In-House Digital Marketing Vs. Outsourcing To The Pros: Which Is Best For A Small Business?

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If you are a small business owner and you are ready to start developing and implementing a digital marketing strategy, the one question on your mind right now is likely: “Should we do it in-house or pay the experts?” In this article, we’ll compare both options and identify which is best suited to a small business. Let’s get stuck in…

In-house digital marketing: Pros and cons

In-house digital marketing, as the name suggests, quite literally refers to the process of handling all of your digital marketing requirements within your company – rather than hiring third-party professionals to assist you. Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons:

Pros

  • You can hire and build a strong team of your choosing.
  • Dedicated team.
  • Total transparency and control.
  • Full ownership of 1st party data.
  • You retain full control of your campaign

Cons

  • Hiring and building an in-house digital marketing department is expensive (e.g., training, holidays, sick days, equipment, tools, etc.).
  • Routine can stifle creativity and growth.
  • Limited resources.
  • Less brain power.
  • Talent recruitment is difficult (and expensive).

Outsourcing to a third-party digital marketing agency: Pros and cons

On the other hand, you can consider outsourcing all your digital marketing requirements to a third-party digital marketing agency. Let’s look at the pros and cons of going down this route:

Pros

  • You can save a lot of money by not having to recruit and train an expert in-house marketing team.
  • Leverage the expertise of an established digital marketing agency (potentially, with a wealth of industry experience).
  • Working with digital marketing experts who have a far broader knowledge and experience working with other industries.
  • A third-party partnership will be dependent on results to maintain that relationship (in-house teams on salaries can stagnate).
  • Easily scale your needs.
  • If an in-house team member quits, your marketing can grind to a halt while you train and replace them.

Cons

  • You can make the mistake of investing in a digital marketing agency that lacks the skill and experience to deliver results.

Which is the better option?

While both options are worth considering, outsourcing to a reputable third-party digital marketing agency is the superior choice.

The fact is, unless you make the mistake of hiring the wrong digital marketing agency, there aren’t really any ‘cons’.

Yes, there are certain instances in which having an in-house digital marketing department can be beneficial (especially if you have a huge market spend and can afford to hire some highly experienced digital marketing experts—who certainly won’t be cheap); however, for the most part, when investing in the right digital marketing agency with a solid reputation and a history of delivering incredible results, the only way is up! 

Particularly for smaller businesses, hiring a third-party digital marketing agency is essential. Then perhaps, once your business grows beyond a certain point and your situation changes, it could be worth exploring having some in-house talent instead.

All that being said, by the time you have managed to scale your business so tremendously (likely in large part to your chosen digital marketing agency), you probably won’t want to risk losing such a valuable and well-established partnership.

All in all, we’d say outsourcing is the very clear winner in this situation.

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