Digital Marketing. In-house or out-source?

Digital Marketing refers to the “marketing of both products and services using digital channels to reach consumers” where the key objective is to promote brands through the various forms of digital media. It extends beyond Internet marketing and includes channels that do not require the use of the Internet.

In order for a marketing strategy to be effective, it relies on the efficient use of both offline and online methods where more businesses are leaning towards digital marketing methods due to the fact that it can reach out to more customers who are technologically savvy. But, how do companies succeed with their digital marketing campaign, and what are the important factors to take note of before embarking on a digital marketing strategy?

There are two ways for businesses when they embark on digital marketing,

  1. Doing it themselves “in-house”

  2. Outsourcing to an external digital marketing agency

I would start by saying that there is no right answer. Sometimes, it makes sense to have an in-house team while sometimes it’s better to outsource to an agency.

Before delving into the pros and cons, let’s focus on what to consider when deciding on digital marketing.

One of the major things to consider would be the budget. For instance, if the business’s online marketing budget is less than a certain amount, there might not be a budget for outsourcing. It is important to know that if an outsource digital marketing agency sells a service for a few hundred dollars a month, they are probably scam operations.

In-House Digital Marketing (Pros)

1. A dedicated marketing team

Lesser time is needed to bring the marketing team up to speed. This is because they would definitely have a better understanding of the company, products, services and customers than any outsider.

2. Team is in-tune with the business

This would mean if there are new situations and market conditions, they would be able to respond faster and understand right away what is affected. It would also keep the marketing team engaged with the objectives of the company.

3. Use of Analytics

When the business’s own marketing team does their research, they would have more back context when it comes to interpreting the data

In-House Digital Marketing (Cons)

1. Taking a considerable amount of time

Forming a new team could take up a huge amount of time and there would be a learning curve as the team has to take on more roles. Moreover, with an in-house team, it may cost the business additional expenses that they might not be able to afford. It is important to keep this in mind if the company has already invested heavily in other marketing assets and other areas of the business.

2. No proper training

With a new team, they might not have had proper training and understanding of digital media. Hence, they might not be capable or qualified to handle challenges that they might encounter.

3. Tedious Activities

Digital marketing includes tedious and repetitive activities which could be better left outsourced. For instance, social media updates and engagements are better left outsourced than allocating and dedicating valuable resources and manpower.

Outsourced Digital Marketing (Pros)

1. Cost-Effective

It could save the company more than half the cost of hiring a full-time marketer. For most businesses, digital marketing skills are in high demand, and small businesses may not be able to afford a full-time team.

2. Fresh and Creative Perspective

Businesses would be able to receive fresh and more creative marketing perspective. Moreover, these providers already know the ins-and-outs as they have experts on board whose job is to stay on top of the latest in-trends and technologies.

3. Timely delivery

For instance, when a digital marketing agency takes on a project, it would dedicate all the resources it has to meet the deadlines. This would be different from an in-house team where in the event that other priorities pop up, they could become distracted where it puts campaign schedules at risk.

Outsourced Digital Marketing (Cons)

1. Not the only client of the agency

The first con would be that the business would likely not be the only company of the third party digital marketing provider. Sometimes, working on several projects at the same time may result in sub-par performances and poor project outcomes.

2. May not be proficient in company

Secondly, providers may not be exceptionally proficient or completely knowledgeable of the different important aspects in the company that only team members would be familiar with.

3. Unable to be on-site full time

Thirdly, third-party digital marketing providers are unable to be on-site full time, this would mean that every transaction with them would more often than not be on a scheduled basis instead of an on-site one

With all these being said, what would you prefer? To hire an internal marketing team or to outsource to an agency? Let us know what you think!