Digital Marketing: in-house or outsource?
Digital Marketing: in-house or outsource?

Digital marketing – what should you outsource and what can be done inhouse?

Digital marketing is, without doubt, the most important marketing function of businesses today. In its simplest form, it is any marketing that is done ‘online’ or ‘digitally’, and when you think about it, that covers a heck of a lot of activities.

So when it comes to digital marketing, what can you take care of inside the business, and what should potentially be outsourced? 

Business goals for growth

Digital marketing is crucial for business growth, but what kind of digital marketing is needed will depend on the strategic goals set in place.

So if you know where you’re wanting to grow, take a step back to first understand which areas of digital marketing to focus on in order to reach those goals. Because while a multichannel approach is recommended, it’s rare that a business needs to do everything. 

For great results from digital marketing, it is best to have a couple of things that you do really well, and if you know what these should be, then you can begin to consider what kind of resources you need to allocate to it.  

Resources at the ready 

When deciding whether you need to outsource or keep the work inhouse, you could check whether you have anyone already in the business able to perform the tasks required (or if someone has the potential to be upskilled to take on the responsibility). 

If resources are limited, then you may need to consider finding an external provider – like an agency. Some agencies may require a monthly retainer, or a freelancer may allow you to work with them on an ad-hoc basis, as and when you need them. 

However, if you are needing a large amount of work undertaken, there is always the possibility of hiring someone to work in house. It may depend if you have the space for them, and the budget to add another salary to your business’s outgoings. But having someone who is full time in the business will allow you to greatly increase your digital marketing capabilities. 

The right experience and expertise

Digital marketing requires a range of skills and experience, and as the scope of digital marketing continues to expand – there is less chance of finding someone who is able to cover every aspect of it. For example, those really experienced in Google Ads may not be quite right for creating blogs, or vice versa. Of course, those ‘unicorns’ do exist out there somewhere, they are just typically hard to find. 

Which is where outsourcing to an agency might be a good idea if you’re needing a range of tasks to be taken care of. Because agencies usually have a breadth of skills across their team, they can manage your business requirements as a whole, covering all bases. 

As mentioned in the first point – knowing what kind of digital marketing you’re going to concentrate on will help you to work out the experience and expertise needed to achieve your business goals for growth. And whether you can find someone to come on board inside your business, or if looking to an external provider is a better idea.    

Budget and requirements

When considering outsourcing and keeping tasks in house, your business’s budget will of course have a big part to play. 

Agencies will obviously have a higher per hour rate than hiring a new team member, but you probably won’t be using your agency for 40 hours plus per week! And there are plenty of other comparisons like that to make when understanding which option will suit your business. 

But going back to your strategic goals – can you also delve into potential ROI’s from the digital marketing activities you’re looking to implement? This should give you a greater insight into which would be the best option (of inhouse and outsourcing), and what kind of budget to allocate to those resources.  

For example, a Google Ads professional may cost around $500-$1000 per week to begin with, but once they have your ads up and running, ongoing maintenance will be less (and hopefully you have multiple warm leads being generated that are worth thousands of dollars in business.)     

Like anything in business – planning will help to clarify what it is you’re wanting to achieve, and allow you to build the best pathway to get you there. Never underestimate getting the right digital marketing working to build your business, because with careful investment into the right areas, it’s almost guaranteed to bring you results.



By Erin Harrison, Guest Blogger

Erin loves all things content and digital marketing. She has been freelancing since for-ever-ago and there is almost no industry Erin hasn’t carefully crafted content for – across both print and online.


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