The Pros and Cons of Outsourced Marketing vs. In-House Marketing

outsourced marketing

Outsourcing your marketing can be a smart move, but it’s not without its risks. If outsourced marketing is done right, you get access to professionals who are experts in their fields. You also save money on hiring and training new staff members for the same tasks.

But there are some downsides too…

  • Outsourced marketers may have less context around your business, your product and services, or your industry than people on your own team.
  • They might not always have time for small projects that don’t fit into their regular workloads
  • They’re more likely to commit to long-term contracts with set monthly fees rather than working more flexibly based on the volume of work you need at any given time.

It all depends on what kind of marketing you need and what you can afford. That’s why it’s important to look at all the options available before making a decision on whether outsourced or in-house marketing is right for your business.

What is outsourced marketing?

Outsourced marketing is handing over the responsibility of a company’s marketing needs to an outside organization. An outsourced marketing department may handle a single or a variety of outsourced services including research, design, production, and more.

A common outsourced service is outsourced email marketing where companies employ another company to create and send out direct email campaigns for them. Outsourcing marketing consulting allows businesses to dedicate their resources towards other aspects of their business, not just communications as well as freeing up financial resources that would have been outsourced as well.

What is in-house marketing?

In-house marketing refers to a business running its own marketing internally. In-house marketers are staff members who are experts at branding, advertising, and public relations. But most importantly they have immediate and direct access to your “boots on the ground” resources and can get context and lean on your company’s expertise, when needed.

In-house marketing is advantageous because it allows a company to have designated people who are responsible for maintaining its brand, building relationships with customers and potential clients, content marketing, and providing customer service.

outsourced marketing

What are the pros of outsourced marketing?

Outsourced Marketing can be time and cost-effective

One of the outsource marketing advantages is saving money.

Companies can outsource their digital marketing needs if they want to focus on other areas of the business or improve their bottom line by reducing overhead costs. In addition, outsourced marketing support may be the solution for smaller businesses that need only limited services like email marketing campaigns or social media management.

If your agency’s billing structure is a pay-as-you-go model (no set monthly retainer), this can make outsourced marketing more budget-friendly compared to in-house options which typically require much higher upfront costs but may not be scalable without hiring full-time employees.

Outsourcing also means you don’t have to spend your valuable time learning new skills, standing up your own marketing departments, or running reports that are not core competencies for your company; instead, you can focus on what matters most – growing your business!

Outsourced Marketing services are scalable

Outsource marketing companies have a team of experts that allows them to grow alongside a company as it expands and requires more resources. Their expertise in marketing allows them to scale up or down quickly while keeping overhead costs low.

Outsourced marketing firms are also growing rapidly, so you’re more likely to find just the skillset and service offering your business needs regardless of its size. This is especially true with outsourced marketing service providers who have specifically niched into B2B verticals or B2C markets.

If your outsourced team has a solid track record, you can also feel confident that they have the tools in place to keep your campaigns running smoothly while providing exceptional customer service should any issues arise.

There’s less turnover with outsourced marketing

Outsourcing marketing makes it easier for companies to find and keep talented employees.

Digital marketing agencies have specialists for different functions, such as SEO or social media management. This saves companies from hiring separate specialists for their marketing needs. It also reduces turnover because the outsourced agency is more likely to be able to match an employee’s skills with a job description than an in-house digital marketing staff might be able to do.

Outsourced marketing expands your skillset

One of the benefits of outsourcing your marketing is that it provides a way to expand your company’s skillset. Depending on what marketing disciplines you need, you can get access to skilled people without having to hire them yourself. An outsourced marketing department is particularly powerful for small businesses that are just starting out because they don’t have the in-house resources or training in place yet. Instead of trying to hire employees and train them for a specific task, outsourced marketing services can bring on experienced people at an affordable price.

Outsourced Marketing can bring a fresh perspective

Outsourced marketing provides your company with an objective voice and fresh ideas and perspectives on the products or services you are offering. This can lead to creativity and innovative ideas outside of the typical industry patterns, ultimately setting your business apart in the eyes of prospective clients.

What are the cons of outsourced marketing?

Outsourced Marketing can mean the potential exposing of confidential data

An outsourced marketing program comes with the risk of potential exposure of confidential data as outsourcers need access to sensitive information about your company’s plans, projects, financials, etc. In order for outsourcers to create an effective marketing plan, they may need more detailed information than what is typically needed from in-house staff members who have been fully vetted by HR departments. The bottom line: outsourced marketers will require more trust from you as well as higher levels of security protocols.

Loss of control with the process of outsourced marketing

One issue with outsourced marketing is that it is often difficult to maintain control over everything outsourced teams are doing. An outsourcer’s expertise is in marketing, and therefore, they are most likely not an expert on your specific industry.

They will need guidance in order to be familiar enough with your core business, including your company’s products, services, or desired outcomes for specific projects, so they are not spending too much time focusing on aspects of your product or services that you may deem irrelevant. You will also need to have a strong approval process in place to make sure the marketing products going out are accurate and in line with your company’s values.

