• Address: PO BOX 334, 32 LAFAYETTE AVE., LEWIS RUN, PA 16738
    • Call Anytime: 1-814-596-0020

B2B Marketing Services: Outsourcing vs. Coaching vs. Hybrid

outsourcing b2b digital marketing - businessman checking metrics on tablet

Balancing the different aspects of a business is much like carrying the groceries into the house without bags: lots of different shapes and sizes (when it comes to projects), and something is bound to get dropped. 

When you outsource to B2B marketing services, you’ll work with an agency that provides the expertise and bandwidth to execute your long-term strategy. But should you trust the shopper to plan the meal and execute the cooking, too?

Not only does working with an agency come with a lower cost in terms of payroll, it provides significant savings of both time and money by allowing you to skip the hiring process and training for individual staff members. 

However, outsourcing gives a significant element of control to an outside agency – a level of trust that only some people are willing to accept. 

Here, we will explain your three options for outsourcing B2B marketing, which include:

  1. Full outsourcing (DIFY)
  2. Hybrid (DIWY)
  3. Coaching

Deciding to Outsource Digital Marketing Service | Pros and Cons

Deciding to outsource can take a lot of weight off your in-house marketing team. It provides them additional flexibility and scalability by providing additional hands to handle project tasks. It also provides access to expertise and skills the team may not yet have in its own wheelhouse. outsourcing b2b digital marketing - networking

In terms of cost-effectiveness, you’re getting access to that additional … 

  • Manpower
  • Experience
  • Resources (i.e. software)

… all within the cost of adding a single team member. And there’s no need to train an agency, other than on the nuances of your products and services. 

However, working with an outside agency has potential downfalls too. These can include issues with communication since you aren’t all within walking distance (or on an office chat app like Slack) when a quick conversion would be useful. Also, quality control can be a potential concern until everyone is up to speed on what makes your product/service and its customers unique. 

The 3 Levels of Outsourcing B2B Marketing Services

Are you in the initial stages of implementing a marketing strategy? Have you expanded to the point where you’re weighing the pros and cons of adding marketing employees to your payroll? Either way, now is the time to consider outsourcing internet marketing tasks. 

When you outsource B2B/inbound marketing efforts, you see the following benefits:

  • Increased efficiency
  • Renewed focus on your core competencies
  • Cost-effectiveness that extends to other departments
  • Access to the latest technology
  • Easier to keep up with current digital marketing best practices
  • Quicker & better results

Outsourcing can take different forms for different companies. You can save 30-50% of the cost per full-time marketing employee by working with an agency that specializes in inbound marketing (AKA content- and customer-focused marketing).

The scaled options (from lowest to highest impact on your employees’ time and your budget) include:

  • Do It for You (DIFY) – entrusting work to a full-service agency, multiple specialist agencies, or freelancers
  • Do It With You (DIWY) – shared production & strategization with a partner, possibly including coaching
  • Coaching – Training on marketing strategy & execution, with future plans to do it yourself (DIY)


1. DIFY – Do It for You

You may already have marketing staff or believe that adding more in-house teammates is the best idea – but you have big marketing plans and aren’t sure you can afford to hire a full team. That could mean that working with third-party experts is your best way to achieve your marketing goals. 

Or maybe you just don’t want the internal headache. Do you feel an outside agency can handle all of the marketing projects you’d like to see come to life this year and beyond?

There are three options when considering fully outsourcing your marketing:

  • Piecemealing agencies: Are you looking for the most experienced people in a specific skill such as email campaigns, trade show marketing, SEO strategy, content creation, etc.? You can see assistance from various agencies that specialize in certain areas. The biggest downside with this approach is that it inflates the overhead time and costs of communication and collaboration.

  • ONE agency: If you’re worried about juggling multiple agencies and hope to see your marketing handled by as few hands as possible, go this route. Working with a single agency will provide your marketing a cohesive look and feel you can’t get from working with multiple agencies. If the agency has the proper bandwidth to support your full needs and desired velocity, you’ll also enjoy better communication and faster output. 

