Outsourcing marketing in 2022

Should you hire a marketing agency or a freelancer is a perfect fit?

Reading time: 3 mins

by Gergő Bárándi

The following article has been discussed with one of my clients, this is where I share her experience filled with my thoughts.

The inhouse marketing team dilemma

Yeah, big companies have marketing teams. Big marketing teams, with on-site designers, digital experts, brand specialists, assistants, etc. However employment taxes are quite high in the world, (in my country the amount of money you pay for the state as employment tax is almost equals the worker’s net salary) which could make it though to hire an experienced senior for every role.

But if you have the money for the employment taxes, hr, recruitment, trainings and an office, go ahead. That’s the best way to provide the best solutions for your brand with a various kind of specialists.

If you spend this much on a marketing team, that team should work well, make money and think constantly. They will have ideas also, and there will be some ideas, which for some reasons could not be delivered with the in-house team, due to the specialty of the area and the lack of onsite expertise. Well, this happens. You will hire an expert team, they will also cost money, but they deliver the idea which probably will make money for you again.

And they will report directly for you. More control, dedicated people for the brand and messages. Sound ideal.

The low cost airline dilemma:

Ok, so if I buy priority ticket may I bring another luggage? Ah, that luggage should fit into the storage above your head? Nice, but what if my luggage is 5 cm longer? What do you mean I cannot bring it unless I pay fine? I’ve bought this ticket for €10!!

As a notorious backpacker I always wonder why people think they are above the rules and start mouthing once they accepted terms and conditions but may never read, or did read and break those?

Since running this marketing consultant brand is kinda like a hobby for me, I also need a full time job, (where I can enjoy managerial tasks while I work with highly qualified people from all over the world) I also wonder when companies try to hire a 2in1 or even a 4in1 people.

I mean when there is a ppc specialist recruitment ad with 3+ years experience, but employer requires the google ads, analytics skills AND graphic design skills AND social media management skills? Its a perfect fit for a young talent, who seeks a specialization but not for an experienced specialist who has a focus on.

The funny thing that most companies would also pay the talent’s wage for that specialists. Been here, havent you?

And this is what leads to the agency experience:

Please keep in mind, that there are thousands of marketing agencies operating in this world, so you cannot judge all of them if you have experience with one or two.

Most of the marketing agencies are working the same way: you (and your business) will be the account and various kind of specialists will work with your account. Some times you will meet an account manager to communicate directly with, and her/his responsibility will be the task delegation for the specialists and following things up on a daily basis.

If you have routine and you spend some time to choose the agency you need, you’ll get a responsible account manager and specialists with deep knowledge for your money. Don’t worry, it won’t cost as much as an onsite marketing team, but won’t be cheap also. If you don’t have a routine hiring agencies, ask for a consultant or a consultation first. As I mentioned there are a lot of agencies, the pick will be tought and it must suite your budget, right?

Build a team from specialists

I did not want to frighten you away from agencies, but if you did not close the article with an exclamation „dont tell me how to do my business” and still reading you may interested in a quite trendy solution which is a growth way of working when it comes to digital stuff like design, ppc, content, etc.

Millenials like me prefer working with flexible hours, flexible workplaces, to live anywhere we want. This is pretty good for our mental health, and self development which is more important than money in my opinion. No, company playgrounds with table football, ping pong tables and free coffee are a lot less attractive.

With the home office breakthrough under the pandemic the things points into this direction: the job gets done and you pay an hourly, a project, or a monthly fee for your specialist. But here is the thing: these people are some kind of self-employed workers and paying their own tax after their side hustle or full time freelance projects. So you paying for the actual work only. Sounds better, right?

These specialists are the some who works for agencies, why don’t you pay them directly? On the other hand, if these specialists working for an agency you pay the agency fee (with taxes) and from that money the agency will pay for their full time employee. They pay employment taxes for the state also. If you hire a specialist, you can decide: bigger margin for you, or cheaper prices to fight the competitors?

What about you? 

In this article I’ve tried to give you an insight working with different marketing units. But the first thing to consider is actually yourself and your business?

What kind of tasks would you like to outsource?
Specific tasks like Google ads management, seo or the whole marketing field? For specific tasks, a freelancer with good communication skills will be perfect, because of the expertise and the ability to give you a deeper understanding also. For bigger marketing projects (e.g. a rebranding) I would recommend an agency, but make sure that there will be someone for you, who will hold things in hand and has experience working with highly skilled specialists.

Rates – the cheaper the better?
Nope. Definetely not. I recommend you to hire agencies and specialists with higher rates. Their rates are higher because of their experience and these rates are also a good filter for them to work with value companies and brands. Everyone want to work with a high qualified partner. You and me also.