The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing the Design of Marketing Materials

by Maximilian Claessens
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The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing the Design of Marketing Materials

Marketing materials such as white papers, logo design, presentation materials and more are a staple in the business world. For companies needing to get these produced – or reproduced – the question arises whether they should be done in-house or outsourced?

For this article, we examine the pros and cons of outsourcing to see if it’s worthwhile to do.

Pro – Ability to Use Specialists

It’s not always preferable to work with a generalist media agency that covers many facets of marketing. Instead, specialist agencies are often better than generalists and in-house marketing departments trying to do everything themselves.

For instance, a presentation design agency is one that is keenly focused on knocking it out of the park with impressive materials. Their presentation designers work day in, day out on delivering marketing materials, investors’ briefs, and other documents that any company would be proud of.

While it might seem too limiting to hire a media agency that’s so specific in their services, this PowerPoint company proves that there’s genius to it. No one is going to know how to get the most out of a presentation than their type of agency. The PowerPoint company Buffalo 7 creates dynamic animation and stunning designs, led by storytelling, which can showcase your company perfectly.

Con – Materials May Take Longer to Create and Get Approved

Getting externally produced marketing materials approved by the Managing Director or the board will almost always require more time.

Those that are produced internally already use the relevant information. The employees don’t need to get up to speed on the business, request access to, or to receive and process brand information to begin creating the materials. Fewer meetings are also required during this process too.

Pro – Avoids Diverting Staff Away from Core Activities

When there isn’t a marketing department yet because the business hasn’t grown to an appropriate size to support one, then it’s a staff member who must take on the responsibility.

Often they’re employed in another role, so more often than not, they’re being asked to divert away from other important tasks. Their split focus attention isn’t great when marketing materials must be top-notch.

Con – Some Owners Still Prefer to Do Everything In-House

Some owners like to hold a tight rein on their business. One way that this rears its ugly head is that he or she refuses to outsource.

Even when the marketing materials could be produced faster and more professionally, they’re a tough crowd! Convincing them is an uphill battle to win them over, which will require time to do. Even when the internal team tries to persuade the owner, it’ll require longer to get them on-board.

Pro – Work with Professionals

A dedicated media company will have sufficient people that they can deliver at all levels on whatever materials are needed.

Whether they’re a specialist one that produces only presentations or runs digital advertising campaigns only, or they cover several services under one roof, it’s still their bread and butter. They’re not just trying to squeeze it into their day.

Depending on the services they offer, within their team will be individual specialists in copywriting, graphics, design, and more. This results in highly specific work produced compared to someone at a company trying to figure their way through generating marketing materials and not messing up.

Con – Additional Expense Beyond Current Staffing Costs

The current full-time and part-time staffing expenses can be seen as a sunk cost by the owner.

Choosing to outsource the production of the marketing materials is a new invoice on top of those expenses. When there’s a belief at the top that existing staff “should be able to handle this”, proposing the additional outsourcing expense is a tough sell.

Sometimes, there needs to be a way to financially justify the expense in terms of a demonstrable ROI for outsourcing.

Pro – Downsizing the Marketing Department

For owners who go the opposite direction and are currently looking to outsource, they may see downsizing or the complete removal of the current marketing department as a major plus point.

When they want to reduce the office floor space, let the marketing people go and outsource, then it may start with outsourcing marketing materials and grow exponentially from there. The company’s marketing strategy for all its brands may well be next.

Con – Requires Sharing of Confidential Business Data

Marketing materials are not something that you wish to fall into the hands of competitors.

When agreeing to work with an outside marketing firm, it’s necessary to share confidential internal data with them. You’re relying on their servers being secure. NDA’s may be necessary to confirm that the external agency and their staff know what they’re taking on too.

It’s also important to be aware of national and European data-sharing laws to avoid breaching them by outsourcing and sharing information.

It requires some forethought when mulling over whether to outsource the production of marketing materials and perhaps other items too. Not every business owner will be comfortable with the idea, and existing marketing departments may not either. However, there are significant benefits to doing so, including better quality results.

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