Outsourcing Marketing vs Hiring a Marketing Team

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 especially without a marketing team

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. You need a marketing team.

“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:

  1. Generating traffic and leads
  2. Training your team to generating traffic and leads
  3. Lack of resources (budget / people / time)
  4. Hiring talented people
  5. 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?

RELATED: 21 Smart Ways to Generate More Leads for Your Business 

Wishful thinking.

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. 

 RELATED: The Secret Struggle Behind Being An Entrepreneur

Kymberlie Dimoz, CEO Of Lighting Rod Agency

Outsourcing 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

@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 also have gotten 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 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

No one will care about your business or know your products/services better than you and your staff. Click To Tweet

 

Peter 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 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 shares, “Our 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 Brandarchist

@Mr_McFly No one can create someone else's brand on their own Click To Tweet

Gary 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, lol.

The one piece of advice I would give entrepreneurs that feel weary about or otherwise unable to fully carry out marketing duties, 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 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

@4K_Research I find it easier to directly reach out to potential clients Click To Tweet



Keith 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. 

Conclusion

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: 

  1. Who should you hire first?
  2. What’s the going rate for this and that?
  3. What is the best marketing strategy they should be implementing for your business?
  4. Where can you go to find marketers who know what they’re doing?
  5. What should you look for when hiring your marketing person/team?

My answer to all of the above questions is this: 

It depends. 

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. 

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Click the link below and Eliminate Your Marketing Strategy Execution Gap!

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QUESTION: What other questions would you add to the list of 5 above? Share your comments and questions below.

How Outsourcing Can Help Small Businesses Keep Up

How Outsourcing Can Help Small Businesses Keep Up

Did you know that nearly 60% of companies are outsourcing tasks to cut costs? Many small companies are falling behind.

They don’t have the ability to afford in-house specialists to keep up. This is due to fast pace technology making business more competitive. Outsourcing is the main key you might be missing for your company to thrive.

Today, IT and other professionals are very expensive to hire. Leaving small businesses in the dust if they can’t afford them.

The benefits of outsourcing are countless. You can outsource mundane tasks so your in-house team can focus on essential assignments that require time and effort. Outsourcing offers both big and small companies significant money-saving opportunities and the ability to stay ahead of the game.

Three Types of Outsourcing

There are three main types of outsourcing. There are many types of jobs and ways to outsource. The key is to find what is best for your company and your needs.

Outsourcing Professionals

This is the most common type of outsourcing. Many small companies cannot afford to outsource expensive specialists. This includes specialists in accounting, administrative, and legal work.

In most cases, you don’t need an in-house full-time professional to do these jobs. You can outsource work to a company or professional when necessary.

Outsourcing IT Experts

Not only are in-house IT experts costly, but they aren’t necessary all the time. The majority of the work they do can be done from anywhere.

Why not hire remotely a professional that has the expertise in the latest technologies.

From app development, system administration, and software design to maintaining your website. You can find less expensive IT experts around the globe that are a fraction of the price of hiring locally.

Outsourcing Copywriters and Marketers

When it comes to marketing, many small businesses turn to their in-house employees. Creating text and design for pamphlets, websites, social media, and blogs.

There is a lot more that goes into creating a quality marketing campaign than just writing text.

Today, with proper content, a company can go far. Outsourcing professionals in the field can help boost their image and put them in the limelight

Outsourcing Benefits and Risks

Did you know that 47% of companies choose to outsource work to reduce capacity issues? Paying for office space costs a lot more than hiring a freelance professional.

Benefits of Outsourcing

1. More specialized talent. – As a small company, it’s not always possible to hire professional talent. They tend to be costly to hire in-house. With outsourcing, you have access to professionals around the globe at a lower cost, depending on your specific needs.

2. Save Money. – A company may spend $1,252 per new employee training alone. This doesn’t include additional costs of office space and expenses such as sick pay, pension, and others. Also, you have more access to professionals with more experience and knowledge that cost less on average.

3. More transfer of knowledge. – A strong team made of experienced experts can cover everything across the board to keep your company up to date.

4. Higher performance. – Most outsourced professionals work per-project basis. Focusing only on the task at hand without distractions that an in-house employee may have. As a result, they deliver work faster and of a much higher quality.

5. Reduce expenditures on new technology. – Technology is always changing. The moment a company finally has the funds to invest, new technology is on the rise. By hiring experts already using the latest technology, the company doesn’t have to train in-house employees to implement it.

6. Improve in-house productivity. – Allow your employees to focus on the crucial tasks. Keep your business moving forward by outsourcing mundane tasks such as data entry.

Drawbacks of Outsourcing

As with everything else, there are always drawbacks. If you pay close attention, do your research whom you outsource to, and always read the fine print, you should be fine.

1. Loss of control. – If you assign work to an outsourcing company or freelancer, be aware. Without controlling the results, you may find yourself worse off than before. Outsourcing requires a bit of organization and work on your side to maintain quality and move forward.

2. Hidden costs. – If you choose to outsource work to a company, be diligent about what you are signing up for. There is often a small print that may incur more costs than hiring in-house. Always review the contracts carefully. Make sure you are aware of what you are paying for and which added costs might come up.

3. Security risk. – If what you plan to outsource requires sharing personal customer or employee data, it could pose a risk. Always consider what type of work you plan on outsourcing and hire trusted companies and freelancers.

4. Time difference. – Many outsourcing companies and freelancers may be working in a different time zone. This might make it challenging to sync with your schedules. However, with good time management, there are always ways around it.

5. Language barriers. – Remember that many outsourcing companies and freelancers are not native English speakers. This could pose a problem with the language barrier. However, if you do your research well, you can find fantastic professionals with perfect English.

6. Moral dilemmas. – One of the moral dilemmas may be denying someone from your team an opportunity to grow by outsourcing work. The possibility of stumping the growth of your community by not working with a local talent agency. Another issue is that some consumers frown upon outsourcing.

Bottom Line

In essence, the benefits of outsourcing for small businesses outweigh the drawbacks. This is because you need to keep up with the big guys if you wish to grow as a company. The best way is by having experts on your team that many small businesses can only afford in-house.

A small business requires a dream team to advance and keep up. Outsource as much as possible by finding companies, or freelancers on sites like PeopleByTheHour and UpWork. Even small businesses could build a dream team,save money, and keep up with the latest changes in technology.

Which tasks you feel could be outsourced in your company?

 Question: Would you outsource to give your in-house team more time to focus on important tasks? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Hristina Nikolovska is the appointed Community Manager at WhatToBecome. Using her extensive background in digital marketing, as well as her social media and public relations experience, Hristina’s passion is helping others stay organized through clear communication and pushing for the realization of projects of every sort.