Should digital marketing be outsourced, managed in-house or outsourced partially? The question everyone wants an answer to. Let’s explore a few key pros and cons of outsourcing digital marketing.
1. 360-degree digital marketing
To grow traffic, brand awareness and sales your company needs to be active in multiple digital marketing and advertising platforms. A multi-channel 360-degree digital marketing strategy is what brands look at.
If you plan to start digital marketing with a 360-degree approach and manage it in-house, you will have to build a big team. Alternatively, outsourcing to a full-service digital marketing agency could be an option.
2. Setting up a digital marketing department
Can you set up an in-house digital marketing department? Maybe you already have one? Setting up and managing a full digital marketing department involves time and money. You will need experts in strategy, content, design, branding, lead generation, ad campaign managers, development and more with the right experience.
Alternatively, you can hire an agency that already has all resources you need.
3. Outsourcing digital marketing partially
To get results with digital marketing, all functions involved must work together to achieve business goals. The functions being, a good digital strategy, creative design, quality content production, analytics, inbound marketing, search marketing, content marketing, social media, digital media buying, ad campaign management and more.
One way to go about it is to partially outsource digital marketing. For instance, you may decide to keep the strategy part of digital marketing in-house and outsource other components. Another instance could be you outsource strategy, content production and social media marketing, and manage other components in-house.
The point being that such a hybrid model is possible and many are already doing it. After evaluating your strengths and weaknesses, you decide what to outsource and what to manage in-house.
4. Non performance
What do you do if things do not work? If you manage digital marketing in-house, and the team fails to deliver results, you will either give them time to come up with a better strategy or recruit new talent. This will again take time and money.
When you outsource to a digital marketing agency and it fails to deliver expected performance, you can quickly move to another agency. Just make sure you have complete control over all your digital assets and advertising accounts. You should also get reports on ad campaign strategy and performance so that you know what did not work. You can share these with the new agency you hire. This will be very useful for the new agency when it designs strategy and campaigns to get you the results you want.
5. Sync with traditional marketing
Brands are shifting marketing budgets from traditional marketing channels to digital. Chances are you use both of them. The challenge here is you want your digital communications to be in sync with that of offline channels. And all efforts in offline and online marketing should collectively contribute to achieving your marketing goals.
Things work well when you manage digital marketing in-house. If outsourcing, you make sure that the agency you hire is up to date on all your efforts in traditional media.
Even if you outsource, there should be someone in your company, to manage digital marketing, and work with the digital agency.
When building a team in-house, you will hire digital marketers with experience in different industries. When such a group works together, there may be conflicts of opinions. And strategies that worked well for their last jobs, may not fit well to your digital marketing needs.
On the other hand, the teams that work in digital marketing agencies simultaneously manage multiple campaigns for different sectors. With a lot of experience and synergy, such teams are in a better position to put in place a digital marketing strategy that works and execute it for you.
7. Managing change
Digital marketing is very dynamic. For success on digital, it’s critical that marketers stay on top of emerging trends, best practices, and new technologies.
If you manage digital marketing in-house, training and development will consume resources.
Alternatively, if you outsource, you save on training and development costs.