Outsourced vs. Freelance Digital Marketing Manager

Hiring an outsourced or freelance Digital Marketing Manager for your business, it’s a crucial decision, as the right choice can propel your company’s online presence to new heights.

This article offers a comprehensive comparison of both options, helping you understand their benefits and drawbacks.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways of Outsourced Digital Marketing Manager

  • Outsourcing digital marketing gives us a skilled team. This kind of hiring can be changed as needed, saving costs.
  • Hiring a freelance digital manager needs little managing. They cost less and provide unique services.
  • Both options have drawbacks like lack of control, possible communication issues and trouble making long-term ties.
  • Businesses should look at their own needs when choosing between outsourcing or hiring a freelancer.

Understanding Outsourcing and Freelancing

Outsourcing and freelancing are both popular methods of managing digital marketing tasks, yet they offer distinct differences. Outsourcing often involves hiring an entire team or agency that provides a range of services, while freelancing typically entails hiring an independent contractor with expertise in specific areas.

Both come with their unique sets of benefits, outsourcing can provide access to a wide array of skills and allows scalability, whereas freelancing offers specialized services at potentially lower costs.

Both also present drawbacks such as potential communication issues or lack of control over processes. Understanding these aspects is crucial for businesses when deciding which approach best suits their needs.

Definition and Differences

Outsourcing means hiring an outer company or person for certain jobs. The hired party has a bigger role and the deal lasts longer. Freelancing, on the other hand, is about using independent workers for project work.

They have short-term tasks and more say over their job. So, both offer ways to get digital marketing help but they are not alike in how they work or what you can expect from them.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Each

Outsourcing and freelancing both pack a punch in terms of benefits for digital marketing. However, they also come with their share of drawbacks. Let’s delve into the specifics:


  • Outsourcing gives access to a pool of diverse expertise from an established agency.
  • It offers flexibility and scalability, enabling businesses to adjust services based on their needs.
  • Outsourcing reduces overhead costs as businesses can avoid hiring more employees.
  • With freelancing, minimal management is needed as freelancers manage their own work.
  • Freelancers offer specialized services tailored to the specific needs of the business.
  • They can fill temporary gaps without the need for a long-term commitment.


  • Outsourcing may lead to a lack of control and oversight over the marketing processes.
  • There can be potential communication issues due to differing time zones or cultural barriers.
  • Building a long-term relationship may be difficult as the agency handles multiple clients.
  • Freelancers might not be fully immersed in the company culture, leading to brand consistency issues.
  • Communication issues can arise due to freelancers juggling multiple projects.
  • The quality of service may vary, and specialized freelancers may charge higher rates.

Therefore, businesses need to weigh the pros and cons, evaluate their needs, and choose the approach that best meets their digital marketing requirements.

The Rise of Outsourced Digital Marketing

As digital marketing evolves, the trend towards outsourcing is gaining momentum. Across industries, companies are increasingly recognizing the value of entrusting their digital marketing tasks to skilled outsourced teams.

Recent statistics reveal significant growth in this sector, with more businesses opting for an outsourced approach over traditional in-house models. Outsourced teams offer unique expertise and innovative strategies that have proven critical in today’s competitive market landscape.

Several case studies further corroborate these trends, highlighting successful outcomes achieved by businesses through strategic outsourcing initiatives.

Statistics and Case Studies

The prevalence of outsourced digital marketing is growing, as evident in various statistics and case studies.

StatisticExplanation24% of small businesses outsource digital marketing services. This shows that nearly a quarter of small businesses recognize the benefits of outsourcing their digital marketing efforts, including accessing specialized skills and cost savings. Nearly 94% of businesses outsource some or all of their marketing activities. This figure emphasizes that the majority of companies, regardless of their size or industry, utilize outsourcing for their marketing. It indicates the widespread acceptance of outsourcing as an effective strategy for handling marketing tasks.

The Advantages of Outsourcing a Digital Marketing Manager

Outsourcing a Digital Marketing Manager opens the door to a full team of marketing experts, provides increased flexibility, and reduces overhead costs significantly.

Access to a Full Team with Expertise

Outsourcing your digital marketing gives you a full team of professionals. These experts know the best ways to boost your company’s online presence. They have years of practice and lots of special skills that help businesses grow fast.

