Outsourced Marketing – Why and How to get Started

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What is an Outsourced Business Model for Digital Marketing?

As businesses grow, they must decide whether to use in-house marketing resources or outsource marketing resources. Outsourced marketing resources are agencies or teams hired under contract to work for the company in a fractional capacity. Businesses leverage the agencies’ experience and skills from other businesses to move theirs forward.

The decision to outsource is based on cost, time saved, and the effectiveness of the agencies or people they outsource. For instance, a business with an in-house marketing director may choose to hire outsourced PPC and SEO agencies instead of hiring additional full-time employees.

Striking the right balance between in-house marketing resources and outsourced marketing resources helps businesses move forward faster and grow exponentially.

Why a business would outsource their digital marketing?

When outsourcing your marketing, the decision often comes down to cost and the resources a business requires. For instance, if you want to start implementing SEO within your organization, doing it in-house would mean hiring a Search Engine Optimizer, copywriter, development lead, and designer. Filling these four positions could cost over $250,000 a year in salary and benefits, especially if you are seeking a highly skilled team.

On the other hand, outsourcing SEO allows you to hire a team for between $2,000 and $6,000, potentially achieving similar or even better results due to the team’s collective experience.

Though you must know how to hire the right marketing partners, otherwise, just like hiring a bad employee, you may just be wasting you money.

Some other reasons why you might want to outsource your digital marketing:

  • Desire to hire experienced marketers you couldn’t otherwise afford

    Securing in-house resources is challenging, particularly when competing with tech and marketing agencies seeking top talent. For most businesses, the optimal approach to finding the best talent is by outsourcing work to marketing agencies. Seek agencies that have fostered exceptional cultures and compensate their employees well so that, as a business owner, you can access their expertise at a discount.
  • Plans to grow the business and utilize multiple marketing channels

    Numerous marketing channels are available to businesses, including affiliate, SEO, influencer, TikTok, Meta, Google, and social media, among others. Managing all these channels demands substantial resources, and no single person can handle them all. As you develop your business, collaborate with multiple outsourced agencies to scale up more rapidly.
  • Reluctance to hire internal employees

    Hiring an internal employee can be costly. Even a junior marketing position can amount to $50,000-$70,000, considering benefits, sick days, office space, and perks. A marketing department cannot operate with just one employee, so you must account for additional costs to secure top-notch resources. A more effective approach for a 7 to 8-figure business is to hire one in-house resource and then work with marketing agencies managed by that resource. This way, you can benefit from both in-house and outsourced expertise.
  • Preference for short-term or month-to-month contracts

    Terminating an in-house resource can be difficult. However, when working with marketing agencies, you can establish contracts based on the length of engagement and work requirements. If an agency doesn’t meet expectations, you can simply move on to another one.

  • Access to a diverse range of expertise and skill sets

    Outsourcing your digital marketing grants you access to a team of professionals with various expertise and skill sets that might be challenging to find or afford in-house. This opportunity allows you to leverage their extensive knowledge and experience across multiple marketing channels, ensuring your campaigns are optimized and strategically aligned with your business goals.

  • Flexibility and adaptability to market changes

    The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving, making it difficult to stay current with the latest trends and technologies. Outsourced marketing agencies remain up-to-date with industry developments and can promptly adapt their strategies to address market changes. This adaptability ensures your marketing efforts stay relevant and effective, positioning you ahead of the competition.

Digital marketing outsourcing model types:

Project-based outsourcing

In project-based outsourcing, a business needs to complete a specific project with a defined outcome. Examples include building a website, devising a brand strategy, or conducting an SEO audit/strategy. These projects may last several months but have a definitive completion date.

In some cases, once a project is completed, it may lead to another project or transition into a retainer model. For instance, a brand strategy project could evolve into a copywriting and website project, which then becomes ongoing SEO work. This progression depends on the business and its requirements for continued growth.

Knowledge-based outsourcing

In knowledge-based outsourcing, a business needs to hire a resource with a particular skill set to gain knowledge that is not currently available within the organization. A situation that exemplifies this is when a business needs to hire a fractional CMO to create and execute their marketing strategy.

Dedicated team outsourcing

In dedicated team outsourcing, a business seeks to hire an outsourced marketing agency equipped with the necessary teams to manage specific aspects of their marketing.

Examples of these dedicated teams could include the following:

Website design and development Agency:
Team members:

Account manager, website development lead, design lead, copy lead, SEO specialist

SEO Agency:
Team members:

Senior SEO lead, Junior SEO resource, account manager, website development lead, design lead, copy lead

Social Media Agency:
Team members:

Account manager, social media strategist, content creator, graphic designer, video editor, community manager, analytics expert

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Agency:
Team members:

Account manager, PPC strategist, keyword analyst, ad copywriter, landing page designer, conversion rate optimization specialist, analytics expert

Influencer Marketing Agency:
Team members:

Account manager, influencer strategist, talent coordinator, content creator, campaign manager, social media analyst, PR specialist

Email Marketing Agency:
Team members:

Account manager, email marketing strategist, copywriter, graphic designer, email developer, data analyst, deliverability expert

Content Marketing Agency:
Team members:

Account manager, content strategist, copywriter, editor, graphic designer, videographer, SEO specialist, social media manager

Public Relations (PR) Agency:
Team members:

Account manager, PR strategist, media relations specialist, copywriter, event coordinator, crisis management expert, social media manager

Affiliate Marketing Agency:
Team members:

Account manager, affiliate strategist, partnership coordinator, offer manager, creative designer, tracking and analytics specialist, compliance expert

Each of these dedicated teams offers a unique set of skills and expertise to cater to specific marketing needs and goals.

