What, When and How to Outsource Your Marketing to a Digital Agency

by James Lawrence on 
January 09, 2023 | 
Digital Marketing Strategy
James Lawrence

“Do what you do best, and outsource the rest,” said the founder of modern management Peter Drucker.

When it comes to driving marketing results, should you outsource select marketing tasks to an external agency

The answer of course depends on multiple factors and the reasons for or against outsourcing will vary depending on your size and needs. 

We routinely say ‘no’ to potential work if we think a client won’t benefit from outsourcing their marketing requirements to us. Experience has shown it’s not a fix-all to generate a positive marketing ROI and you need to consider a number of factors to know if it’s going to work for everyone involved. 

Read on to better understand the what, when and how of successfully outsourcing some, or all, of your marketing.

Which parts of your marketing function should you outsource?

You can outsource nearly every marketing channel nowadays… SEO, PPC, email marketing, paid social, design and video, developing thought leadership content and more.  

For many time-poor marketers, having specialists work on creating a digital marketing plan or implementing their marketing strategy can make their job easier.  

However, working with an agency doesn’t necessarily mean handing over your entire department and it’s fate to external people. Here’s a guide on what to look for in a digital marketing agency, as opposed to keeping in-house.

1. You don’t have the skills to drive campaigns in-house.

SEO services, paid search and paid social channels are highly technical, constantly changing and incredibly time-consuming. Moving the needle on any of these channels requires advanced knowledge and experience. It’s very rare that to find a single in-house marketing resource who would be able to master all these channels and execute campaigns efficiently. 

Working with a digital marketing agency means that you will get in-depth expertise in every discipline.

The biggest benefit of using agencies however, is that we typically have 10, 15 or more similar campaigns to yours running at any one time and get incredible learnings from these, which we can then apply to your campaigns. As specialists, we are always up-do-date on industry knowledge and trends, and already have close relationships with representatives from Google, Meta, TikTok and Hubspot.

2. You don’t have the internal resources to meet demands.

While a multi-channel approach to marketing is considered the best to generate results, it’s not easy to juggle paid search, paid social, email marketing, display advertising and offline opportunities at once. 

Time, dollars and focus can be better-spent outsourcing to an agency, by getting the external team to do the heavy lifting. 

There are many scenarios where you need to ramp up your marketing efforts, but don’t have enough capacity to get it done:

  • You’re about to launch a new product or service.
  • Your current assets and ads are exhausted, and it’s time for a creative refresh.
  • You’re falling behind your competitors and need to compete effectively in the market.

3. You need a fresh set of eyes.

“You can’t read the label from inside the jar”. You may well be standing too close to your offering to see its unique selling points and where it stands in the wider market. Marketing at its core is about the market, not the company being marketed. Having an outsider’s perspective, together with a detailed knowledge of your offering, allows an agency to enable marketing decisions in your best interest with clarity.

Oftentimes, it helps to get a second opinion on your current digital strategy. You could be completely missing something, that someone working in an agency will be able to pick up quickly! This is especially the case recently with ad platform changes, software updates and privacy law implications, all of which can be affecting your campaigns without you knowing.

Five signs that outsourcing your marketing is the right decision for your business.

  1. Your marketing staff are overworked and scaling your team is a distraction or proving harder than you thought.
  2. You have inexperienced (from a marketing perspective) staff performing your key marketing functions.
  3. Your paid advertising is not making a dent in your bottom line. 
  4. Your current marketing creative/messaging does not resonate with your target audience.
  5. You don’t have the time or budget to hire a full-blown in-house marketing team with all the experts you need.

How to make it work: Finding your Internal Champion

All of the above sounds great, and it is. But for you and digital agencies like Rocket to succeed together, you’ll need an Internal Champion – someone on your side who will help us smash your goals. This person may be a marketer, or they may not. This person may be you, a partner or the company founder. Typically they’re loyal, empowered and experienced within the business.

Here are the traits that make for an amazing Internal Champion:

  • Someone with the bandwidth to review work and give feedback and approvals.
  • Someone who has the EQ and IQ to transfer information from inside your organisation in a clear and constructive way.
  • Someone who can make quick decisions when needed.
  • Someone who understands your business intimately, including what your product does, the problem(s) it solves for your customers, exactly who your customers are, and who they are not, as well as how your offering compares with the competition.
  • Someone who cares about the success of your business more than their personal career trajectory – because someone who cares more about their next promotion or taking credit will not do your company justice.

Over the years, we’ve successfully partnered with scores of businesses to manage a part or their complete digital marketing function to generate extraordinary business results. We’ve also given frank advice to organisations where we don’t think working with an agency is the right move for them. We’re happy to share our experience in both cases to help you make the right decision.

If you’d like to learn more about how Rocket partners with marketing managers as their outsourced marketing team, call 1300 059 620 or get in touch.

James Lawrence
Co-Founder & Director | Rocket Agency

James is co-founder of multi-award-winning Australian digital marketing agency Rocket, keynote speaker, host of Apple’s #1 Marketing Podcast, Smarter Marketer, and co-author of the 2019 Amazon Australia’s #1 best-selling marketing book of the same name. He was also a finalist in 2019 and 2020 B&T Marketer of the Year.

James’ 15-year marketing career working with more than 500 in-house marketing teams inspired the 2019 release of Smarter Marketer. It has been endorsed by marketers at some of Australia’s leading brands, including Hubspot and KPMG.

In 2022, James launched the Smarter Marketer podcast, the definitive podcast for Australian marketers. Released fortnightly, James sits down with local experts and global authorities to discuss how Australian marketers can become more successful in their careers.

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