The online world is constantly growing and changing. It continues to shape the way we transact with each other, creating new opportunities for businesses to grow. While it’s so, the challenges that come with these opportunities are boundless.

Internally, businesses that rely heavily (and even partly) on online channels, have to consider how complex it is to harness the potential of online marketing through resource allocation. It bodes the question of whether executing online marketing should be an in house or outsourced project. To help you get an understanding of the differences of both and what’s best for you, here are a list of questions you should ask before making a decision.

Are you growing internally?

Online marketing is so huge that it has spurred the conception of digital marketing agencies that specialise in various services or just one. It can web development, which requires a great deal of knowledge and expertise, or multiple services (e.g. content marketing, search engine marketing and social media management). What’s apparent is the scope that every service has.

If you’re going to carry out online marketing in house, you should always consider your growth strategy. This is because you will have to arguably create an entirely new department and hire professionals who are trained to execute the service you would like your business to handle. Remember that the machine that is online is constantly growing, and you need experts who can grow with it. Even though you might be able to find a web developer, for example, they may not be equipped to handle digital strategy.

On the other hand, outsourcing allows you to acquire those specialists without changing your growth strategy in order to accommodate online marketing. In the grand scheme, doing so requires very little resource allocation.

What is your current understanding of digital marketing?

As digital marketing is a universe on its own, it boasts a boatload of information one needs to learn in order to properly execute it, even if the plan is not to hire new resources. To really get a picture of whether you could handle it internally, you can investigate the various services your company needs to be visible and prosperous online. Even if you’re going to do so, if you’ve never or partly delved into it, you would still need guidance from specialists through consultation. Agencies can provide that consultation.

The idea is not so that you eventually see the benefits of outsourcing, but learn more about your business and its place online. The more you learn about the scope of what your company needs to be really successful digitally, the more you’re in a position to make decisions on whether to outsource or do it inhouse. Most likely you will still come to the conclusion that (though you can take some services in house) you will require more consultation, technical support and more resources. These can be acquired outside of your business at a moment’s notice.

Is collaboration something of meaning to your business?

Collaboration in any sector is key. It enables better ideas, processes and strategy. It lessens the load, and creates a space where all involved can think freely, learn, exchange ideas and create value. This is the same value outsourcing offers. It allows for your business to learn more, create meaningful partnerships and give your business boost. Although you may have a specialised in house team, the lack of outsourcing can stop you from getting an outsider’s perspective.

Will an online agency add more value or create more strain

While outsourcing has a great deal of potential, you still need to consider who you’re going to outsource to. Service providers are in abundance, so you need to choose carefully as this will ensure you get the best value for your investment. You can get a picture on how to assess and choose the best agency for you by reading this.

What will the final product look like?

The most important question of all of them is what the product will eventually look like. You might be worried that outsourcing removes a lot of control from your hands, therefore you don’t have any power in what the finished product looks like. But you’d be wrong. Outsourcing doesn’t take away your ability to manage the project and shape it as you see fit. You can provide an agency with space to make crucial decisions, but still be involved in a way that your project stays within scope through constant communication. Again, collaboration is key.

On the other hand, insourcing can lead to a finished product that is low in quality. That is not to say that service providers are perfect, but handling a large project with limited resources can often lead to strenuous mistakes that reduce the possibility of making a significant return on investment.