Why Taking Marketing In-House Could Be Your Biggest Business Mistake

An outsourced CMO shares two cautionary tales of what can happen when companies try to take all their marketing in-house.

It’s the great marketing debate: in-house versus outsourced. While there are pros and cons to both sides of the coin, the more modern marketing becomes, the more sense it makes to outsource marketing efforts.

Modern marketing is faster, bigger, better, stronger than marketing was some years ago. There are so many moving parts, technologies, mediums, etc. that it’s become increasingly more difficult for in-house teams to stay up-to-speed. It’s also become incredibly expensive, in time, money and resources. An external agency offers a well-rounded, intact, ready-to-go team from day one.

[To read more of Erik Huberman’s thought leadership click here]

And yet, a lot of brands feel this self-inflicted pressure to bring their marketing in house – which often leads to companies having a rude awakening when it comes to the depth of knowledge one must have in order to market effectively. Especially for growth stage ecommerce companies, getting an outsourced CMO is the smarter business decision. Let the marketing experts focus on the marketing so that you and your team can focus on your product and all the intricacies that go into running a successful business.  

If It Ain’t Broke

An odd trend exists. Companies see impressive results from their outsourced marketing agency and decide that the next logical step is to end their relationship with said agency and bring everything in-house.

Let me tell you right now – this could be one of the most detrimental decisions a company could make.

My company, Hawke Media, had a client that went this route. After seeing such a boom in business thanks to our marketing experts, the client decided they wanted to take their marketing in-house.

What happened next? Did they continue to see their sales increase month-over-month? Did they continue to produce effective and efficient Facebook ads? Did they continue to expand their client base and increase the reach of their email newsletter?

Nope. Instead, they were banned on Facebook just two weeks before one of the biggest days in ecommerce – Black Friday.

It’s true, this company was unable to advertise on Facebook before Black Friday. Even more unfortunate for them was that, because they had an inexperienced marketing team, they lacked any connections at Facebook to help them fix it – something a marketing agency is definitely going to have.

This client is not the only poor, unfortunate soul who went this route and suffered for it. We had one client who had been with Hawke Media for a year and half. During this time we took the company from a three million dollar value to a 60 million dollar value. When the company raised that round, they decided to try and take everything in-house.

Fast forward three years and, in the time since then, the company has had to raise more money at the same valuation and even had to recently go through a complete internal restructuring. With an expert marketing agency, they were on a complete upward trajectory. On their own…not so much.

You Don’t Have to Do it All Anymore

The idea that a company should bring all its processes in-house once they’ve reached a certain pinnacle of success is an archaic way of thinking. The scope and speed of today’s marketing makes outsourcing one of the smartest business decisions you can make. Companies shouldn’t feel obligated to take on all the responsibility of owning, operation, producing, marketing and selling a product. It’s just too much these days and there are experts just waiting to help ease the burden.

The digital revolution changed the game and marketing initiatives now cover an incredibly wide breadth, requiring a wide variety of specialization in order to be successful. Because of the nature of today’s modern market, in order to stay competitive, you have to stay efficient. In order to stay efficient, you have to outsource.

[For more on Hawke Media’s approach to Digital Agency click here]