This team can also change as needed. If you need more help, they add more people. If you need less help, they remove some people. This is called scalability. It allows companies to pick and choose their marketing needs at any given time without having to hire or fire anyone in-house.

Flexibility and Scalability

Outsourcing a digital marketing manager gives your business the power to grow and change. It’s like having a team on speed dial that is ready when you need them. Your company can gain more space for big ideas without stressing over staff or time limits.

With outsourcing, businesses save money and move faster towards their goals. This helps in keeping things fresh and fast in our quickly changing world of technology and trends.

Reduced Overhead Costs

Hiring an in-house digital marketing manager can lead to high costs. These include not only the salary but also benefits and other overhead expenses. On top of that, there is the cost of office space, tools, and training.

These pile up fast and make having an in-house team pricey. Outsourcing cuts these overhead costs a lot. Your company need not spend on office space or costly tool kits for outsourced workers.

This makes outsourcing a smart move for those who wish to save money without losing quality work.

The Benefits of Hiring a Freelance Digital Marketing Manager

Hiring a freelance digital marketing manager offers numerous benefits such as minimal management requirements, allowing businesses to focus on strategic goals rather than daily supervisions.

A freelancer usually costs less and provides specialized services, offering an attractive option for small businesses or startups with budget constraints. Equally important is their capability to fill temporary gaps in your team, ensuring your business remains agile and adaptable in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Minimal Management Needed

A big plus of hiring a freelance digital marketing manager is the small amount of management needed. They handle their own tasks and have less need for oversight compared to full-time workers.

Businesses can cut back on time spent watching over work, as these self-employed experts control their own jobs.

The hands-off approach gives companies more freedom. A business won’t be bogged down with day-to-day details, but can focus on bigger things. This ease in workload comes from using an independent or remote digital marketing manager who runs their own show.

It’s a smart move that needs little effort from your side but gets big results.

Lower Costs and Specialized Services

Freelance digital marketing managers are a good way to save money. They don’t come with the overhead costs of an agency. That means you will spend less on your marketing needs. Even better, they offer specialized services tailored to your business.

With a freelancer, you get more flexibility and personal attention than with a big firm. Plus, if you only need help for a short while, freelancers can step in quickly and easily.

Ability to Fill Temporary Gaps

Freelance digital marketing managers are like on-demand talent. They can fill in when your team needs extra help. Maybe you have a big project. Maybe someone is out sick for a long time.

You don’t have to stress about these problems with freelancers around. You can find them fast and they start work soon after hiring them. That helps you keep the good work flowing, even if there’s a gap in your team for some time.

Drawbacks of Outsourcing and Freelancing

While outsourcing and freelancing offer numerous benefits, they also come with a few drawbacks such as lack of direct control over the work process, potential communication issues due to geographical or time zone differences, and difficulty in establishing long-term relationships due to their typically project-based nature.

Lack of Control and Oversight

Outsourcing or freelancing your digital marketing can lead to less supervision. You lean on the outsourced talent to handle things. This reduced control may cause brand image issues.

It’s hard to keep branding efforts in line when others are in charge.

There are other problems too, like failing to meet project deadlines. You cannot set schedules for freelancers or outsourcing firms from afar. Also, freelancers need strict oversight compared with companies you outsource tasks to as they might not perform well without control over their work.

The lack of clear direction is another issue faced by companies hiring a freelance digital marketing manager. Freelancers might be unavailable when needed, causing delays and disrupting work flow due to inadequate monitoring and coordination between the company and freelancer.

Potential Communication Issues

Working with freelancers and outsourcing can lead to communication problems. Language barriers might occur. Miscommunication can also happen if the freelancer or outsourced worker does not understand what the client wants.

This lack of understanding often causes delays in work, affects quality control and could hurt the marketing strategy’s effectiveness. Communication difficulties may also arise when handling customer inquiries about certain features or issues related to digital marketing efforts.

These challenges point out why good communication is key in digital marketing tasks, whether handled by a freelancer or an outsourced team.

Difficulty in Building a Long-Term Relationship

Building long-term relationships with outsourced workers can be hard. This is because these partnerships often seem more like business deals. The worker finishes the job and that’s it.

This can cause problems for brand consistency in digital marketing. A company’s worth and its good name could drop if keeping a steady brand becomes tough due to outsourcing. All these are key issues linked with a lack of long-term ties in outsourcing or freelancing tasks in digital marketing work.

