Is it better to have marketing resources in-house, or is there greater ROI by going external?

Got a designer? Great. A marketing coordinator? Fantastic. Someone who looks after your social? Terrific. But are they newly graduated, recently promoted, or just lacking in advanced skills? If this is the case, then for regular stuff, that’s probably fine.

Yet for your graphics-rich communications material, major collateral selling pieces, B2B / B2C email marketing, and for paid social marketing campaigns, using a highly-skilled marketing and design agency can give you better results and a great Return On Investment (ROI).

Let’s look at five key digital marketing trends and issues for SME’s from research published in 2018 by the Blue Corona group, to see the current state of play.

Five key marketing priorities and realities for SMEs.

  1. Driving sales (51%) and building brand awareness (48%) are the two top marketing priorities.
  2. 66% of small business owners say finding new customers is a top concern.
  3. Most focus on increasing revenue (72%), establishing new customer relationships (60%), and marketing and advertising (46%).
  4. 32% of small businesses invest in social media marketing and 26% in email marketing, yet often lack the resources to do it well.
  5. 71% of small business owners do their own digital marketing, instead of leaving it to experts.

Some key elements of marketing are not addressed by DIY.

A recent B&T survey, found that only 7% of SMEs invested in SEO, and just 23% of SME respondents have a dedicated marketer on staff or on contract. Furthermore, B&T found only 52% of SMEs have time to measure campaign effectiveness – with the other 48% flying blind or trying to rely on subjective gut-instinct.

You know your business far better than a consultant or agency can. However, is DIY marketing really a good idea? Not only can ‘giving it a shot’ end up being largely ineffective, you could end up turning people away through bad spelling and grammar, same-same design, and a lack of succinct benefits for prospects.

Outsource and upscale on critical projects.

If you don’t have highly-skilled resources, consider outsourcing. When you engage a marketing and design agency, you get to use all of the talent that the agency has assembled, to work for you – rather than having to pay to try and find them all yourself, then keep them resourced and up-to-speed with digital literacy.

Recent Deloitte Access Economics research shows the majority of Australian small businesses who’ve reached advanced levels of digital engagement, use an external marketing resource at least some of the time. And the results are plain to see. These companies are 1.5 times more likely to be growing revenue, 8 times more likely to be creating jobs, and 14 times more likely to be innovating.

Find out why NOT being a marketing expert is good for your bottom line.

And the answer is…

Many SMEs who use a marketing agency don’t use them for everything – just the critical stuff. Some have staffers who make a great contribution on a daily basis. So using both, depending on the priority of your needs, can be ideal. Ultimately, the answer to the often-asked question of ‘marketing – in-house or external?’ is, ‘it depends’. With these thoughts in mind, you can think through why going external for marketing could be a great move.

Plus, enjoy a 12-minute read to find out how not trying to be an expert at everything can pay big dividends for your business. Read a White Paper on ‘Why not being a marketing expert is good for your bottom line.

For help with advertising, marketing, graphic design and paid social media marketing, you can contact Orion Creative for a chat. Phone (02) 8850 2215 or email

DOWNLOAD THE WHITE PAPER:  Why not being a marketing expert is good for your bottom line.


  • B&T Small & Medium Sized Enterprises research – 14/11/2017
  • Blue Corona Group small business digital marketing statistics – 2/4/2018
  • Deloitte Connected Small Businesses Report 2017


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