Even with AI tools that save time, software optimized for organization and communication, and a team of people, you may feel the burnout that goes with leading an overwhelmed in-house marketing team. Marketing trends sweep the industry every day, technology changes by the minute, and you can’t remember the last time you didn’t bring work home with you. It’s exhausting—and frustrating. 

In-House Vs. Outsourcing Marketing: Which is Best for You?

If you’re debating between in-house vs. outsourcing marketing, it’s probably time to consider an outsourced marketing strategy. You can indeed manage a small marketing team successfully for a time, but if you want to level up and create the type of work that wins hearts and business, you need a scalable solution. That’s where a full-service, integrated agency comes in. 

A good one will help you run your department like a well-oiled machine, stay on top of (dare we say start) trends, master your processes, and enjoy the process, too. Outsourcing marketing is a smart move that gives your marketing team the power to work on the business in meaningful ways, impacting important big-picture metrics. 

Here are the signs you’re ready to sign on:

1. You Can’t Keep Up with the Trends and Changes: The marketing world is notoriously fast. Media channels, messaging, creative, and software tools are updated all. the. time. What was on point yesterday may be a dud today, and tomorrow’s trends are starting at this moment. There is constant flux. Trying to keep up with it is almost impossible. Here’s where the gap widens from in-house vs. outsourcing marketing—a marketing agency involved in the innovations and devoted to staying on the pulse of the industry can help you stay on top.

2. You Can’t Keep Up with the Work: As we mentioned above, the amount of marketing work can be overwhelming. If you struggle with budget cuts or team downsizing it’s even more so. When you find tasks are falling through the cracks, the fix can be as simple as putting better processes in place—with the people to run them. Agencies often rely on seamless systems to keep marketing machines humming. Good ones invest the time and resources to retain top-notch technology and teams to get the work done right, so outsourcing marketing for small businesses extends your team significantly.

3. You Need More Time: You’re juggling PPC campaigns, direct mail printing, promo fulfillment, trade show management, traditional advertising, videos, social media, emails, newsletters, and so much more. If you’re ready to free up time to focus on the big marketing picture, you can specialize in that and let an agency capably manage the myriad moving parts. When considering in-house vs. outsourcing marketing, this is an important benefit.

4. You Need a Sounding Board: There are no exact answers when it comes to cracking the marketing code. Years of experience can help predict how campaigns will land, but nothing is completely certain. A marketing firm can help give you an objective opinion built on years of expertise throughout a variety of industries, with surefire best practices that have worked for other clients. Mine this gold for your business. It’s also important to get “outside your head” when you’re too close to the inner workings of your company. A third party with new eyes can help you see things that you might have missed. Outsourcing marketing for small businesses and mid-size businesses can be extremely valuable in this respect.

5. You Want Some Fresh Ideas and Perspective: Burnout is real. When you’re marketing day in and day out for the same brand, it’s easy to lose sight of why it matters. Bringing in fresh eyes and minds can make a world of difference. Not only does outsourced marketing provide valuable cross-pollination to your ideas, but they can validate what you’ve been doing or show you ways to enhance your marketing.

6. You Want to Take Your Marketing to the Next Level: Agencies create award-winning work and they do this by focusing on marketing for a variety of clients. Tap into this brain trust to level your marketing up with creative and content that has shown proven results. The future is phygital (physical and digital), and you need a partner who can consolidate and simplify physical and digital complexities for efficiency, effectiveness, and work that wows.

Related: Untangling the Marketing Supply Chain in 2024

7. You Need Better Analytics/Research: If you can’t afford to get the best software tools to measure your marketing campaigns, it’s time to partner. When outsourcing marketing for a small business, you’ll also get the intangibles like the above, in addition to having access to more powerful analytics and research tools that can inform and enhance your efforts moving forward.

8. You Want to Take Advantage of Buying Power and Other Resources: Marketing firms often get better deals on media, printing, and more since they’re buying in bulk. Use this to your advantage. As a fully integrated agency, Ironmark not only handles digital marketing and printing but also offers our clients warehouse space to store printed items and tradeshow items; these represent substantial cost savings. When considering in-house vs. outsourcing marketing, factor this in.

9. You Want to Increase ROI: It may seem counterintuitive, but investing in a marketing firm’s work will ultimately increase ROI because of the expertise, buying power, team, technology, and processes they bring to the table. By spending this money outsourcing marketing for a small business, you’ll see greater returns overall.

Related: Boosting the Impact of Your One-Person Marketing Team with an Agency Partner.

10. You Need to Focus on Other Things: There are so many moving parts in marketing. Sometimes it makes sense to get out of the weeds and work on the business instead of within it. With outsourced marketing, you’re free to focus on what matters most to your business.

Look to a Leader

When seeking a marketing partner, it’s important to find one that can do all of the above and more for you. There’s no need to piece together digital and physical marketing agencies when you can choose your agency partner for efficiencies, cost savings, expertise, and one point of contact. Ironmark is that team. We are masters of marketing and can be your one-stop shop. Let us know what you’d like to achieve and let’s work together to move your marketing forward. How do you know when it’s time for outsourced marketing? You already know. The answer is now.


Written by Chris McCready

Chris McCready directs strategy and implementation for Ironmark’s digital marketing clients. Her 15 years of experience within a variety of agencies across the country has provided a wealth of knowledge and expertise within market research, branding, digital strategy, social media, marketing automation and web development. Under her direction, strategic marketing plans for Ironmark clients result in increased brand awareness, visibility, lead generation and revenue.

Similar Articles