How to Decide What Functions Should be
In-Housed vs Outsourced

How to Decide What Functions Should be In-Housed vs Outsourced

How to Decide What Functions Should be In-Housed vs Outsourced

By William A. Lederer, Chairman and CEO, iSOCRATES

The vast majority of businesses take a hybrid approach to sourcing. They may perform some functions in-house, offload others to an agency and outsource others overseas. But how do you know which tasks your in-house agency should tackle and which should be outsourced?


Well, the obvious and best advice is don’t outsource what you excel at. You never want to outsource any of your business’ core competencies. Doing so makes you too reliant on your vendors. If you have people in place who are great at performing certain marketing services, leave them to it.


Instead, outsource functions where you lack expertise. If no one on your team understands SEM or MADTech media buying, it might make sense to outsource that work, rather than bringing on additional full-time associates.


Remember too, that you can always have an in-house person manage your vendor. You can create your MADTech strategy in-house, for example, but have an experienced, outsourced media buyer actually purchase the ads.


For a more in-depth exploration of your sourcing options, download our whitepaper, The iSOCRATES Guide to MADTech Media and Marketing Services Sourcing.


Types of Work to Outsource

Functions that are commonly outsourced are grouped into the following categories:

    • Strategy and Operations Consulting – Many businesses outsource to professional consultants who can leverage their experience to solve strategic and operational problems for clients, giving them the benefit of an external and expert perspective.
    • Managed Services – Companies often outsource execution and support services, which may include administration, technologies and related support services, monetization, creative production data, analysis and reporting, business development, and marketing planning and execution.
Questions to Consider

Here are some questions to consider when deciding what to in-house vs outsource, according to Forbes:-

  • Does your staff have the skills and resources to perform the task?
  • Are you willing to invest in training and development?
  • Can outsourcing help you reach a short-term goals faster?
  • Do you have the resources to recruit, hire and maintain in-house talent?
  • What value are you getting for the cost?
  • Would in-house talent be spread too thin if they assumed this task or project?
  • Where would you most like your staff’s time spent?
Will Outsourcing Pay Off?

When you move a function from in-housing to outsourcing, keep in mind that you’ll have to put in extra effort up front to find a qualified vendor and to educate that vendor about your business, audience, strategy, and the specifics for your particular project. As you work with an agency or overseas vendor, however, they should develop a deep understanding of who you are, how you work, and what you expect.


Plus, it’s likely that outsourcing some of your non-mission-critical functions will actually save you time and money. To find out how much, take our confidential iSOCRATES Sourcing survey. Answer a few questions about your digital media and marketing operations, and immediately receive a FREE report detailing how much money you can save. If you are like most firms, you can expect to save 20% or much more per year.


If you still aren’t sure what media and marketing functions you want to outsource, and you’d like to consult with an expert to gain some clarity, we’d love to help. Contact us.

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