Outsourcing Your Marketing vs Hiring an In-House Marketing Team? ~ 11 Entrepreneurs Share Their Advice
Sigh! It can be incredibly frustrating to feel like the vision you have for your business is moving excruciatingly slow. You have zillions of brilliant marketing strategies. The problem is there is never enough time in your day to execute or manage it all.
I have found the biggest cause is from something called the Marketing Strategy Execution Gap. You need more soldiers on the ground to deploy multiple marketing strategies to free you up to shine as Chief Visionary.“Without vision, the people perish.” ~ Proverbs 29:18” “Without marketing, the vision will perish.” ~ Yoon Cannon” Click To Tweet
You probably already tried outsourcing to a marketing agency only to be disappointed with the results. According to digital.com, 76% percent of small business owners report facing marketing challenges.
The core challenges of marketing fall into these 5 areas:
- Generating traffic and leads
- Training your team to generating traffic and leads
- Lack of resources (budget / people / time)
- Hiring talented people
- Social media
I mean, starting a business is hard enough. Can’t leads just come you? You have a great business idea, right? You should be overwhelmed with leads, right?
After All, There are amazing musicians who, based on their genius of talent, should be worldwide superstars. But instead, they starve and struggle for decades because they were never ‘discovered’ by record labels who can market the heck out of them.
Your genius business idea is no different. Doing all the marketing yourself should no longer be an option.
As the visionary, how will you close that ‘Marketing Strategy Execution Gap’?
- Option 1: Outsource your marketing to a bunch of freelancers or to a marketing agency.
- Option 2: Hire your own in-house marketing team.
Which is better for you? …
I’ve rounded up 10 small business entrepreneurs to weigh in with their opinion on this decision. Find out the pros and cons they have experienced with outsourcing vs hiring an in house marketing team. At the end I will also share my own experience from everything I have tried over 26 years of being an entrepreneur to help you make a more informed decision for yourself.
Kymberlie Dimoz, CEO of Lighting Rod AgencyOutsourcing is perfect when your business is making a healthy profit margin. Click To Tweet
Kymberlie Dimoz shares “Outsourcing is perfect when your business is making a healthy profit margin but you haven’t quite yet realised your potential.”
Ambroise de La Gorce, CEO/Founder of Openinno@ambroisedlg Outsourcing at the very beginning of the business can offer more flexibility. Click To Tweet
Ambroise de La Gorce shares, “Outsourcing and in-house marketing both have their pros and cons. Each option can be better than the other in different situations depending on numerous factors, including type of management, marketing tools used, sprints management, business stage.
In my opinion, outsourcing at the very beginning of the business can offer more flexibility. Recruiting in-house is necessary when the product/market fit is validated, to give more stability to the business. Then outsourcing 20% of the team or so when scaling the business can be interesting to gather the resources we can hardly find on-site.”
Kerry Maybank, Owner of Strategic Links LLC@TheMaybankGroup I have team members that are great at marketing and create more of the significant pitch documents for us Click To Tweet
Kerry Maybank shares, “I mostly do my own marketing, but I have team members that are great at marketing and create more of the significant pitch documents for us. I’ve received free advertising by doing interviews with the media.
My company does not have employees. We have team members. People come onboard with exceptional talents in particular areas of the business that significant interest at the time. Sometimes we provide equity if the need is that great or we barter and provide their companies something in return based on our expertise. It keeps costs down, and creates mutually beneficial relationships, while increasing the exposure of our firm.”
David Murumbi, Founder of Rafiki Digi@Rafiki We keep our marketing in-house because it allows us to harness our own data. Click To Tweet
David Murumbi shares, “We keep our marketing in-house because it allows us to harness our own data and learn to understand how our customers interact with our business. Combining marketing customer data, building segments, and then activating those segments in your communication is something that really draws growth.
Peter Rigas, Founder of Fini Cutlery, LLCNo one will care about your business or know your products/services better than you and your staff. Click To Tweet
Peter Rigas shares, “You need both. You need in house because no matter how much you pay an outside agency or group of freelancers, no one will care about your business or know your products/services better than you and your staff. However, there is so much to manage and oversee that you need outside agencies that specialize in the various verticals.”
Mark Walerysiak Jr., Founder and CEO Of Giverrang@marktuff I would prefer to have someone inside the team and as close to the product as I am. Click To Tweet
Mark Walerysiak Jr. shares, “I’m early stage, and do all the marketing myself (at the moment). I could see the benefit of outsourcing particular tasks related to content / SEO. The more weedy stuff. But when it comes to telling compelling on-brand stories I would prefer to have someone inside the team and as close to the product as I am. When you eat, sleep, and breathe a product (and not worrying about other clients), you can communicate much more passionately about it in just about any form, and I think the audience can pick up on that. So the preference would be in-house if it’s doable.”
