for advice and help.

2. Is your focus on marketing or sales?

Make sure that you clearly define what you are trying to achieve from this marketing position. If it is growth of sales, then you are looking for a salesperson, not a marketing employee. They may seem like similar positions, but actually vary dramatically and can negatively affect your business if you attempt to combine the two.

3. Do you have the skills to analyze your new employee?

When you outsource your marketing, you know that you are putting your trust into a business or person who does outsourced marketing for a living. They have a lot of experience.  Hopefully, before you hired them you did research on them and looked for client testimonials, as to get a grasp for how successful they have been with other clients. However, if you hire someone in house and you have no past marketing experience, it can be a challenge to evaluate just how much they are benefiting your company and to train them effectively.

4. The size of your company

A large company generally will have an entire marketing department. However, smaller companies and start-ups will not. Often times, these smaller companies are still growing, and therefore center a lot of their effort around this growth. These types of companies would benefit from outsourcing their marketing, as to be able to focus on company growth, as long as they have the funds to outsource marketing.

5. The services you are going to require from a marketing professional

Marketing is an umbrella under which various different jobs and tasks fall. It can range from SEO expertise to a strategist. Make sure that you have the tasks you wish an outsourced marketing professional to complete clearly defined and be aware that, depending on how much money you are willing to invest in this service, the results and success may vary. Obviously, you can expect greater success when you are paying a larger price tag.

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