Should You Hire or Outsource for [fill-in-the-blank] Marketing Role?

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The decision to hire a new employee or contract with a B2B marketing agency is a big one , but it’s a decision that really boils down to the bottom line. Which investment will get you the best return?

The answer can be found by asking yourself three questions:

  1. What type of work do I need accomplished?
  2. What is the cadence of the work?
  3. How fast does this work need to be turned around?

When you answer these questions, you’ll be closer to determining exactly how you should invest your marketing dollars to get the work done.

1. What type of work do I need accomplished?

First examine what type of role you’re looking for. Do you need strategic marketing leadership, tactical day-to-day support or a hybrid of the two?

Strategic Marketing Leadership

Hire if…

  • You want to drive long-term, sustainable marketing leadership internally within your organization.
  • Your organization is complex and multi-layered, requiring deep internal knowledge of your company’s structure and alignment among multiple internal audiences.
  • Elevating marketing internally with your leadership team is important.

Outsource if…

  • You want to quickly inject strategic expertise to drive more immediate growth.
  • Your organization’s leadership needs will change as your company grows.
  • You don’t yet have the need or the salary funds for a full-time strategic role.
  • You want to inject a fresh perspective into your marketing efforts.

Tactical Day-to-Day Support

Hire if…

  • You have a large consistent need for ongoing work that requires a specific skillset – making it more cost effective to have a dedicated resource on staff.

Outsource if…

  • You need marketing expertise in a variety of areas – say digital marketing, copywriting, graphic design and web development and the work does not yet warrant a full-time specialist in any one skillset.

Strategic/Tactical Hybrid

Hire if…

  • You want to build out a basic marketing foundation for your company and are ready to go all-in with someone who can focus every single day on not only defining the strategy, but also creating and executing on the marketing programs for your organization.
  • You need an internal point person to direct and oversee work outsourced to a B2B marketing agency. This person will coordinate and gather information internally and provide ongoing guidance to agency partners.

Outsource if…

  • You need a wide range of tactical marketing skillsets along with the expertise to lead strategy, but you can’t find any qualified candidates with a broad enough set of skills to support all your marketing needs.
  • You want to test out marketing skillsets before fully committing to the fixed costs of an internal hire.
  • You need a senior-level resource, but your budget only affords a junior-level marketer


2. What is the cadence of work?

Hire if…

  • You need a certain type of marketing skillset every day in a full-time capacity for the foreseeable future.

Outsource if…

  • You just need support for a specific project such as a product launch or branding initiative that is a one-time need or has fixed start and end dates.
  • Your internal team experiences peaks and valleys in their work volumes and their capacity is maxed at times so they need extra help to get through the peaks.
  • A key team member goes out on a temporary leave and you don’t want to lose momentum on your marketing initiatives in the interim.
  • You need the flexibility to turn marketing support on and off as needed in order to manage to your budget.


3. How fast does this work need to be turned around?

Hire if…

  • The work can wait. You have adequate lead time to hire and train a new employee before the work needs to be completed.
  • The work is not mission critical so delaying it won’t negatively impact your bottom line.

Outsource if…

  • You have fast-approaching deadlines that your internal team can’t meet without putting aside other important marketing priorities that must get done.
  • You can’t hire additional staff to support the immediate needs fast enough.
  • You’re struggling to find the right resource to hire, but the work can’t wait any longer without negatively impacting your organization.
  • Your marketing team is bogged down in the internal workings of the organization and has too many fires to put out to truly focus on a fast turnaround of work.

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