Doing marketing successfully requires a close finger on the pulse. The marketing function does not operate in a silo and keeping it outsourced will make it difficult to do the necessary adjustments and measure a return on investment. Marketing is like a child – it can give you great joy, but you need to keep a constant eye on it.
You should not outsource your marketing; rather you should gradually insource it. Marketing is simply too important a business function, with too much room for nonsense to trust outsiders for extended periods of time. Your marketing should be an in-house function.
However, in saying that, having certain partners to help with specialised tasks is a good idea. Developing your brand identity is something that requires a professional and a classically trained graphic designer.
Clearly, you don’t need someone like this on an ongoing basis. The same is true for building your website or printing a new brochure. These are once-off functions that should be outsourced. But ongoing communication should not be outsourced, at least not as a long term solution.
Ongoing marketing activities should gradually be performed inside the business. Your business should do its own social media, its own website maintenance, its own copywriting and track its own marketing analytics. In short, you need to take ownership of your marketing because this is the only way you will seriously engage with it and ensure it is properly integrated into your sales process.
Since the onset of digital marketing, it has become customary for agencies to bamboozle clients with technicalities, letting them believe they can’t do it themselves. The simple truth is marketing is too important for business growth to outsource it. The question is not ‘what marketing functions should I outsource?’, but rather ‘how can I gradually develop an in-house marketing department?’
What functions should you bring in-house and in which order? The way to determine this is through a marketing plan. This clarifies what marketing your business will do, how much you will invest in each function and who will be doing what. It is at this last stage where you should take the chance to insource as much as possible.