There have been countless debates and arguments related to this million-dollar question. Or, hopefully, under a million dollars! You must consider a slew of factors when deciding between developing an in-house online marketing department and outsourcing one.
As a rule of thumb, just keep in mind that running efficient campaigns at a large scale and with high ROI requires at least a seasoned Online Marketing manager who oversees a PPC manager, Content Marketing manager, Designer, Digital Copywriter, Social Media strategist, Email Marketing officer, SEO specialist and an HTML/front-end developer. Depending on the location of your business, these costs can skyrocket if you were to employ all these professionals in-house and grant them medical insurance, paid holiday, sick leave, social and entertainment benefits. And let's not forget about all the taxes your company must pay for every single employee.
As such, in theory — and in practice as well if you contract an agency with lots of experience under its belt — outsourcing your digital marketing team might save you up to two thirds of your online marketing budget. Here’s how this is possible:
1. Analytics tools and experienced professionals do not come cheap
The digital advertising world is strikingly different from the traditional above-the-line advertising in that every single member of the online marketing team needs to have some basic to advanced technical knowledge and skills (SEO, HTML/CSS, Adobe Photoshop, Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, etc.). Professionals with these skills and good work ethics (reliable, client-centric, deadline-oriented) command high salaries compared to the median wage in any country. For instance, a reputable experienced SEO specialist in an Eastern European country expects a salary of 1,500-2,000 Euros/month whereas in a developed country like the USA or the UK, salary expectations for these professionals easily reach 4,000-5,000 Euros/month. On top of that, you need to account for all the subscriptions to the web analytics and metrics tools and services that dig deep into your pocket. Last but not least, you need to budget for the campaign itself — if you only invest 200 Euros/week in PPC (paid ads) campaigns you cannot expect the same sale results you’d get with a budget of over 2,000 Euros/week.
2. Developing an in-house digital marketing team requires a lot of resources
Most experienced and reputable online marketing professionals work as freelancers as they earn considerably more. Their extensive formative experience took place most often than not in digital marketing agencies, where they acquired all the skills they needed and then they went on to establishing their own brand or name. As a result, the rest of the professionals with less experience start within the marketing department of a corporation or a smaller business, whose areas of expertise are not related to marketing (e.g. textile, petroleum engineering, retail, finance and so on). Apart from the costs mentioned above, you need to add the training fees, acquisition of new cutting-edge technology (a web designer will need the latest MacBook Pro with all the Adobe licenses), new creative spaces (marketers, although boasting highly analytical minds, are creative souls and need a proper environment to do their job), budget for international conferences and events (all marketers are constantly learning and honing their skills) and a few other spendings we don’t want to vex you with.
3. Online marketing is a combination of tech and creative talent
Which is absolutely great! However, if you run a successful small or giant brand specialising in software or production technologies, you will find it difficult to keep your marketing specialists engaged at all times due to creativity stagnation. This can lead to a high employee turnover. Unless you run impressive Apple-style campaigns, your marketing team might find it very challenging to constantly come up with new and refreshing creative campaigns with high conversion rates or viralability due to repetitive day-to-day tasks. In an agency, marketing professionals most of the time juggle many projects in dozens of industries and can easily transfer the parameters of high-performance campaigns from one client to another. Should you prefer to develop your in-house online marketing department, try to stimulate and incentivize your creatives with challenging, unique, and in some cases even controversial campaigns.
4. You don’t have to learn from your own mistakes
You learn from others’ mistakes! Because online marketing is probably on par with the IT sector when it comes to lightning-fast changes and new technologies, you risk to make many mistakes along the way which will cost you time and money. For instance, here at Kondiment, we had clients who came to us because their PPC campaigns were non-converting and could not afford to do A/B testing. They had done everything by the book — but the only issue is that the book changes to 180 degrees every 3 to 6 months. In online marketing, what worked a few weeks ago, today is just history! In other words, with non-optimized paid ads campaigns, you can lose money in two ways: the weekly budget is too low or the budget is high but various factors such as ad groups, negative keywords, or long-tail keywords are not effective. This is normally the stage when clients get stuck and ask for the expertise of a digital marketing agency.
5. Long-term collaboration ensures consistency
Once an agency learns the ins and outs of your branding strategy, it ensures consistency in its marketing efforts and its main goal is to provide you with satisfactory results and high ROI. Otherwise, you can easily cancel their services. But the most cost-effective aspect in a long-term outsourced relationship is that you use the agency’s services only when the occasion requires so. Let’s say you need to run a 30,000-Euro campaign for 3 months with the target of bringing you at least three times ROI. After that campaign ends, you might have a gap of a few weeks or even months when you do not want to invest much in your marketing or branding strategies. However, when you have in-house online marketing professionals, you need to pay them a fixed monthly salary regardless of your business needs, the magnitude of the campaign or number of logged working hours.
6. You can leverage geographical flexibility
Working and collaborating remotely is a sign of progressiveness! Here at Kondiment, we greatly value flexibility and location-independence when it comes to our clients. On the local market, Kondiment provides premium services at competitive prices. Moreover, for western clients Kondiment equates to top-notch services at incredibly affordable rates. Romania has become a popular international IT hub for many reasons, among which we can mention incredibly talented young professionals and affordability of services. The trend has continued with Customer Service outsourcing, and currently Romania is on the cusp of making waves internationally with its highly skilled marketers. While Eastern European marketing professionals generate the same productivity as their Western European counterparts, their salaries are at a fraction of those in the west. If you are a UK-based or other western company looking to decrease your online marketing spending, look no further than Romania!
7. You get constant support, consultation and the right solution
To many demanding clients, this might not seem like much of an incentive. But the reality is that a digital agency does not offer solutions based on generalities, market trends or your own mistakes. First off, a digital audit is thoroughly conducted and in light of those comprehensive results, the agency formulates a solution. For instance, you might want to migrate your eCommerce website and try to determine what the best solution might be: WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, Drupal or develop everything from scratch. In this case, an agile team of IT engineers, SEO specialists, designers, sales consultants and copywriters brainstorm ideas and take into consideration every single service you pay for. Afterwards, they compare your personalised solution with past achievements and offer you the fastest and most cost-effective strategy to increase your ROI.
8. You learn for free from industry-leading professionals
Some of the most prestigious trainers, who normally also lead the online marketing department in an agency, thrive in fast-paced and mentally stimulating environments. Once you put your campaigns in the trusting hands of a digital marketing agency, not only do you get the results you wanted but you also get access to detailed reports and roadmaps on how the specialists got to those results. This is a fantastic chance for you to learn how to implement effective online marketing strategies in the future, should you wish to go on your own. Meanwhile, if you want to get a perfect overview over the entire online marketing world, why not check out Kondiment’s accredited courses?
So, who can benefit from the services of a digital marketing agency?
Scalability techniques are driving innovation and global outreach in pretty much every field nowadays. Whether you are a top-tier client or a small business owner, an agency will custom tailor a solution for your needs and budget. Even if you have a strong background in online marketing, most of the time you will spend a lot of resources and money on sales, finance, legal, production or logistics and you might not be able to dedicate as much time as needed to properly advertise your awesome products and services.
If you wish to find out more about the costs incurred in digital marketing campaigns, why not drop by our office or send us a witty email? We promise our digital kondiments are second to none!
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