Should You Outsource Ecommerce Marketing or Keep it In-House? 3 Questions To Ask

The marketing industry has changed, and digital marketing has led the disruption.

With countless new tools and strategies being introduced regularly, marketing has become more and more specialized. It’s had to. With so many tactics available, marketers in every specialty — from user experience to conversion optimization to analytics — require deep expertise to execute truly effective campaigns.

So, what does this mean for ecommerce businesses and their marketing teams?

Historically, big brands maintained massive in-house marketing departments, but this has started to change. Small and large companies alike have begun outsourcing ecommerce marketing, collaborating with specialists who keep them current on the latest digital marketing trends.

The days of hiring just any marketer to do it all are long gone.

So, what are your options?

Infographic: Should You Outsource Ecommerce Marketing or Keep it In-House? 3 Questions To Ask

In-House vs. Outsourced Ecommerce Marketing

Fully In-House Team

You can, of course, stick with a fully in-house team, which has its advantages. You retain full control over your marketing and have greater agility than when working with an outside team.

However, most companies can’t afford to hire in-house specialists for the many areas of modern-day marketing. Instead, their teams consist mainly of jack-of-all-trades marketers, which means they miss out on what specialized mastery across various areas can do.

Fully developed in-house teams tend to be the most expensive option, involving a year’s worth of full-time pay and benefits for a multitude of specialists.

Fully Outsourced Team

At the other extreme, you can try fully outsourcing your ecommerce marketing team. While this tends to be the least expensive option, it’s also the lowest quality.

The low quality doesn’t reflect the ability of the specialists you hire. In fact, you probably get the most specialized, experienced digital marketers there are. But a fully outsourced ecommerce marketing team will have trouble authentically representing your brand and culture, making it difficult to meaningfully engage with your audience.

They’ll try, but without an intimate understanding of your brand and company, it’s simply impossible.

The content and culture — the overall strategy — must come from within the company… which brings us to the third option.

The Hybrid Model

Combining your in-house marketing team with a team of outsourced ecommerce specialists keeps your company at the center of your marketing AND up to date on the latest trends and technology. Not to mention, you tend to get the most for your money.

Your in-house team takes responsibility for setting the overall strategy and generating authentic content that’s consistent with your company’s culture. (Yes, company culture has everything to do with marketing.) This can’t be outsourced.

Then, with your team at the helm, you can outsource to ecommerce marketing specialists to help you build out the practical, tactical components that create the connection you want with your customers.

With the hybrid option, you can create a quality, authentic emotional connection with your audience through your marketing. You’ll run highly specialized campaigns through the channels that make sense for your brand.

Your company is free to focus on what you know best — your products — while your partners specialize in the rest.

Staying In-House vs. Outsourcing Ecommerce Marketing: Final Thoughts

There is no one-size-fits-all prescription for your marketing strategy. The digital marketing landscape is always changing — and changing fast. Your audience evolves, and your business grows.

Outsourcing ecommerce marketing expertise allows you to explore the right channels and tactics at the right time, instead of getting locked in to a specific skill set with your in-house team.

To win with any channel, you need an expert. And with the sheer number of marketing platforms emerging, you can’t go after every one.

In the very near future, specialists will rule the world of digital marketing. Generalists simply can’t keep up.

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