Furthermore, it can be difficult to have outsourcers follow the same protocol as in-house staff with regard to working hours and output expectations.

in-house marketing
Young creative business team listening to marketing report during morning meeting at loft office

What are the pros of In-House Marketing?

In-house marketing means complete control over the process

In-house Marketing means that all aspects of the process are handled by one company. This is beneficial because it provides complete control over the process, which can be easier than trying to coordinate with many different parties who may not have your best interests at heart or who might not understand your business needs as well as you do.

In addition, with in-house marketers, it is easier for them to do a better job because they know your business and goals as well as their own. This gives you an added layer of accountability and trustworthiness that outsourced partners simply cannot provide. If your team is stacked with talent, they’ll have a leg up on the outsourced marketing group in building bulletproof digital marketing strategies.

Need help designing a digital marketing strategy? Read our thorough guide where we cover everything you need to know when getting started.

In-house marketing expertise means that the entire team is working towards your goals, not just one outsourced partner taking up all their time with other work.

Because in-house marketers are only focused on your business, they do a better job of making sure that everything gets done and that they are always on the same page as you. This means a professional team of people working together to meet all your marketing objectives and needs.

There are few unexpected costs with in-house marketing

Answer the question what are some unexpected costs with outsourced marketing

In-house marketing can be more economical in some cases because there are fewer unexpected costs. The outsourced company will have its own team of employees who need to be paid and managed, which typically includes a significant amount of overhead. This leaves little room for error when it comes to pricing and final cost.

Another benefit with in-house marketing is that you can make changes without having to wait on outsourced companies to rework your budget or rearrange campaign timelines – something outsourced companies cannot do because those decisions would require alterations from other clients as well.

In outsourced marketing, unexpected costs can come about from the needs of clients that you didn’t know about or budget for.

For example, a client’s website might be hacked and they request a new website. The outsourced company will need to dedicate resources to this project outside of your agreed-upon scope of work – which is not part-and-parcel of outsourced campaign expectations. In other words, the outsourced company takes care of unforeseen expenses as they arise – not before contract negotiations or bonding periods are finished off.

In these cases, it may be best to employ an in-house team – who would have been working on-site anyways – with all unfolding duties and tasks accounted for and dedicated upfront in one lump sum cost.

In-House marketing has the potential to attract and nurture new talent

In-house marketing is able to keep talented, crucial employees around for longer periods. These employees become familiar and comfortable with your company and brand and have the potential to move up within your company. In contrast, oftentimes when outsourcing your marketing, you may have different employees working on different projects or tasks, which means you ultimately lose the familiarity and trust that can be built within an in-house marketing team.

No conflict of interest with In-House marketing

In-house marketers are more accountable and trustworthy, knowing your business and goals as well as their own. This gives you an added layer of accountability and trustworthiness that outsourced partners simply cannot provide. In-house marketers have a better understanding of your company’s needs than outsourced partners who may not be working on other projects or clients at the same time. In-house marketers only focus on one client and therefore there is no conflict of interest, compared to outsourced marketers who often work with several clients at a time.

What are the cons of in-house marketing?

In-house marketing can be more expensive

In-house marketing can be expensive because it requires you to pay the salaries of several employees who specialize in different marketing services such as graphic design, marketing coordination, and copywriting.

There’s also the cost of space for these employees. For outsourced marketing, you spend less on labor and office space.

Lastly, an in-house marketing department means it is your company’s responsibility to pay for marketing technology such as subscriptions to the Adobe Suite, stock image and video websites, social media scheduling resources, analytics tools, and more.

Lack of specialized skillsets with In-House-marketing

With your marketing efforts limited to the employees you have on staff, this can sometimes mean certain projects may not be achievable depending on the range of experience with various marketing services each person on your team possesses. Some training and research time may need to be included in the project scope to complete new marketing tasks that have not been done within the company before.

Scaling up a marketing campaign may be slower with in-house marketing

In-house marketing can be a slower way to scale a campaign because it requires a number of employees who specialize in different tasks that include marketing coordination, graphic design, and copywriting. This means that if your company is scaling up a campaign, you may have to allocate more time and money in order to hire new employees with different skillsets or set aside additional time and money for training resources for current employees.

outsourced digital marketing

What should I consider when hiring outsourced marketing?

Consider cost when hiring an outsourced marketing team

A key consideration when hiring outsourced marketing consulting is cost. Outsourcing can be an affordable way to bring in people with the skillset you need while saving on some of the expenses of in-house employees.

However, it’s not all black-and-white when we look at the cost of in-house vs outsourcing digital marketing: while outsourcers often charge less than the salary of an in-house team(especially if they’re working from a different location), they still charge significant fees. You should consider your individual company’s needs in order to decide which you can afford.

Research and decide what area of expertise is important

It is good to have an idea of which marketing services are most important to your business when considering an outsourced marketing firm. If website design is a priority for you, you may need a team of web designers and experienced coders familiar with search engine optimization and how to generate traffic on staff. But not only that, but knowing how to generate specific types of traffic such as knowing the difference between direct vs organic, paid traffic, and referral traffic.