The Role of In-House Digital Marketing

Unearth the important role of in-house digital marketing teams, their operational models, and their unique pros and cons that differentiate them from outsourced or freelance options.

Definition and Common Models

An in-house marketing team is a group that works within your company. This team knows the business goals and culture very well. There are three types of models for this kind of team: full competency, traditional, and hybrid.

In a full competency model, the entire marketing task is done by this team. They know all parts of the field. The traditional and hybrid models mix both inside workers with sources from outside to meet various needs in marketing tasks or projects.

Advantages and Disadvantages

When strategizing a digital marketing plan, companies often face a choice between outsourcing the task to an agency, hiring a freelancer, or managing it in-house. Each approach carries its own advantages and disadvantages.

Offers a global reach, allowing your business to penetrate international markets.

You may have limited control over the marketing team as they are not directly under your management.

There may be communication challenges, especially if the agency is in a different time zone or has a different work culture.

Hiring a freelance digital marketing managerFreelancers offer flexibility, allowing you to hire them whenever you need expertise on a specific project.

Freelancers often have specialized expertise in certain areas of digital marketing.

Freelancers may have less exposure to your company culture and values, which could affect how they represent your brand. It may be more challenging to align freelancer’s goals with your long-term company objectives as they work on a project-to-project basis.

In-house Digital Marketing– An in-house team would have a deep understanding of your company’s culture and values. It’s easier to align an in-house team’s goals with your long-term company objectives Building an in-house team can take time and resources. You might be limited to the skills that your in-house team possesses, potentially requiring you to outsource for more specialized services.

Choosing the right approach depends on your company’s needs, budget, and long-term objectives. It’s important to evaluate each option carefully and build a balanced digital marketing team that combines the best of each.

Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Team for Your Business

Understanding your business’s unique needs is crucial for picking the right digital marketing team. Focusing on factors such as budget, project management capabilities and long-term versus short-term needs can help drive this decision.

Dive into a comprehensive exploration that could illuminate your ideal course of action in assembling an effective digital marketing powerhouse.

Assessing Current Capabilities and Needs

You must check your current team and needs before you choose. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Look at your own team first. See what skills they already have.
  2. Check if your team can take on more work or not.
  3. Think about the skills you need for your business.
  4. Does your team have these skills? If not, you might need to hire a freelancer or an outside company.
  5. Count how many people you need to do the job well.
  6. Look at how much money you have to spend on marketing.
  7. Think about what goals you want to reach with your marketing.

Considerations for Budget and Project Management

Picking the right digital marketing team needs careful thought on budget and project management. Here are a few things to think over:

  1. Know your current spending: See how much you can spend on marketing.
  2. Outline clear goals: Having set goals will help guide your budgeting choices.
  3. Assess your business needs: You may need an in-house team, freelancers, or both depending on what you need done.
  4. Factor in expenses: The cost of keeping an in-house team is not just their pay. Think about extras like hiring costs, workspace, and more.
  5. Think about agency fees: Outsourced teams may have extra costs too.
  6. Plan for the long term: Your needs might change over time. Make sure your budget can adjust if needed.
  7. Check on project management skills: Both outsourced teams and freelancers should be able to manage projects well.
  8. Consider the value of specialized services: Freelancers often focus on one area which can save you money if that’s all you need.

Addressing Long-Term vs. Short-Term Needs

Your company’s needs shape the choice of a digital marketing team. For quick tasks, give them to an outsourced group. They excel at B2B marketing jobs that are here one day and gone the next.

Yet, for long-term goals like SEO and social media work, a constant crew is best. An in-house digital marketing manager offers this steadiness. They know your company’s targets by heart.

Over time, their work can cost less too. So in picking between freelance or outsourced options, think about what your firm wants now and later on both fronts. This way helps avoid team burnout as well.

Building a Balanced Digital Marketing Team

This section delves into the importance of creating an effective mix of in-house, outsourced, and freelance resources for a robust digital marketing strategy. It offers insights on how to manage each team effectively while highlighting key pointers for evaluating performance and making adjustments as needed.

The objective is to foster seamless collaboration that unifies all elements towards achieving common business goals.

Combining In-House, Outsourced, and Freelance Resources

Building a strong digital marketing team uses many parts. These can be people in your company, outside help, or workers for hire.

