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When Should You Outsource Your Marketing?

Nancy Lewendon

A lot of small businesses start out by handling any ‘marketing’ themselves. As they grow, they may ‘gift’ the task to a younger team member. They may even dabble with freelance marketing managers. All those options can be perfect for a business, but at what point should you consider outsourcing?  

Let’s go back to basics…  

Do I need to be marketing my business?

First and foremost, marketing helps generate income for your business. No matter how awesome you think your product or service may be, you still need to inform people about it and influence their decision-making. While you won’t see instant income generation, the long-term effects are undeniable and can give you an edge over your competition. 

But, for marketing to be effective, it needs to be innovative and engaging. While you may be capable of taking photos, creating graphics and posting regularly, there’s far more to marketing than that.  

Outsourced marketing agencies VS freelance marketing managers 

The positive effects of marketing take time and the landscape is ever changing. Outsourcing to an agency connects you to a whole team of people who have their own skillsets, experience and creativity. At Naturally Social, we have 7 team members who specialise in a variety of marketing skills; and we make it our job to stay ahead of the curve.  

It may seem more cost-effective to have one marketing freelancer, but they could represent a single point of failure. They may struggle with the following:

  • Staying up to date with learning and development
  • Only work set hours
  • Struggle to manage all their tasks and clients; a team like ours means we all know the client and if someone has time off, we’ve got them covered! 

Outsourced marketing agencies VS in-house marketing 

So you might not be using a freelance marketing manager, and instead, you’ve got a full in-house marketing team. You might then be wondering why it matters if your marketing is carried out by people outside of your organisation. Surely your internal team has a better grasp on the nuances of your business? Well, it’s an agency’s job to fully understand your company and tell that story to potential clients. If an agency can’t grasp who you are and what you do, chances are your target audience can’t either. These professionals can offer an outsider’s perspective of your business and bring new, exciting ideas and strategies to the table. 

Maintaining a salaried in-house marketing team can also be expensive, and depending on your marketing requirements, often unnecessary. The cost of in-house team members goes further than just salary. You also need to consider the cost of training, HR and any additional benefits you give your employees. Chances are, the amount you pay for one in-house marketing manager, will get you 7 skilled marketers in an agency.  

We recommend investing 10% of your monthly turnover into marketing activities

So, when should you outsource your marketing? 

  1. You’re disappointed with the results you’ve been getting. Why not have an audit of your marketing strategy? We offer accessibly priced support with a member of our team, all delivered remotely and packaged up neatly into one, easy-to-read document. And if the results show that you’re not getting what you’re paying for, then it’s time to consider outsourcing! If whoever is doing your marketing is continuously providing poor results, then stop wasting your business’s time and money and outsource someone to do the job properly. 
  2. You’re looking to grow your business. If cash flow is doing well, your business is expanding and you’re looking at what’s next, marketing is a great way to support that. An agency can create a marketing strategy that will work in agreement with your business plan and help you achieve your business goals. 
  3. You’re considering your marketing activities or reviewing your marketing activities but you’re unsure how much you should be spending. We recommend investing at least 10% of your monthly turnover into marketing activities.  If you’re spending less, then it’s time to invest some more money into your marketing and give your business the extra publicity it deserves! 
  4. You’re considering hiring an in-house marketing team. Outsourcing can actually be a safer first step. It gives you the opportunity to see the benefits of marketing for your business without the cost of recruitment, HR and any other overheads involved with employees. 
  5. You’re stuck on a small number of channels. Many marketers fall into the trap of using the same marketing channels all the time. Let me guess… your business is on Facebook and the odd local magazine… but are you in online publications or your local radio station? A good, outsourced agency is more likely to have a broader range of experience and knowledge of marketing platforms. They can direct you to the best channels for your business and introduce you to new ones, whilst having the skills to manage them effectively and efficiently.  
  6. You’re finding that your turnover is growing slower than usual or slower than you’d like. Most marketing agencies measure their success in terms of ROI (return on investment). They will be able to determine how much extra turnover you’re generating per your outsourced marketing spend. If you are not already measuring this, or if you have no way of determining how much turnover impact your marketing efforts are having, then it’s important to start. Marketing isn’t the only factor responsible for delivering growth on turnover, but you should be getting more than what you’re putting in. 


Still not sure whether you should outsource your marketing? Get in touch and we can discuss your business needs.

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