If growing your social media accounts is your goal, look for a team who can produce results and analytics from past social media clients. If creating your company’s brand identity is on your list, ask to look at the marketing company’s graphic design portfolio to make sure their design style is exactly what you’re looking for.

In any case, you should ask about the experience of the outsourced team in order to gauge if their expertise aligns with your marketing goals.

Consider an outsourced marketing agency’s experience

When you outsource your marketing, you should consider the experience and credibility of the marketing agency. The outsourced marketing partners may be able to offer more expertise in a certain area than you currently have on staff. If you’re not sure about using an outsourced marketing agency, ask the marketing professionals for references who you could talk to about their past projects, or conduct an interview with them. You should also get a list of the outsource professional’s previous clients and their contact information so that you can get in touch with them directly.

Consider outsourced marketer’s digital savvy

The outsourced marketer’s experience with a large variety of social media platforms, digital marketing tools and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is another key consideration when hiring an outsourced marketing team vs an in-house team: while it may cost less to hire someone outside of your company, if they are unfamiliar with the technology you are currently using, they will still need training on your company’s systems and software if they are going to be effective at their job.

How do I get the most out of my outsourced marketing team?

Create a clear line of communication

When working with an outsourced marketing team, the success and timeliness of open projects is often dependent on your team’s and the marketing team’s responsiveness when it comes to project expectations and approval emails or phone calls. You should make sure to have a key point of contact on both ends, to speed this process along. Having too many points of contact often leads to multiple rounds of changes due to too many conflicting opinions, so it is important to have a single point of contact that you trust to effectively represent the company’s vision.

Set goals and be transparent with expectations

Outsourced marketing teams work best when you set goals and expectations early on in the process. Communication with both outsourced marketers and your own team members will help ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal. You should also be transparent when it comes to reporting and determining if outsourced marketers are meeting your expectations. If they do not, then you can work together with them to find a solution that will help drive future performance up.

Ask for check-ins and campaign updates

In order to get the most out of your outsourced marketing, it is important to facilitate regular project updates between your company and theirs. You can do this by setting up recurring meetings on a monthly basis to go over the progress and status of current projects as well as performance analytics on past marketing efforts. This helps both teams stay on task as well as provides a space to communicate any hang-ups or roadblocks you may run into during a project, so your teams can provide solutions or pivot the project tasks accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does outsourced marketing work for B2B and B2C businesses?

Outsourced marketing helps businesses with budgets and time constraints. For small and medium-sized companies, outsourced marketers cost significantly less than hiring an in-house marketer and handle all aspects of content production – which is a huge undertaking across many channels.

The outsourced marketer will create high-quality portfolio pieces that represent the company as well as schedule regular posts. They’ll also write content for things like blogs, websites, social media sites, email campaigns, direct mailers/postcards or other assets to help generate more qualified leads for your business without requiring too much effort from you on those tasks.

How much does outsourced marketing cost?

Outsourced Marketing can cost anywhere between $1,000 to $10,000+ per month depending on the level of involvement needed.

Can outsourced marketing help my business grow faster than in-house marketing?

Certainly. When outsourced, part of the company’s marketing strategy falls to someone who doesn’t have anywhere near the same restriction on time or budget that you do.

Working with an outsourced digital marketing team is a good way to increase your company’s online presence and ultimately bring in new accounts while still being able to focus most of your time and effort on your company’s daily operations.

Outsourced marketing vs Outsourced sales

When considering outsourcing your sales and marketing, there are two sides to the coin. When you choose to outsource your marketing, this will only include the ongoing efforts to acquire the lead. But what about the lead nurture, qualification, and close? Outsourced sales meaning: When you outsource your sales, you can find teams of users willing to chase SDR or BDR (sales or business development representatives) key performance indicators or KPIs and metrics. These people are usually hungry to close deals and work off of commission bases. In today’s gig-economy, a trend that’s becoming popular is hiring remote closers. To do the heavy lifting for you.


There are pros and cons to outsourced marketing vs. in-house marketing, but if you’re considering outsourcing your company’s digital content strategy, it is important to consider both your company’s marketing goals and budget, as well as outsource marketing team’s experience with working for other brands like yours before they begin. It will save time on training them how your brand operates!
If you want help deciding whether or not outsourced management of your company’s marketing is right for you, get in touch today

Our experts can provide an honest assessment of what outsourced services would cost versus hiring someone internally without all the overhead costs associated with managing a full-time employee – which may be more than just financial benefits. Let us know if there was anything else we could do to answer any questions about outsourced marketing or digital content strategy!

Picture of Amanda Haney

Amanda Haney

Amanda is WGM's Account Executive She has a background in journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, blog writing and photography for a successful men’s lifestyle blog, and family and wedding photography. She is in charge of managing our clients’ brands – from writing and editing website and blog content, managing social media, and creating promotional and internal documents. Amanda enjoys creative photography, singing covers of her favorite songs, traveling, and spending time with family, friends, and her dog Parker.

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