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 – it makes you too reliant on your vendors. And if you already have people in place that 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 programmatic media buying, it might make more sense to outsource that work instead of trying to bring on full-time employees.


Remember too, that you can always have an in-house person manage your vendor. You can create your programmatic 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 Programmatic 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; and 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/resources to perform the task?
  • Are you willing to invest in training and development?
  • Can outsourcing help you reach a short-term goal 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 did this task/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 an extra effort in upfront to find a qualified vendor, and then to educate that vendor about your business, audience and strategy, as well as the specifics for your particular project. However, as you work with an agency or overseas vendor, they should develop a deep understanding of who you are, how you work, and what you expect.


And 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, expect to save 20% or much more per year.


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

How can we partner to create value for you?

This Area is Widget-Ready

You can place here any widget you want!

You can also display any layout saved in Divi Library.

Let’s try with contact form: