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When Should You Hire a Digital Marketing Agency? | Ecommerce Insights

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When Should You Hire a Digital Marketing Agency for Your E-commerce Store?

When is it time to look into outsourcing marketing for your e-commerce business? 

This is a question many new or expanding businesses face at some point or another, and we’d like to give you our thoughts on the matter. 

Being an e-commerce marketing agency ourselves, it’s worth acknowledging upfront we’re probably a little biased. 

That being said, we’re dedicated to only taking on clients that are the right fit for our business.

That means people who are at the right stage in their e-commerce journey to benefit from specialist help.

So to help you decide, here’s when we think you should look into outsourcing to a digital marketing agency.

When Should You Consider Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency?

In-House Marketers vs Digital Marketing Agencies 

Before we start, it’s worth discussing the different options you have for outsourcing your marketing. 

For most people, the choice is going to be between outsourcing to an in-house marketing team or a digital marketing agency. 

The main difference between an agency and an in-house marketer is the breadth of skills they give you access to. 

Generally speaking, an agency will have people with specialised skills in a wide variety of areas where in-house marketers will typically specialise in one area of marketing.

In-house marketers will typically perform better than an agency assigned to the same task, because they’re closer to your business and able to dedicate all of their time to it.

However, if you need a wide variety of services agencies will typically perform better, because they will have people who specialise in many different areas of marketing. 

You could, of course, build up a team of in-house marketers with varied skill sets, but this is often unfeasible in practice because of the cost of hiring full-time employees. 

You’re Spending All of Your Time on Marketing (And You Don’t Want To) 

Every business reaches a crossroads where the people in charge must decide if they’re going to take control of the business’ marketing success, or outsource.

Many people do manage their business’ marketing on their own, to great success.

But, there’s no shame in delegating the work to someone else. 

If you don’t enjoy marketing work, or you just don’t have the natural aptitude for it, focus on what you’re good at. 

The cost of hiring other people to do something you “could do yourself”, is a major sticking point for many people.

But, we’d propose you look at it like this. 

How much is your own time worth? By outsourcing marketing if it’s not something you’re passionate about, you’re not only getting someone better suited for the job but you’re also freeing up your own time to focus on what you’re good at.

At the end of the day, this can mean you earn exponentially more revenue because you’re making better use of human capital. 

So, if you find yourself spending all your time marketing your business, and hating it, that’s a good sign it might be time to look at outsourcing.

You’re Lacking Key Skill-sets (And Unable to Learn Them)

You may reach a point in your marketing journey where you stand to hit a wall in what you’re able to do. 

This could be because you’re simply too overwhelmed to learn the relevant skills, or you’re just not interested enough to slog through the materials. 

This is another good sign you might want to look at outsourcing your marketing. 

As we mentioned up top, the breadth of the skillsets you need to cover is going to guide which option is best for your business.

If you find yourself needing a wide variety of skills like SEO, social media advertising and search engine marketing, you’ll more often than not be better served by an agency.

If your organisation benefits from focusing exclusively on one area of marketing, you’re most likely going to be better off hiring to focus on it full-time.

There are exceptions to both cases, of course, such as hiring a specialist agency which can perform as well as a dedicated employee for cheaper. 

You Want to Invest in Your Business’ Growth

The mentality around marketing has long been that it’s an expense.

Something you need to throw money at, to ensure your business stays relevant and grows.

We disagree wholeheartedly with this thinking.

Unless you’re a multi-million Rand corporate investing in brand awareness, you can (and should) think of marketing as an investment with tangible ROI attached. 

If you’re not dedicated to managing your marketing success yourself, the sooner you outsource the better. 

This is for two main reasons. 

Firstly, you could be leaving money on the table that a dedicated marketer could help you get.

Hiring a marketing team should always bring in more revenue than it costs you in the long run.

Secondly, doing things properly from the start is easier than fixing them down the line.
Your marketing strategies, audience targeting and website tracking are all things which benefit greatly from historical data. 

The sooner you start collecting quality data, the better. And, if you don’t know how to do this it’s worth the investment of getting someone to do it for you. 

Things Just Aren’t Working Like They’re Supposed To

Lastly, but not least, sometimes things just don’t work out. 

You’ve got a great business plan, an amazing product and a stellar site. But things just aren’t catching on like you expected. 

Sometimes, you just have to admit defeat and decide what’s next. 

You can either cut your losses and try to move on, or you can outsource your marketing strategy.

Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh pair of eyes and a different history of experience to make something work that never did before.

So, if you can afford to, rather than give up entirely try seeking professional assistance instead. 


There you have it, that’s our quick tips on when it’s time to consider outsourcing your marketing.

Overall, think of it in terms of cost versus benefit.

Will you benefit more, in the long run, from outsourcing your marketing compared to doing it yourself?

The answer is most often yes, sooner or later, which is why marketing agencies are so prevalent.

The trick is finding a good one.


If you enjoyed this article, or found it helpful, check out more e-commerce marketing content on the inSyte blog or listen to the inSyte Podcast.

This article was brought to you by Syte.

We’re a specialist e-commerce digital marketing agency dedicated to driving up your bottom line.

If you need any help running your business’ search ads effectively, feel free to reach out with the form below or check out our case studies page to see what we’ve been able to do for our clients.