Laurie Kessler, CEO Of The Celebrity Source@celebritysource Our team has a great deal of experience - so we can tap into our own knowledge for basic initiatives Click To Tweet
Laurie Kessler shares, “My marketing needs are managed with both internal and external resources. Our internal team has a great deal of experience in marketing and PR – so we can typically tap into our own knowledge and experience for basic initiatives like drafting corporate communications and pitches, social media posts, email marketing, etc. We outsource for marketing tactics outside of our areas of expertise, or if our bandwidth is tight – such as more complex social media campaigns, SEO and digital advertising.”
Gary J. Nix, Founder Of The Brandarchist@Mr_McFly No one can create someone else's brand on their own Click To Tweet
Gary J. Nix shares, “I’ve always done my marketing in-house. I’ve only worked in or ran marketing companies, so outsourcing my marketing would be really weird.
The one piece of advice I would give entrepreneurs that feel weary about or otherwise unable to fully carry out marketing duties, is to still be involved. As a consultant, part of my job is to learn as much about my client’s brand as possible because the person or people leading the business know the most about their brand. I can help a client focus. I can help a client develop. However, no one can create someone else’s brand on their own.”
Staci Schweitzer, Founder Of Blue Moss@stacischweitzer I'm doing it all right now -- I think it actually helps build trust and is part of my business values. Click To Tweet
Staci Schweitzer shares, “As a new one-woman consultancy, I’m doing it all right now — marketing and business development as well as everything else involved in the business!
Honestly, while that requires more time and effort from me, I think it actually helps build trust and is part of my business values. With me, it’s personal, and my clients know that they can trust Blue Moss for personal dedication and utmost quality.”
Keith Kirkpatrick, Principal & Founder of 4K Research & Consulting, LLC@4K_Research I find it easier to directly reach out to potential clients Click To Tweet
Keith Kirkpatrick shares, “I generally do not outsource marketing, as I find it easier to directly reach out to potential clients. Additionally, much of my work comes through referrals, anyway.”
Yoon Cannon Founder, Paramount Business Coach Host, Biz Growth Doctors Show@yooncannon Make sure your marketing project manager is a well trained Full Stack Marketer. Click To Tweet
I have done all three options throughout my 26 year journey owning 4 different businesses. I once did all the marketing myself. But I quickly found that not to be the best use of my time as the Chief Visionary and Strategist. Just because I know how to do the marketing, doesn’t mean I should be the primary person executing it all. So, then I spent many years outsourcing to freelancers. While it’s a good choice for one time projects, the danger is you end up spending way too much time vetting and project managing freelancers, which prevents you from acting as the Chief Visionary and Strategist. The other common pitfall with outsourcing is the temptation to hire the lowest priced freelancer. Like with anything else … you get what you pay for. You risk super sloppy mistakes and oversights that cost you your brand’s reputation. Here’s an example a realtor friend of mine forwarded me. She subscribed to be on an email list from a marketing provider in her industry … to her surprise here’s what the email read:
My realtor friend was so confused! …. Here she thought she was signing up to let this marketing company do her social media posts and email marketing for her. Instead of getting info about the done for you marketing services she was expecting, an email template and an email from a weight loss company came instead. Certainly people do make mistakes. But, when you outsource to the cheapest provider, sloppy mistakes just seem to occur in high frequency.
Marketing is not a mindless task any monkey can do.
When I exhausted my patience for chronic sloppy mistakes from outsourced VA’s and freelancers I decided to let go the reigns and hired a marketing agency to take care of it all A-Z. I hoped outsourcing the majority of my marketing to an agency would remove the project managing off my plate. I hired Several different agencies, but in each experience I didn’t see the ROI to renew. Instead, I discovered the project managers who were assigned to me were skilled at project managing (which is a good thing), but so many critical details got missed because they weren’t skilled enough in all things marketing. [CONTEXT] There are many great marketing agencies out there who have highly skilled marketers as project managers, but these agencies are often geared to Enterprise size clients, not so much for the SMB community.
What I do now, and my advice to other SMB’s (small-medium business owners) is the 70-20-10 mix.
- 70% of our core marketing is done in-house
- 20% is outsourced (one time projects or a specialty area we don’t have in house yet)
- 10% still is done by me (like recording videos, giving interviews)
I finally found the key to taking project managing off your plate as a small business owner is to make sure the project manager is a well trained Full Stack Marketer.
Ok … there you have it. You just heard from 11 of us about our experiences and opinions on whether it’s better to outsource your marketing or hire your own in-house marketing team.
Whether you decide to outsource or hire in house, the next set of decisions you’ll need to make are things like:
- Who should you hire first?
- What’s the going rate for this and that?
- What is the best marketing strategy they should be implementing for your business?
- Where can you go to find marketers who know what they’re doing?
- What should you look for when hiring your marketing person/team?
My answer to all of the above questions is this:
I would answer all of these questions differently depending on each unique business owner, bandwidth, budget and brand. If you want to get clarity on best way for you to eliminate the marketing strategy execution gap in your business why not take me up on my free offer? For a limited time, I am offering a FREE 45 Minute Strategy Call to help you work through this.
FREE THE WIZARD
Click the link below and Eliminate Your Marketing Strategy Execution Gap!
QUESTION: What other questions would you add to the list of 5 above? Share your comments and questions below.