Outsource, Automate or In-house? How to Decide

The rise in access to affordable internet and smartphones has led to an exponential increase in digital media content. In recent times, digital marketing efforts have gone into building omni-channels and creating an entire ecosphere for effective customer engagement.

Online presence for a company has gone beyond having just a website. It includes social media channels, online ads, mobile marketing, SEO and SEM. Every organization reaches a point wherein digital marketing is required to build their online presence. It may seem like a daunting task to decide between the various tools and agencies available. How do you decide what to choose? We break it down for you here.

Automate

Marketing automation is the easiest way to get started with digital marketing. There are enough companies out there that provide marketing automation software for free and paid memberships. Marketing software primarily help out for automating repetitive tasks such as social media posting, email marketing, campaign management etc.

Tools: HubSpot, Pardot, Hootsuite, Marketo etc.

Takes care of: Mid-Funnel Content

Pros: Reduces human error, takes care of mundane tasks, manage complexity/ multiple platforms and increase operational efficiency

Cons: One needs to be tech savvy, premium memberships can be expensive, and too many tools make it difficult to choose.

When to automate: Ideal to deploy when you have your entire CRM set up, nurture leads and

Outsource

When you are a small enterprise working with a limited budget, it gets difficult to appoint a full-time employee to take care of your marketing needs. Though automation is an option, it still requires your time and attention, which takes you away from the core of your business. When marketing tasks seem to overwhelm you it’s time to outsource your efforts.

Takes care of: End-to-end marketing funnel

Pros: Lets you focus on your business core, end-to-end of marketing is taken care of, dedicated team of experts to handle all marketing tasks, wider skill set, measurable return on investment.

Cons: Choosing an agency that’s the right fit may take a while; you are generally not the only client the outsourced agencies work with, there might be integration challenges in making the agency understand your core business and values.

When to outsource: Ideal for companies that need to scale their marketing efforts without investing in a complete in-house team.

In-house

If you are a poorly content based company then it makes sense to divert your time and resources into setting up your own digital marketing team. Most companies are limited by their internal marketing budgets, making it critical to think about the volume of content generated and the number of employees required to create it.

Takes care of: End-to-end marketing funnel

Pros: A dedicated in-house marketing team that understands and align with company values, culture and business strategies, save on expensive outsourcing digital marketing costs

Cons: Forming an in-house team can be time-consuming; employees might require additional training, the company would be responsible for developing and deploying a digital strategy, increase in hiring costs.

When to set up in-house: Ideal for a mid-sized to large company that can allocate resources to building a team of marketers and provide training.

About the author  ⁄ -By Paul Writer editorial network and insights from Arun Rajamani, Country Head- India, Pluralsight

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