Should you – or should you not – be outsourcing your day-to-day marketing?

You need a good commercial “brain” as your senior marketing professional – no doubt.

But a Marketing Manager (or Director) is theoretically a very senior person. They certainly used to be.

They should not be worrying about every tiny detail of an ad, unless they are distinctly unhappy with it. They should be setting a general direction for the marketing strategy, ensuring the agency is well briefed as to the marketing goal, and that all the work is being done in a timely fashion.

Simply put, a workable marketing strategy can be as simple as deciding how your firm is going to:

  • Find the customers you want
  • Understand the activities your firm will do and won’t do
  • Plan to differentiate yourself
  • Set revenue/attendance/sales targets and track them
  • The strategic decision is how to the source the expertise you will need to do this.

You have to decide if you need all those skills in-house or to outsource.

Possible Advantages Of Outsourcing Your Marketing

  • Overall staff cost savings.
  • Access to the expertise and capability not currently available in-house, with seniors working in your agency that know more than the juniors who handle little segments of your marketing in house.
  • Choose the experts who have the right fit for your business
  • Time required for marketing may not be a full time position, so outsourcing your marketing can free up the Marketing Manager’s time to do other useful things to do with the commercial side of the business
  • No overheads or on-costs
  • Ability to focus on what you are good at, your core business
  • Saves time not having to have staff learn everything you need
  • The advice of the agency is more independent and frank.
  • It might be easier to change your ad agency arrangements than to get rid of an under-performing member of staff – or members of staff.

But there are counter-arguments.

Possible Disadvantages Of Outsourcing Your Marketing

  • Your agency will probably need to place someone strategically “in” your business to liaise with the Marketing Manager to ensure good work in progress control. This will obviously eat up some of your savings.
  • The dangers of mis-communication on work/goals. It may be easier for you to walk from one office to another than make a phone call. (Unless you have an agency person actually embedded with you.)

The need to stay current

Marketing is constantly evolving: 76% of marketers think marketing has changed more in the past 2 years than the past 50, which means marketers have to be constantly vigilant and up to date with the latest trends. With a big in-house team, there is a higher chance of old ideas being recycled or not being challenged due to good old groupthink.

With an outsourced marketing team however, it is the agency’s job to be up to date with the latest marketing trends, techniques and technologies. Indeed, their very life depends on it.

MOPAt MOP, we see a significant advantage of Outsourcing to be a reduction in the number of opinions on what your advertising should look like.

When you ask someone for an opinion, especially internally, do you know what you get? An opinion. But not all opinions are born equal, are they?

And on occasions, paralysis by analysis and the lack of clear authority lines can become very obvious – in advertising output, especially, which is “blanded down” to be as inoffensive as possible to the largest number of people.

Endless internal consultation also results in delays, cost over-runs, and confusion as to strategic direction. Staff are often found trying constantly to double-guess the agency’s advice on colours, photographs, design and copy points in a manner that is simply time-wasting and sometimes plain wrong.

Reducing these numbers of opinions can lead to more streamlined workflow, more work being completed well in advance of requirement, and a freeing up of time for everyone to consider important strategic matters, instead of constantly focusing on minutae.

To discuss your situation in total confidence, ring (03) 9426 5400, or please email us at

Author: Stephen Yolland

Director of Creative Strategy and Partner @ Magnum Opus Partners.

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