While developing a successful business operation, hiring is critical. Outsourcing is beneficial to fill knowledge gaps in areas not crucial to your businesses’ competitive advantage. You may also consider time restraints and outsource those time-consuming areas of your business that are outside of your central wheelhouse. Every business is unique, and the right choice will depend on your cost-benefit analysis and what your company aspires to achieve.
Should you Outsource Marketing?
Marketing is an expansive field. While it is possible to find someone broadly experienced in multiple areas, it is unlikely to find a single individual who is a highly skilled expert in various disciplines since each discipline requires years of training and experience to master.
With technology and marketing trends changing daily, marketing professionals need to stay up-to-date to remain on the competitive forefront. Firms that adapt quickly to market changes are often the ones awarded with growing their market share over time.
Identify Costs and Benefits
When assessing the financial differences between outsourcing and hiring in-house, remember to factor in the costs of your time and even your emotional energy. Hiring in-house may look cheaper on paper, yet there may be limitations in capabilities alongside many responsibilities that go along with managing an additional staff member.
A firm must decide whether it has enough work on an ongoing basis to keep the staff member busy, while also paying for employee benefits, employment perks, tools, equipment, training, professional development, and office space. Be mindful of the costs and time spent on hiring, recruitment marketing, and employee turnover.
Another consideration to keep in mind is workplace culture. How costly would it be for your firm if, after a few months of hiring a new employee, you find out that he or she is not a good culture fit? How might this affect team morale and your employee’s motivation and dedication to their role? Ask yourself what sort of financial impact this might have on your business. With that said, you may find a perfect culture fit who jives with your brand and pushes your organization forward.
Reasons to Outsource
Over recent years there has been a growing trend of offloading essential tasks to outsourced companies. Firms that want to move away from staffing non-core functions in which they don’t necessarily excel can choose to focus on the things they do best.
1. Specialization: Access to a Team of Experts with Different Skill Sets, Backgrounds, and Experience
By outsourcing, you’re working with specialists who can jump in without a learning curve. These specialists may have completed many similar projects for other clients. Specialists understand what works and how it works, so you take the guesswork out of it on your part.
Backgrounds of specialists may include:
- Market Research
- Marketing Strategy
- Content Writing/Copywriting/Creative Writing
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- PPC (pay-per-click) Advertising
- Web Design & Development
- App Development
- Customer Relationship Management
- Public Relations
2. Outside Insights and Perspectives
An external team offers fresh ideas and views. You will receive more objective feedback and constructive criticism from a third-party vendor because they will have a less emotional attachment to your business that biases decisions. Due to the nature of marketing agencies working with several clients at once, they have an enhanced ability to spot issues and propose solutions.
3. Flexible Costs to Save Money
You have the freedom to keep costs flexible by only paying for what you need. Work is typically billed as a set rate by project, by the hour or per task retainer. Work is scalable up or down at your discretion.
4. Less Risk
Agencies bear much of the weight of the risk as they work to deliver results. If the firm you have hired is not meeting your expectations, you have the freedom to walk away without having employment liability.
Employment risk may include wrongful termination, failure to promote, inadequate training, and sexual harassment. Aside from employment liability risk, hiring an outsourced team has other advantages. Your outsourced team works together to identify possible pitfalls to solutions, thus enhancing brain power capacity versus relying on one or two in-house staff members to tackle all challenges that arise.
5. Reduce Management Responsibilities
Less in-house staff means that management spends less time dealing with employee oversight and job performance issues. Identify the capacity of your management team and whether their time is worth being spent on managing another employee.
6. Knowledge of Your Industry
When working with an outside vendor who has experience working on similar projects within your industry, you’re able to bypass some of the employee learning curves to get a full-time employee up to speed if that employee does not have previous experience in your area.
7. Access to the Best and Latest Technology
To serve clients well and remain competitive, marketing agencies must invest in purchasing the newest marketing technologies, including online software, tools, and programs. These programs can be costly to buy for your own business. Working with a dedicated marketing company allows you to access these technologies.
8. Quick Turnaround
Marketing firms may sometimes be hired to execute on time-sensitive projects. Although they may serve several clients at once, they might be able to offer rush services to gather their team to complete your project at an expedited speed.
9. Accountability, Measurement and Reporting
An external vendor must be fully accountable for agreed-upon expectations and reporting on performance metrics. Outside firms may have access to more robust and comprehensive reporting software that would be costly for your organization to purchase alone.
Reasons to Hire In-House
1. Full Time Dedication to your Firm
With an in-house employee, you get the benefit of their full time and attention during their scheduled work hours. As a result, you are in control of the prioritization of their schedule, priorities, and workplace behaviour. Having a dedicated team member is great when you are at full capacity of workload. The downside is that you may not fully utilize their time, that is a fixed cost.
2. Control Over Processes and Procedures
Over time you can build out your processes and procedures for how work should get done. When you outsource, you lose this sort of control as your outsourced company will have their own established processes and procedures to deliver their best work.
3. Financial Resources to Hire a Team
If your organization has the financial capacity, building your own internal marketing team will allow you to access support to a team that spends their entire workday focused on your brand.
When deciding whether to outsource or hire in-house, assess your business needs and consider the risks of both options. Hiring an in-house employee or team comprised of capable workers with the right capabilities might be just what your business needs, but it can also lead to a variety of challenges and disadvantages.
Outsourced marketing, on the other hand, is an optimal solution to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change. While some firms use outside marketing firms to address distinct, short-term needs, others seek the sophistication of outside insights, access to specialists in different marketing disciplines, quick turnaround times, flexible costs, and performance that they cannot attain with in-house resources.
You may consider a hybrid-approach if it is reasonable that you can hire a full-time employee to focus on his or her core capabilities while outsourcing particular areas of your marketing. These areas may include social media, content writing, online advertising, website development, and graphic design, where your employee lacks the knowledge, skills or capacity to fulfill particular tasks.
Want to Learn More About Outsourced Solutions?
Whether you’re a senior leader of an organization needing a fresh perspective on your marketing efforts or you’re a time-strapped business owner who is uncertain where to allocate your marketing resources best, we can help guide you in a forward direction.
We serve companies across Canada and the United States. For a 30 minute complimentary consultation, fill out our contact form here or give us a call toll-free at (877) 811–1211 to learn more.
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