Should I Hire an In-House Digital Marketer or Outsource?

You know you’re missing out on digital marketing opportunities. You know you’re missing some key skill sets on your team. Hiring junior staff, experienced staff, or outsourced staff is overwhelming. Finding talent, along with interviewing and negotiating, can absorb valuable time. High quality in-house employees can be expensive. Outsourcing can hinder communication. It can also impede productivity and take too much of your management time. We get it. We’ve been there. Here are some ideas to consider:

Hire Junior Digital Marketing Staff

While keeping financial limitations in mind, you may feel tempted to hire less experienced digital marketing staff. Be careful, though. Training the correct people to assist the varying needs of your company can negatively impact productivity. The length of time it takes to train an employee can be extensive, but it varies with their background knowledge. Hiring new employees, or training current employees, often costs more than you may realize.

Relying on less experienced staff to fulfill your marketing needs can become unwieldy and expensive. You should expect entry-level personnel to make mistakes. They will use precious time and resources before they become valuable assets to your company. Training Industry Quarterly states it takes 1 to 2 years before a new employee is fully productive.

In a perfect scenario, your newly trained employee will contain the right personality and culture fit for the position, and hopefully they will stick around for awhile. After all, you will have invested a considerable amount of time and resources into them!

Millennials are renown for job-hopping. In fact, young millennials (those who graduated from 2006 to 2010) have four job changes by the time they hit age 32. Yet, data shows that you’re more likely to keep a millennial employee if they are being sufficiently trained.

If hiring a junior digital marketer is best for your company, make sure you budget for coaching and training. Additionally, don’t expect the overworked existing staff to feel thrilled about taking extra time to train.

You and your employees are busy; we get that. Tresemer Group can ease the integration of newly hired staff into your company.

  • Tresemer Group does digital coaching which is a mixture of training and coaching. Our coaching takes the burden off your existing staff while the junior-level marketer gets up to speed. There’s no need for your experienced staff to burn out.
  • Tresemer Group can also help interview candidates to ensure the right basic skill sets are in place. For example, if the person isn’t incredibly detail-oriented, digital marketing is not the perfect fit for them.

Hiring Experienced Staff

If you aim to hire experienced staff, be prepared to budget for their wage and pay a premium for an experienced digital marketer. Additionally, expect to hire for one specialization only, such as social media, content management, analytics, or search engine optimization (SEO). It is incredibly rare to find someone well-versed in multiple disciplines and who can be effective in each sector. A person cannot be an expert in all areas and perform well. An individual specialist will also need to have enough projects to work full time. Oh, and did I mention it’s going to cost you?

  • Digital Marketing Specialists in Seattle average an annual salary of $63,771
  • According to, the salaries of Social Media Managers in Portland, OR range from a low of $40,000 to a high of $117,000, with a median salary of $57,000.
  • Los Angeles reports an average salary of $45,000 for Social Media Managers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the following mean pay for SEO positions in 2016:

  • New York-Jersey City area: $172,930
  • Boston-Cambridge-Newton area: $148,650
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach area: $124,660
  • San Francisco-Redwood City area: $127,960
  • Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area: $129,030
  • Boulder-Denver area: $216,280

If you have the means to hire experienced staff, make sure you hire in the digital channel/silo that will generate the most leads for your business. As soon as the position pays for itself, add in the next best channel to promote success. Even so, Tresemer Group recommends hiring a consultant to help you. We can assist in:

  • tracking
  • organizing
  • building the team
  • supplementing in a minimal capacity with the other channels

With the help of an experienced consultant, you can rest assured. Even if you’re front-loading one channel, we’ll make sure that all channels aren’t ignored.

Outsource to Digital Marketing Agencies

Many of our clients receive 2-3 calls or emails per week from outsourced digital marketing agencies attempting to sell “channel” packages. These channels are not what they are cracked up to be. You can receive SEO services for a fixed price per month and can also expect to spend a minimum of $1,500 a month per silo. To make matters worse, you will end up managing 3-5 different digital marketing agencies that do not talk with one another. Imagine you’re building a home and you hire a different contractor for each room in a house. Now imagine trying to put the house together. Guess what? The pieces won’t fit. This is what happens when agencies don’t communicate and view the bigger picture.

In architecture and in online marketing, silos serve one purpose: to keep items separate. In digital marketing, silos exist to develop competency in a particular skill set, which means:

A very small number of marketing agencies contain a fully integrated digital marketing solution. If you choose to outsource, try hiring as few agencies as possible and make sure it’s a good personality fit. You will also need to dedicate managerial time to ensure the agencies speak to each other and are capable of adapting as your priorities change. To be clear, this takes a lot of management to keep all experts moving in the same direction. It feels like herding cats many times.