  • Freelancers: You could hire a single staff member or a duo full-time to handle marketing efforts and reach out to freelancers to help with bigger projects or high-volume periods. However, hiring a freelancer is a hit-or-miss process that takes time in and of itself. Their work also tends to need more editing and oversight.

2. DIWY – Do It With You

Think of the DIWY approach as a mentor or role-model peer waiting eagerly to help you build and grow. Either way, you aren’t handling the marketing efforts on your own, but you have the flexibility to say when and with what you need help. Eventually, you may be able to reduce your reliance on your mentor (if you wish) and handle campaigns with full confidence in all you have learned. 

outsourcing b2b digital marketing - 'outsourcing vs. in house' written on chalkboardThis option allows you to capitalize on the talents of your in-house marketing team while offloading the elements of production and strategy that require expertise – and time – your staff lacks. With this approach, you can choose to work with one or multiple agencies to optimize the attention given to each slice of your  marketing strategy

There are a lot of different areas of marketing that need your attention – typically more than you can realistically fit into a day. (Or learn in a month … or year.) For example, SEO is an ongoing process of trial, error, evaluation, and adjustment:

  • Ongoing keyword research to ensure you’re reaching the right people
  • Reviewing Google Search algorithm updates and adjusting your practices for rankability and user experience
  • Monitoring and solving technical errors that put your site at risk of rankings drops

That’s just one example of where you may need shared services or coaching to maximize your long-term success. Likewise, content strategy is an area that requires:

  • Auditing areas where your website needs improvement
  • Content needs for each product/service and buyer’s journey stage
  • Promoting your content and services with social media presence, email marketing, and trade show materials

With a DIWY approach, your agency will not only handle the heavy lifting of lead generation efforts for you, it’ll also coach you on how to handle this solo. It’ll show you how and why the approach works and guide you in how to apply the best approach to your business’s and customers’ needs. Just like a kid riding a bike, ultimately you’ll take the things you learn and go out on your own. 

3. Coaching to DIY

Inbound marketing consists of a lot of activities spread across a lot of channels each with its own best practices. No one is going to be efficient at all of these potential tasks, particularly not an in-house marketing team with limited staff and even less time. Working with an experienced agency gives you access to the expertise needed to:

  • Use powerful, revenue-driving tools like CRMs and AI
  • Analyze internal metrics and competitor sites to develop a lead-gen strategy
  • Align your sales and marketing teams (and eliminate silos).

Depending on the agency, an inbound marketing coach might offer training in:

  • SEO
  • Paid advertising
  • Content production (i.e. blog posts, marketing emails)
  • Social media
  • Website development
  • Visual media creation

Coaching allows you to maintain control but receive the guidance you need to achieve your target ROI (return on investment). Also, working with an experienced agency means access to tools that have proven successful in the agency’s own day-to-day. You can brainstorm with the agency to determine areas where your staff needs the most guidance or resource allocation. It’s easy to adjust this in the future as needs change or goals are met. 

Before working with an agency, decide on:

  • The budget
  • Communication preferences
  • Which areas of coaching would give your staff the most ROI

Evaluating and Selecting a Marketing Partner

Choosing the right agency to support your on-site marketing staff can be challenging. We have some additional resources that can help: 

Outsourcing Digital Marketing Services? Pin Down the Plan First

Asking how to outsource digital marketing is the right question. Working with the right agency for your current growth and capacity needs is the right answer. 

Remember that the options are flexible and can be adjusted to the best fit for your marketing agency. You can opt for a plan where the agency operates independently with your direction or one where they work with you to complete tasks. You can also opt for a plan that includes coaching to more effectively prepare your in-house team for the future. 

Before you hire a web marketing coach, set the table for your company. Figure out – for today and tomorrow – who’s best suited to build the recipe, buy the groceries, and put out a winning product.

Let's Talk About Coaching!