Digital marketing – Outsource VS In-house | Which is the best for my business?

by artisensegroup
March 31,2021

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In the business world, digital marketing is one of several effective ways to get your company noticed by more people and to bring in more leads. But when it comes to doing so, would it be better to entrust this important task to a dedicated in-house team or outsource it to a digital marketing agency? While both options certainly do have their pros and cons, making the right choice depends on a variety of factors so read on to figure which one’s best!

Differences between outsourced and in-house digital marketing

As a subset of marketing, digital marketing services are handled by a professional team that covers a variety of marketing specialties. While they serve the same purpose, there are some differences between working with outsourced and in-house teams.

In outsourced digital marketing, your marketing needs will be handled by an external agency instead of your own employees or team. There are several good sides to this:

  • Able to deliver top-quality results: Digital marketing agencies have the expertise, knowledge, and resources to deliver good results and the content that you need. 
  • Working with qualified people: Outsourcing to external agencies means you get to work with competent individuals that know the ins and outs of digital marketing.
  • Source of fresh marketing perspectives: Working with agencies is a good way to get a fresh outsider perspective to improve your marketing efforts. 
  • Cost-effective: Hiring an agency can be a lot more cost-effective for you in terms of hiring, management, and supervision, especially for project-based digital marketing.

But of course, opting for in-house digital marketing is a good option too as you will have a dedicated team right within your own company, which has its own benefits:

  • Knows your company inside and out: Compared to an agency, an in-house marketing team is much more aware of your company’s values, goals, objectives and existing client base, which can help them meet your marketing needs more accurately.
  • Teamwork & communication: With your marketing team under the same roof as your other staff, they can work more easily and flexibly with other teams to get things done.
  • Readily available when needed: As third-party agencies may have other projects to juggle, in-house teams are able to handle all marketing tasks when the need arises.
  • Saves energy in finding the right agency: Not all agencies can perfectly meet your expectations, and having an in-house team can save a lot of effort in having to find the right one.

Although outsourcing and in-house have their own respective advantages, both options can be just as effective in marketing your brand.

So, which one is better?

The answer is: it depends. The nature of your business, the market you’re in, and the audiences you’re targeting are all important factors that can affect whether outsourcing or in-house marketing will be better for your business. When deciding on your digital marketing approach, it can also be quite worthwhile to know the latest tips of social media marketing.

As every business may have different needs, here are some pointers that can help steer you in the right direction.

Outsourced digital marketing is better if:

  • Your current in-house team is not delivering the results you want.

Although having your own team dedicated to reaching your marketing goals can be a great asset, this is no guarantee that they will deliver high-quality results. This is especially true if you are relying on a traditional marketing team to handle your digital marketing needs as digital marketing requires a different subset of skills to be effective.

If your team has not been adequately meeting your business’s marketing goals in a long time due to a lack of expertise or some other reason, it might be better to start looking for an external agency. After all, an in-house team that does not deliver optimal results is not very cost-effective for your business either.

  • You’re running behind your plans.

High stress and workloads happen all the time in many working environments, but if you’re constantly behind schedule for your projects or campaigns, having an external agency shoulder your marketing needs can help you stay on track with your plans.

For example, if you find yourself delaying and pushing back deadlines and having to rush against last-minute projects, employing the services of an outside agency can help ensure that your digital marketing efforts are going according to plan, which is also great for staying ahead of the curve in the fast-changing environment of digital marketing.

  • You’re focusing too much on tasks instead of strategy.

If you happen to find yourself creating and sharing posts on Facebook just for the sake of being active on social media, this strategy won’t be very effective for long. Remember, digital marketing is supposed to benefit your business, and carrying out tasks that don’t help with that are just wasting your time and money.

By hiring an external agency, they can provide you a proper strategy to execute that can help you reach your goals. Plus, this opens up more room for improvement as you get to identify and measure the effectiveness of your strategy with your agency’s help.

  • Your strategies have no time for trial and error.

Depending on your business, some trial-and-error might be involved before you find the right strategy. But if this is taking too long and your strategies are not showing desirable results, bringing in an external agency can help you plan for a good strategy.

