Outsourcing Marketing: Pros & Cons

November 20, 2012
Should you outsource your company’s marketing?

Content marketing requires frequent content creation, monitoring of social networks, and routine analysis and adjustment. This amount of work can be a deterrent, but as businesses come to see the benefits of content marketing it becomes more difficult to justify not jumping in — especially when it’s so easy to outsource everything.

Outsourcing can be a lifesaver for some companies who want to establish an online presence; however, you need to know the benefits and risks before handing your brand over to a third party.

Streamline and improve

If you’re looking for a “set it and forget it” approach to content creation and/or social media, outsourcing may be for you. There are many companies out there who will write blog posts and whitepapers, create and maintain social media profiles, and respond to your customers’ questions or comments.

The larger, more established companies can also help you develop buyer personas and a content strategy to more effectively reach your ideal customer — giving you a bigger return on your investment.

All this means you can spend less time worrying about content and answering questions on Facebook while still reaping the benefits of doing so.

On the other hand...

Outsourcing components of your marketing can be scary. Without reliable, well-defined processes to define the interaction between your company and your agency, you may be putting your brand’s reputation into someone else’s hands. Sensing a loss of control is one indicator that your agency is too disconnected or has too much authority.

Professional, reliable, effective agencies bill accordingly, and hiring someone on the cheap to write or manage your Twitter account often comes back to bite you and your business.

Lastly, customers want to converse with you, not a member of a marketing company you’ve hired. Handled poorly, outsourcing can result in alienated customers, damage to your brand, and damage to your reputation, ultimately affecting your bottom line.

Finding a balance

At Digett we believe the best solution is a combination of the best of both worlds.

You are the expert when it comes to your business. Prospects and customers are seeking solutions to their problems, and you are the best person to provide them. External resources can be educated on topics in your industry, but you may still be often called upon to provide feedback on a certain issue — delaying response time and pulling you into activities you’re paying someone else to do.

It’s possible that you already have the resources to manage these things internally — working these activities into your regular workflow takes time, but the benefits are extraordinary, for your profit margin and your customers.

Businesses often need help with marketing strategy. Partnering with an external marketing agency to “outsource” things like buyer persona development, social media audits, email marketing, and marketing campaigns can be a way to ease the burden on internal resources while augmenting expertise.

Note that I use “outsource” in quotation marks. It requires a true partnership to develop these things correctly, but an agency can lighten the load as well as provide great inspiration for your strategy.

Getting started

If you’re interested in content marketing but not sure where to begin, consider downloading our free Marketing Plan for Growth. It details everything you need as part of ongoing content marketing, as well as suggestions for when to outsource and when to keep things internal.

Get my whitepaper