The Great Debate: In-House vs. Outsourced Marketing

A typical day at the office for any marketing or advertising firm can be described as… well, anything but typical. Whether it’s copy writing, graphic design, Web development, SEO or video production, every task is considerably different from the last and requires phenomenal expertise and loads of talent. Few businesses can afford to maintain a full-time staff that can master each of these fields. So what is there to do? Outsource? Exactly.

Whoa. Outsource? Yes, I said outsource. As the dreaded outsourcing monster rears its ugly head, the status quo is to beat it down as quickly as possible. But a fundamental change is under way: businesses are increasingly farming out marketing and advertising operations. According to the Harvard Business Review, a recent Forrester Research survey of 650 marketing executives found that 53% aimed to outsource more of their marketing activities. And, Global Services magazine recently reported a research study that found that outsourced marketing will grow another 14% in coming years. Why? Believe it or not, outsourcing can actually save money and improve quality.

Practically speaking, that makes sense. I mean, outsourced marketing firms maintain expertise in core disciplines, which allows them to complete requests faster and more competently than in-house staff. Most businesses get trapped in the mentality that they can hire a few of their own mass communication experts and get the same results. So the real question is: If you aren’t outsourcing your marketing and advertising already, why haven’t you?