Digital Marketing for Business – In-house or Outsource? (Infographic)


digital marketing inhouse vs outsource

Going the traditional (or offline) route alone for your marketing strategy is not a very practical move in the current global market atmosphere. The effectiveness of current marketing strategies rely on the efficient use of both offline and online methods, with more and more businesses leaning towards digital marketing methods. In fact, budget sentiments for 2014 favor digital and mobile strategies a lot more than traditional media as seen from the chart below:

global marketing budget sentiment

 Just like global marketing teams spending over $135 billion dollars on new digital marketing tools and materials this year, you should also consider investing more on effective digital marketing strategies. But just how do you succeed with your digital marketing campaign? Only two routes are available for any business owners – doing it yourself DIY  in-house style or outsource to an external digital marketing agency.

So, which one should you choose? The answer will lie on your particular situation, market, and targeted audiences. The following takes a more in-depth look into these two methods so you can check out for yourself which strategy will work best for your business.

The Infographic (click to zoom):

Digital Marketing for Business – In-house or Outsource

DIY In-house Digital Marketing

With the abundance of resources and rising new technological advances in online technologies, DIY or Do-It-Yourself strategies and techniques have become popular and prevalent across many circles. Would this be the right strategy for you? Read on.

The Pros:

  1. 57% of B2C marketers and 69% of B2B marketers reported that the “lack of time” proved to be their toughest challenge in digital marketing, particularly in content generation and marketing. With your own DIY marketing team, you will have a flexible and dedicated team of digital marketers who specifically knows the goals, ins-and-outs, and objectives of your business.
  2. You will have a dedicated marketing team working in line with a documented digital marketing strategy. 66% of effective content marketers make use of such strategies, with 86% led or managed by a dedicated team or person. With a documented strategy executed by a dedicated team, your business can adapt well to new trends and demands of the market.
  3. Without a third-party provider or external digital marketing agency, you can save more on monthly billings and other additional expenses.
  4. By forming your own in-house digital marketing team, you can make use of less efficient or neglected resources within your business or organization. You can repurpose these teams to a higher marketing purpose that will work well with the overall marketing objectives of your business.
  5. Increase employee retention by providing your employees with better challenges and improved skills by working on your in-house digital marketing program. You can keep them engaged with the goals and objectives of your company and you need not hire outside personnel to work in your new campaign

The Cons:

  1. Forming a new team takes up a considerable learning curve and the ramp up time may be slower than you would expect, particularly if your team does not have the skills and experience to perform an effective digital marketing job. This is what 79% of B2B digital marketers experience, particularly with employees’ skill gaps when it comes to digital marketing techniques.
  2. Forming a new in-house team may cost the business additional expenses that they could not afford, particularly if they have already invested heavily in other marketing assets and other areas of the business.
  3. 60% of digital marketers actually think they have an ineffective current marketing program. This is due to the fact that 82% of these marketers learned what they know right now about digital marketing on-the-job and not through any formal trainings. Forming an in-house team with members that have no proper training and lacking the understanding of digital marketing complexities may not help you reach your business goals.
  4. An inexperienced in-house team may not be capable or qualified to handle new digital marketing challenges that they have encountered for the first time. Such challenges and problems may best be handled by an external or project-based digital marketing agency or partner.
  5. An important part of digital marketing includes tedious and repetitive activities like social media updates and engagement and other Internet marketing channels. Activities like these are better left outsourced than allocating and dedicating valuable resources and manpower.

Outsourced Digital Marketing

Freelancing is a growing phenomenon in the United States, with approximately 20% to 33% of its workforce formed by independent workers. The same is true in the United Kingdom where the top 10 skills involved in web and digital marketing comes from freelancers. Last year, there were a 46% increase in online businesses outsourcing to freelancers. The kind of digital marketing work outsourced to freelancers by B2B marketers include the following:

  • 64% – writing
  • 54% – design
  • 30% – content distribution
  • 22% – editing
  • 13% – measurement & analytics
  •   8% – planning & strategy
  •   5% – buyer persona creation

Will outsourcing your digital marketing strategy work for you? Read on to find out.

The Pros

  1. Outsourcing your digital marketing program to a freelancer or part-time provider will save you as much as half the cost of hiring a full time marketer. Hiring your own digital marketer that is at par with what outsourced agencies can provide would mean hiring someone who is a middle or senior level marketing executive. That would mean paying a commensurate salary plus benefits – which can all add up to something costly. To accurately assess the cost of hiring a digital marketer, consider generating pay stubs to calculate not only the salary but also additional expenses such as benefits, providing a comprehensive overview of the financial implications involved in maintaining an in-house marketing team.
  2. Wired contributing editor and writer Jonah Lehrer shared ways on how you can be more creative with your digital marketing program in his book “Imagine: How Creativity Works”. What you can learn from the book is that by getting an outsider viewpoint such as hiring an outsourced digital marketing team will give your business a fresh and more creative marketing perspective.
  3. You can skip the learning curve required when forming your own in-house digital marketing team by outsourcing these services to a third-party or external provider with an already experienced and expert team of digital marketers to work for you. These providers already know the ins and outs of digital marketing, enabling them to start right away on your campaign.
  4. A recent poll highlighted that only 48% of digital marketers claimed to be proficient in digital marketing, and only 40% think that their colleagues are the same. Working with an outsourced digital marketing team ensures that you will only work with qualified and skilled individuals who knows what they are doing – and deliver results.
  5. Only a third of respondents of the study entitled “Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers up at Night” by Adobe claimed that their organizations are proficient in digital marketing. Outsourced digital marketing agencies can provide the skills that in-house resources do not have or cannot provide.

The Cons

  1. You may not be the only customer of your third-party digital marketing provider. This may result in prioritization conflicts particularly if they are working on several projects at the same time. Working on several projects at the same time may also result in sub-par performance and poor project outcomes.
  2. Third-party digital marketing providers may be experts in social media marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing and other digital marketing tools and channels, but only you should know the ins and outs of your business best. These providers may not be proficient or completely knowledgeable of important aspects in your business – and may not provide results as expected.
  3. In-house teams can be on-site full time, but your third-party digital marketing providers cannot. This means that every transaction you have with them will be on a scheduled and not necessarily on an on-site basis. What this imply is that you may not be able to adjust or react immediately according to situations you encounter with your marketing operations – and would have to wait for your provider to be available.
  4. In a similar note, third-party digital marketing providers may operate on the traditional 8 to 5, Monday to Friday operations. Internet marketing on the other hand is real time, operating 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. If your digital marketing provider operates this way, you will miss out on opportunities to engage with targeted audiences that can occur beyond the traditional time frame.
  5. Reaching out and engaging to targeted audiences online is about creating a great first impression. If you work with a third party digital marketing provider, first contact with your targeted audiences will occur through them – and not you directly. It will not be you making your first impressions.

To go back to the original question of what digital marketing strategy will work best for your business – whether DIY or outsourced – the final answer will ultimately depend on you. One can be at par in terms of performance with the other, so it will be up to you to choose which strategy will work best with your business, industry, market, and targeted audiences.

So choose well and choose what’s best for you.

Jomer Gregorio

Jomer B. Gregorio is a well-rounded expert when it comes digital marketing. Jomer is also known as a semantic SEO evangelist and practitioner. Check out our Digital Marketing Services today and let us help you in achieving positive and profitable results for your business.