  1. Look for skills in your own business first. You might have people who know about digital marketing. This can save money and time.
  2. Get an outsourced agency if needed. They can fill gaps and bring fresh ideas to the table.
  3. Use freelancers for specific tasks or projects. They can offer special skills at lower costs.
  4. Blend these resources together carefully. This means to mix them in a way that works best for your business.
  5. Keep good control over your different parts of the team to get the best work done.
  6. Measure how well each part is doing often and make changes if needed.

Managing Each Team Effectively

Building a strong team in your company is crucial. To do this, manage each team well. Here are the steps:

  1. Start by hiring the right people for your marketing team. Look for those with strong skills in digital marketing.
  2. Next, train your staff members well. Teach them the latest strategies and tools in digital marketing.
  3. Invest in good technology too. Your team needs it to do their job.
  4. Encourage teamwork among the team members. It makes work easier and faster.
  5. Avoid burnout by outsourcing some tasks to a digital agency.
  6. Manage the outsourced teams as well as the freelancers properly too because mistakes can cost you money.
  7. Always look out for signs of stress or tiredness in your teams and find ways to help them relax.
  8. Lastly, check how well each of your teams is doing their work often and make changes where needed.

Evaluating Performance and Making Adjustments

Checking your team’s work is key. It lets you see if there are any problems. Here are steps to help you:

  1. Look at the skills and abilities of your current team.
  2. Take note of improvement areas.
  3. Check how well your team works together.
  4. Make changes to roles if needed.
  5. Boost their skills in digital marketing.
  6. Keep track of everyone’s input to the group.
  7. If there are gaps in abilities, find ways to fill them.
  8. Tune the dynamics within the group for better work flow.
  9. Set goals for your team that match with the company aims.
  10. Improve how effective your team is all round.

The Value of Outsourcing Digital Marketing

Many brands are turning to outsourced digital marketing services to elevate their online presence. Key benefits include:

  • Access to a full suite of marketing services – Outsourced agencies offer SEO, PPC, social media marketing, web design, and more.
  • Specialized marketing expertise – Agencies provide a depth of digital marketing knowledge that is difficult to attain in-house.
  • Enhanced marketing technology – Agencies utilize cutting-edge martech tools and platforms.
  • Improved efficiency – Outsourcing frees up internal resources to focus on core business operations.
  • Budget-friendly – It reduces the overhead of hiring full-time marketing staff.
  • Scalability – Marketing efforts can be quickly scaled up or down as business needs fluctuate.
  • Fresh perspective – External teams bring new ideas and an objective outside view.

While an internal team brings intimacy with the brand, outsourced talent lends specialized skills and broader industry knowledge. Blending internal and external resources creates an agile, high-impact marketing machine. For SMBs and enterprise brands alike, outsourced support unlocks marketing success.

Frequently Asked Questions about Outsourced Digital Marketing Manager

1. What is a Digital Marketing Manager?

A digital marketing manager is a person who leads online advertising and selling plans for a company.

2. What Does it Mean to Outsource a Digital Marketing Manager?

Outsourcing means hiring an outside company to do the tasks of a digital marketing manager for your business.

3. How is Hiring a Freelance Digital Marketing Manager Different?

Hiring freelance means finding someone who works for themselves, not in another company, to handle your online ad and selling tasks.

4. Which One Should I Choose – Outsourced or Freelance?

Your choice depends on your needs, budget, and how much control you want over your online ads and sales strategy.

5. Can I Switch from Outsourced to Freelancing or Vice Versa?

Yes, you can change from outsourced to freelancing or the other way round if you feel that would serve your business better.

Conclusion and Summary of Outsourced vs. Freelance Digital Marketing Manager

The choice between an outsourced or freelance digital marketing manager poses unique trade-offs. Outsourced teams provide diverse expertise and scalability, while freelancers offer specialized skills and lower costs.

Ultimately, the right strategic fit will align with your budget, brand control needs, and short-term vs. long-term outlook. While outsourcing delivers added horsepower, freelancers provide targeted solutions.

By weighing factors like industry knowledge, project management capabilities, and communication dynamics, you can determine the optimal approach. Blending external and internal resources creates an agile digital marketing squad.

With the right model, you equip your marketing machine to engage audiences, adapt to emerging technologies, and drive results through compelling digital experiences. Your organization’s needs should steer your course toward digital marketing success.

Marty Stewart