Why digital marketing should be done in-house

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Published: Wed 22 Nov 2023, 11:04 AM

Last updated: Wed 22 Nov 2023, 7:57 PM

Digital marketing is fundamental for every business, but hiring a full-time in-house team of digital marketers can be expensive. Large corporations have the budget for that, but small and medium-sized businesses might not be able to cover a full team and instead, use outsourced services.

By Ammar Tarique

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Outsourced digital marketing has gotten a bad rap over the years, and it’s not all fair.

In fact, there are many benefits to hiring an external marketing team. It’s usually cheaper, and you can get access to a wide variety of talent spread out across the world. However, there are also several drawbacks that make in-house marketing teams superior.

If you’ve been thinking about outsourcing your digital marketing needs, or you’ve been trying to come up with a good reason to hire an in-house team, here’s why digital marketing is better executed in-house.

Faster turnaround times

When your marketing duties are executed by your in-house team, they’ll prioritise tasks based on your marketing plan. If they get bogged down, you can still outsource individual tasks to an agency or freelancer, but you never have to worry about a third-party agency postponing your needs because they have other clients to manage.

Keeping things in-house is something many industries do, even fleet maintenance is done in-house to avoid the markups and slow turnaround from relying on repair shops.

In-house teams know your products or services better

Knowing your market is the heart of success, but you also need to know your products or services inside and out to sell them to your market.

For example, say you sell a coffee maker that can control how much water you use for the brew cycle, even if the reserve tank is full. This feature might not seem important overall, but if you’re marketing to baristas or people who are serious about their coffee, this feature could be what gets them to buy your coffee maker over others.

If you hand your digital marketing duties to an outsourced team, they might not even realise your coffee maker has a feature to control the amount of water used during the brewing cycle. And unless they have experience in the coffee industry, they wouldn’t even know why this would be important.

The bottom line is that an external team won’t be completely familiar with your product even after you brief them. Your team knows your products better than anyone, and when you have an in-house team, they’ll catch all the nuances that others leave behind.

Outsourcing to improve efficiency might be a myth

Many businesses say they outsource digital marketing to improve efficiency, but it’s worth considering that outsourcing might actually make you less efficient. For example, you’ll have to spend a lot of time upfront defining your business goals and making sure the company you’ve chosen is reliable and has the proper experience.

If you’re heavily regulated, you’ll need to do extra research to make sure the company is familiar with all applicable marketing regulations.

If efficiency is defined as getting things done quickly and smoothly, without much resistance along the way, then obstacles to communication can put a damper on that really fast. For instance, communicating live may require you to take Zoom calls at three in the morning because you’re in different time zones. It’s harder to collaborate when your team isn’t readily available during normal business hours. No matter how great your project management app is, you still need to collaborate live.

When you outsource your digital marketing, you’ll also be collaborating with people who might not speak your language and there might be cultural misunderstandings. These issues can decrease overall efficiency and lead to failed expectations, incomplete work, and missed deadlines.

You don’t really know what you’re getting when you outsource

The final concern with outsourcing digital marketing is that you really can’t know what you’re getting. Businesses can have a wonderful online image with a beautiful website and stories about results they got for clients, but you won’t know if it’s real. It’s also possible the company might be outsourcing your tasks to yet another company without telling you.

Well-established companies with a solid online presence and reputation in multiple spaces are probably a safer bet, but you still don’t know what kind of challenges you’ll face with them.

Digital marketing is best kept in-house

Keeping your company’s digital marketing in-house is a wise choice. Granted, your budget will determine whether that’s possible. However, if you want to grow your business, it’s worth sourcing the extra capital to hire an in-house team of marketing experts because that’s exactly what you need to improve your bottom line.

Ammar Tarique is a business journalist.

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