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Is an In-House or Outsourced Marketing Department Right for You?


At some point in a company’s growth cycle, there comes a time to establish a marketing department. Maybe a new website needs to be developed.  Perhaps the sales department needs collateral or presentations to acquire new customers. Whatever the reason, the marketing tasks now require additional time, focus and resources.

I have been faced with the opportunity to develop and lead a marketing department at two manufacturing companies during my career.  I have also worked on the flip side as a part of a de facto marketing department for manufacturers while at TRG Marketing. Both approaches can produce effective marketing, but there are differences in the total investment needed to get your marketing off the ground and working.

In-House Marketing Department

Building out your own marketing department likely starts with hiring a marketing manager or associates to lead the effort.  You’ll do a search for this talent, and educate them about your business, your marketing needs, and so on.  When they start tackling projects, (like refreshing a website), they usually need additional creative resources to get the job done.  Should a talented hire find the right resources, manage them and their budget effectively, and launch a new website, this can work. There are no guarantees that the hired personnel will develop as you wished, prioritize projects appropriately,  choose a successful approach, and resources or even stick around long enough to see them through.  This can send you back to square one with little to show for what is now a sizeable investment.

Outsource Marketing

Outsourcing marketing services is a different approach.  A marketing firm, such as TRG, meets with your leadership to understand your business and challenges. Marketing solutions are developed and presented as projects that are then prioritized against the company goals, objectives, timelines and budget.  This onboarding process can lead to projects being started in as little as 30 days.

Now the marketing machine is in motion. Projects are started and executed by a team of experienced marketers who bring you their collective expertise.  A website developer works with a social media professional, a digital advertising expert and so on.  Under the guidance of strategic planners and a day-to-day account manager ensures all activities are in concert with the agreed-upon plan.  Steady progress is made each week, each month and each quarter.  Results are reported and discussed.  Adjustments are made if and when needed.

Bottom Line

With outsourcing, an experienced team handles your marketing needs from the get-go. The right projects get worked on and systematically completed.  Outsourcing can also come with less risk.  For instance, TRG does not have a contract to handcuff you.  If the arrangement isn’t working, you amicably part ways, versus potentially paying a severance for in-house personnel if they don’t produce.   In business, everything comes down to ROI and by outsourcing your marketing the results are better.