Like any important project, a proper digital marketing campaign will require a good amount of planning, brainstorming, research, and testing for it to work. If your business cannot or has not set aside the effort needed for this, hiring a digital marketing agency’s services will be the best way to get a working strategy without wasting precious time and resources.

  • You’re unsure of how to transition from traditional marketing to digital marketing.

Not all companies have the resources nor technical competence to take up digital marketing by themselves, and that’s fine. In such scenarios, hiring a digital marketing agency will ensure that you have a proper team that can handle your digital marketing efforts properly.

This especially applies if your business has mainly been utilizing traditional marketing as digital marketing follows rather different approaches and tactics. For example, digital marketers’s skills lie in leveraging social media platforms and online websites instead of billboards and print to get more leads. Without the right people and skills, hiring an agency would be the better way to reach your target audiences.

In short, if your business lacks the resources to have a capable team for handling digital marketing, it would be the wiser choice to employ a digital marketing agency, which are goal-driven to deliver strong performances and have the expertise to do so.

But even so, a digital marketing agency isn’t for everyone, which leaves in-house digital marketing as the next best option.

In-house digital marketing is better if:

  • You want long-term cost-effectiveness for your marketing efforts

If your company has long-term marketing goals, it would be more cost-effective in the long run to hire an internal team to handle your marketing needs. Compared to the cost of hiring staff, it is much more expensive to constantly hire external agencies to carry out your digital marketing campaigns, especially if you are a smaller business. 

  • You feel that an in-house team can reflect your brand better than an agency

As experienced and knowledgeable as digital marketing agencies can be, sometimes they might not fully grasp the values or aspects of your brand. In scenarios like these, it can take several meetings and the right team members for an agency to come up with content that is compatible with your brand, and this can cost a lot of precious time and energy. 

With an in-house team, they would be well-versed in all of your business’s ins and outs, which can help streamline the process as they will already know how to better match your business’s ideals.

  • You need a team working around the clock 

One setback when it comes to digital marketing agencies is that you aren’t their only focus – oftentimes, they have other clients and projects to handle too. As digital marketing opportunities can arise anytime, having a team dedicated solely to handling your marketing needs can ensure that all your marketing needs are met and that you are capitalizing on the latest trends and strategies.

  • You want the flexibility of having your own team

While outsourcing services to an agency can be easier on your business, this comes at a price of flexibility as you won’t have full creative control over an agency compared to your own team. As external agencies do not necessarily share the same interests or goals as you do, conflicts of interest can really hamper the progress of your digital marketing campaigns.

Since in-house marketing teams are under your management, you get to maintain a much higher level of control over your digital marketing campaign’s run, which gives you more flexibility in handling things the way you want. 

  • You are more than capable of handling it yourself

If you have what it takes to adopt digital marketing into your business, it can be easier to handle digital marketing yourself. This is especially true if you have a full-fledged team capable of handling all of digital marketing’s essential aspects, such as graphic design, social media management, web development, and copywriting. Not only does this make everything easier, but this also reduces the chances of problems and mistakes happening.

With the proper skills and resources in place, having an in-house digital marketing team can be just as desirable as hiring an external agency. Plus, you will have a team that is committed to marketing your business in the long run.

But is it possible to have both?

Most definitely! If you happen to have your own in-house team, you can still outsource some of your digital marketing work to an agency. In scenarios like these, third-party agencies would work with your in-house team members and split the marketing activities accordingly. 

By having the combined talents of both an in-house team and an agency, you have much more creativity, inspiration, and perspectives to work with in creating a more effective digital marketing strategy. Plus, this lets you round out the productivity of your digital marketing efforts as your in-house team and agency are able to work together as one cohesive unit.

At the end of the day, businesses can vary greatly from one another and so do your needs. As there is no one-size-fits-all solution for choosing the right digital marketing option, it’s worth considering the pros and cons of both outsourcing and in-house before making your choice. Either way, you can rest assured that you are making one right decision in embracing digital marketing!

If you need any digital marketing consultation, do feel free to reach out to us at Artisense! From website development and social media management to advertising and Google ads, we promise deliverable results to all our customers!