Hybrid outsourcing

In this model businesses maintain a blend of in-house marketing teams and external agencies or freelancers. This approach offers the best of both worlds, allowing businesses to leverage internal expertise and maintain control over core marketing strategies while tapping into the specialized skill sets and resources of external partners. This can lead to a more integrated marketing strategy, allowing for greater flexibility and adaptability.

Most of our customers use a hybrid approach and when done right it can be super successful. For example, having an inhouse team with a marketing director and a copy writer, then using outsourcing to fill in the gaps.

Performance-based outsourcing

In performance-based outsourcing, businesses engage with marketing agencies or freelancers under a results-oriented agreement. The compensation for the external partner is tied to the achievement of specific performance metrics or outcomes, such as increased website traffic, lead generation, or sales conversions. This model encourages accountability and can be an attractive option for businesses seeking a more ROI-focused approach to digital marketing.

One thing to be careful when doing performance based outsourcing is that if successful, you will be paying a lot more for the agency than if you had hired them on retainers.

White-label outsourcing

White-label outsourcing involves hiring an external agency or freelancer to provide digital marketing services under the client’s brand. This allows businesses to offer a wider range of services to their clients without investing in the infrastructure or resources required to develop those capabilities in-house. In this model, the white-label partner remains behind the scenes, while the client company takes credit for the work and maintains a direct relationship with their customers.

As a business owner you need to be careful as many agencies are using white label partners in the background and pretending it is their work.

In these scenarios, it costs significantly less to outsource to a dedicated marketing team than bringing the teams inhouse. And following this model you are capable of hiring multiple outsourced digital marketing agencies to run different channels. It’s important as you do this to manage marketing agency partners effectively.

How to Begin Outsourcing Your Marketing?

Step 1: Identify functions in your business that can be outsourced

Sit down with your leadership team or by yourself and map out the different aspects of your business. Typically, this falls into five categories: strategy, financials, marketing, HR, and operations. In each of these key categories, identify which aspects can be outsourced to a partner.

Step 2: Break down each function into the tasks that need to be completed

Once you’ve identified the functions that can be outsourced, for example, Marketing -> SEO, begin to break down the areas you need an agency to take over. For SEO, that would be:


  • Copywriting
  • Backlinking
  • PR
  • CRO
  • Development updates
  • Analytics
  • Technical SEO
  • On-page SEO and more

Once you know your outsource business model for digital marketing, it’s time to find the right people.

Step 3: Get proposals from agenices and freelancers to complete the work

With the above guidelines in hand, it becomes easier to find an agency or freelancer for what you are looking for. Make sure to review case studies, speak to past customers, and ensure their Statements of Work (SOWs) cover everything you need to outsource effectively.

If you need any help finding the right digital marketing partners, we are happy to help.

Step 4: Hire the best candidate for the job

Once you receive the proposals, make sure that you are comparing apples to apples. Too many companies rely on the price, rather than the value they are getting from the outsourcing provider. Don’t make this mistake; if you can spend a bit more for a strong digital marketing agency, do so. It will return exponential rewards in the long run.

Step 5: Establish KPI and check in of the work

When you have teams in place, make sure you have your KPI’s, data and analytics set up so you can see how your outsourcing teams are doing. The data will make it easier to communicate and make sure everyone is on the same page for what matters in the business.

Now that you have a solid understanding of why and how to outsource your digital marketing, it’s time to take action. The cost of outsourced marketing varies depending on how much you want to outsource, so the first step is to decide your budget. Outsourcing is often very cost-effective and significantly more affordable than employing marketing experts. At CJAM Marketing, we can help you with this process.

Having vetted over 625+ marketing agencies and partners, we work with a select list of 80+ reputable companies. We offer consultation services to identify your needs and recommend suitable partners to save you both time and money. Moreover, we can tailor a marketing package to fit almost any budget. Book your complimentary consultation today and don’t hesitate to reach out.

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Written By
Picture of Behdad Jamshidi
Behdad Jamshidi
Behdad Jamshidi started CJAM Marketing after realizing that most business owners don’t know how to evaluate the value of a marketing agency or assess their own needs. Since every business is different not only in their needs but where they are at in the growth process, it isn’t a one size fits all. In the past 5 years, Behdad (or Bee) has met with and assessed 800+ marketing agencies and vetted them down to a lean 100 preferred partners across all marketing niches. After pairing hundreds of businesses with the right partners, he’s found his skillset lies in the matchmaking process. Featured in MarketWatch, Bloomberg, National Post and the Financial Post, Bee’s unique background in marketing, engineering, consulting, leadership, sales and strategy, has allowed him to serve as the conduit between business owners and the marketing teams they need.
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