Why Outsourcing Can Be a Good IdeaDoes it cost less, or more, to hire a consultant than an employee?

Think about your response for a moment.

I’m going to take a stab in the dark and guess that you said it costs more to hire a consultant. And you wouldn’t be alone in that.

But, I’m going to show how hiring a marketing consultant can actually cost less than having an on-staff marketing person. I’ll also explain why.

If you compare the cost of each by simply looking at hourly rates, yes you’d pay a marketing consultant more per hour than you’d pay an employee.

But, unlike employees, it’s not necessary to hire a marketing consultant by the hour…and certainly not necessarily for 35 to 40 hours a week.

First – to determine if hiring a marketing consultant could be more cost effective for your organization, think about what type of marketing help you need – meaning, which areas of marketing are you looking to outsource?

Often a marketing consultant is sought out for their expertise on a particular subject. For example, a company looking to reach more of their ideal customers online may consult with and hire an online marketing specialist.

Let’s compare the costs of hiring that consultant with hiring an employee.

If you outsource online marketing you’ll either pay a flat fee per month for the services you need, or if paying by the hour the consultant will tell you how many hours per month are needed to do the work.

The consultant’s fee will vary depending on a number of factors such as who you hire, the size of your company, what type of help you need and so on. But, you’ll know in the end what your monthly fee will be…and it will be the cost to do the work needed, nothing more, nothing less.

When outsourcing to a marketing consultant you’ll know the total cost upfront. You won’t pay extra for benefits, insurance, employee overhead, training, etc..

Cost control and budgeting are also a heck of a lot easier when you outsource. An exact dollar amount can be tied to a specific area of operations.

OK, back to the monthly fee. Consider what it will amount to over the course of a year.

According to an SEOmoz survey of 34 agencies in 2011, the most common monthly retainers of inbound/online marketing firms in Canada are: $1000-$1500, $1500-$2500 and $251 – $500.

This means that the following price points represent the most common yearly costs to hire an inbound/online marketing agency:

  • $12,000-$18,000 per year
  • $18,000-$30,000 per year
  • $3,012-$6000 per year

Now consider the costs of hiring an employee…if you’re lucky enough to find an online marketing expert in the local workforce.

What kind of salary would you pay this employee?

Consider also the true cost of hiring an employee, which is estimated to be an extra 40 to 50% more than an employee’s base salary.

The question now is whether it’s feasible to hire an employee for any of the amounts given earlier in this article for a marketing consultant:

  • $12,000-$18,000 per year
  • $18,000-$30,000 per year
  • $3,012-$6000 per year

Thinking about hiring a marketing consultant? We’d be happy to discuss your needs and provide you with a quote. Please fill out our quick and easy request a quote form and we will follow up to discuss.