When to Send Online Outside
Time to market normally is a challenge for every marketer building an in-house marketing team. Marketers with aggressive time-to-market goals—say, two to six weeks—significantly benefit from outsourcing partners that get efforts up and running quickly on an established learning curve. For marketers choosing not to outsource, the most common roadblocks to speedy setup include: hiring time, planning, learning curve, technology integration, etc.
Often, it takes several extra months to launch an online direct response program in house. This could be shorter if qualified staff is available internally. But even in these cases, the smoothest resource transitions rarely match the speed of an experienced outsourcer. If a quick start time is not a priority, an in-house solution may still be a viable option, provided that other external circumstances don’t hinder program uptake.
The beauty of online marketing is the degree to which technology has increased the efficiencies at the baseline of all interactive programs. Even so, technology can’t replace the honed thinking of experienced staff. Most online direct response efforts show a direct correlation between staff time and results. Staffing resources must deliberately be allocated with the aim of achieving aggressive volume, quality or efficiency goals.
Hiring qualified staff, however, is increasingly difficult and costly. Just try to hire an experienced search marketer or affiliate manager for less than six figures! Unless the resources are available, hiring a staff for an in-house effort is expensive. Similarly, a single mid-/high-level hire won’t maximize his or her value when performing necessary low-level tasks. Outsourcing provides advertisers the ability to acquire an experienced team of professionals with diverse skill sets.
The matrix shown on page 26 should help identify other points of differentiation when comparing typical in-house vs. outsource options.
After the in-house vs. outsource question has been answered, it’s beneficial to revisit the decision periodically to determine if the route you chose still is the best option.