Let's take a look at the facts on outsourcing marketing

Marketing Company vs In-House Employee?

Getting new customers is one of the biggest challenges that businesses face on a daily basis.

Marketing plays a critical role in attracting new customers to your company, but many small business owners struggle with deciding whether they should do the marketing themselves or get outside help.

Business owners often ask themselves, “Should I hire a marketer or marketing agency for my business?”

Business owners should consider hiring a marketing agency because:

  1. A marketing agency will modernize your strategy
  2. A marketing agency will free up time to run your business
  3. A marketing agency will help you keep payroll costs down
  4. A marketing agency is a sound investment that produces long-term results

All companies need an effective, well thought out and executed marketing plan. While most companies understand the need for a strategic marketing plan, few understand what it is or how to implement one. A marketing agency will work with you to create and implement a successful marketing plan. This will result in lead generation for your business that can then be turned into sales, putting you on a path toward business growth.

A Marketing Agency Will Modernize Your Strategy

The rise of internet search and the explosion of social media networks have changed the way that companies must reach their target prospects and communicate how they can help them solve their problems.

Where once, outbound marketing methods (such as, yellow page advertisements, commercials, or print ads) drove customers to a business’s door, modern consumers are armed with computers and mobile devices and expect real-time access to information so they can make buying decisions in a matter of a few keystrokes.

This means that companies need to ensure that their messages are well executed and have websites that are easily found on the internet and will covert their visitors into leadsIn other words, an inbound marketing process.

Below is a list of tasks that make up a “modern marketing strategy”:

Website development and redesign

  • Graphic design work
  • SEO/keyword research
  • Market research
  • Mobile marketing integration
  • Brochure development and production
  • Content development 
  • Targeted email creation
  • E-newsletters
  • Social media marketing
  • Paid advertising
  • Metrics and data analysis
  • Print marketing
  • Public relations work
  • Special events
  • Sponsorship


While this may seem like a very thorough list, new technologies, apps and disciplines are always being created. This rapid change in new technology and techniques is what makes keeping up with marketing in the 21st century such a challenge for small businesses.

Give them quality. That’s the best kind of advertising.

Milton Hershey


A Marketing Agency Will Free Up Time To Run Your Business

Many entrepreneurs have been ingrained with a “Do-It-Yourself” (DIY) mentality, which means they try to complete these tasks without the aid of paid specialists. It is true that an individual can find and gain enough knowledge to complete the above tasks.

However, the time and effort it would take for the owner to successfully carry out a modern marketing strategy would certainly impact the business.

The learning curve for anyone with little experience in marketing is staggering and would challenge a busy entrepreneur to create a complete and effective marketing strategy. Even if the owner devoted the time necessary to learn all of these marketing elements, you would have a tapped-out business owner with little time to run his or her business.

With marketing technology and techniques constantly changing, doing it yourself is an unfeasible strategy. Business owners don’t have the time to keep up.

Therefore, businesses that have neither the time nor inclination to DIY are left with a choice…either hire an employee or hire an outside agency.

A Marketing Agency Will Help Keep Payroll Costs Down

In many instances, business owners lean toward hiring an employee because that has been the “go-to” process in the past to solve an immediate need.

Additionally, business owners may have the perception that an outside agency is far more expensive than hiring in-house staff. The problem with this rationale is that most of the time, owners don’t have a true basis for comparison.

That’s because…

In many cases, business owners typically use a base salary versus an hourly rate for a marketing agency and then conclude that since the hourly rate is higher, it must be the more expensive option. This is a big mistake.

Many owners fail to take into account the true costs associated with hiring and retaining an employee. Not only do you have to account for base salary, but adding in expenses such as payroll taxes, health insurance contributions, retirement plan matches, vacation, and sick days drives this figure up. The true cost of hiring an employee can be as much as 1.25 to 1.4 times the base salary. Add in other expenses (such as the cost of recruiting and training) and the total really starts to escalate quickly.

A Marketing Agency Is A Sound Investment

Although you may perceive that you are saving money on an hourly basis relative to hiring an employee or doing it yourself, hiring a marketing agency provides substantial value. This is particularly true if it is one that focuses on inbound marketing techniques. Long gone are the “Mad Men” days of nebulous budgets and hidden fees.

The pricing dynamic has shifted and many firms are now working on clearly spelled out pricing structures, and lower-fee marketing retainer agreements.

While there is no industry standard, the going rate in most markets for an experienced inbound agency starts in the $3,000 to $5,000 range in terms of monthly spend. While that may seem like a large number, in comparison to the opportunity cost of DIY, or the pure allocation of funds toward building internal staff, this is a relative bargain.

Among the many benefits of working with an experienced marketing firm are:

  • Expertise with your market niche
  • Experience in executing marketing plans
  • Money savings by hiring to your specific needs
  • No employee training required
  • Your marketing plan is executed immediately, the employee may need time to ramp up while the marketing firm is ready from the get-go
  • Avoid HR nightmares
  • No additional overhead
  • Tax deductions, not tax liability
  • Efficiency for short term and urgent projects


This new paradigm allows business owners to focus on running operations and increasing the bottom line, not messing around with Facebook, Twitter or trying to build out a website.

The big question then isn’t can I afford an experienced marketing agency, but rather how much am I costing myself in time, money and lost opportunity by trying to do these marketing services in-house.