Internet marketing is no longer an optional line item on a company’s annual budget. Internet marketing holds the greatest potential for return on investment of any type of marketing for almost every business. The distribution is global and the cost is far more affordable than print or television advertising. The only question that savvy business owners need to answer is will the marketing material be created by an in-house team or outsourced to a marketing firm. In most cases cost is the driving factor for outsourcing but there are a few other aspects to review as well.

Dollars and Cents of In-House vs. Outsourcing lists the current average salary for an Internet marketing specialist at $42,638 a year. In a recent online study conducted by the Clutch Company, they chose to use a base salary of $50,000 per year to hire an above average to good marketing specialist. In addition to the normal taxes that an employer pays, this study included healthcare for the individual only and a 2.7% 401k match. The loaded cost of this one employee came to a grand total of $61,575 each year. That works out to a monthly budget of just over $5,100 each month. In contrast, Forrester Research determined that the average business was planning to spend 41% of their marketing budget on online services in 2018. In addition, it has been determined that the average company allocates 10% of their revenue each year to marketing. Using these numbers we can determine that a million dollar a year business would spend $100,000 on marketing and 41% of that is $41,000, which is focused on Internet marketing. That works out to just over $3,400 each month or a savings of $1,700.  You can plug in your own numbers to get a more accurate comparison.

Other Equally Important Considerations

In addition to the actual cash you will spend on an employee, you need to consider the time you will invest in finding and training the person. Some agencies estimate that it can be a full 60 days from the day you begin accepting applications to the new hires first day on the job. Another consideration is that your Internet marketing “department” consists of a single person. Being single threaded can create some additional challenges. From a creative aspect you have one person and one perspective which can be limiting. Outsourced marketing material is created by a team with multiple collaborators. You also have only one person to perform creative tasks so each day’s production is limited, where as a larger team can focus more creative talent to a large project for a faster turnaround time. In addition, you have no back up person when your marketing guru is on vacation or is out due to illness or some other type of leave.

Determining Your Priorities

In most cases, a business owner is very comfortable working in his or her own area of expertise but that is rarely Internet marketing. This can make managing even a small in-house marketing team very challenging. Most owners choose to leave the marketing to the professionals who know the technology, marketing trends and platforms and will provide the best return on investment.