When businesses consider cutting costs in almost any area, often the first thing that comes to mind is outsourcing, particularly to overseas employees or consultants. As you evaluate your outsourcing choices, keep in mind that there are advantages to outsourcing and disadvantages of outsourcing.

The benefits of outsourcing your marketing

  • Access a deeper pool of resources than you can afford to employ yourself.
  • Modern marketing involves a swathe of new specialist online skills such as SEO, Social media execution and content creation.
  • Add flexibility to your capacity, both in terms of skills and volume of activity. Marketing effort comes in waves as new products are launched and campaigns go live. A full time team means your costs remain fixed in quieter periods.
  • Finding a team with the required skills is hard, they are expensive to hire and hard to keep.
  • Outsourcing frees you from having to manage fluctuations in capacity due to staff resignations and absences.
  • Hold agencies to account via KPIs and/or ROI goals built into the agreement.
  • Increasingly marketing is being asked to justify the investments being made. Good agencies will have advanced measurement and analytics capabilities and will be happy to commit to KPIs or to a particular ROI target.
  • Achieve significant cost savings.

The problems of outsourcing your marketing

  • Loss of managerial control. You are putting part of your company in someone else's hands. You have to ask yourself if you can trust them, if you think they'll stay in business and if they can adapt to your growing and changing needs.
  • The oursourced resource misunderstands job requirements. If the brief isn't comprehensive, or communication is poor the resource may not deliver the work you wanted.
  • Cost overruns. Without proper managerial supervision, projects can run over budget.
  • Cultural and language issues (particularly with offshore consultants).
  • Problems finding the right person for your business.

For more information, read Chris Fell's outsourcing blog