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Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Marketing for Irish SMEs

September 20, 2023
Est. Reading: 3 minutes
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In the Irish business landscape, SMEs often face the critical task of scaling their marketing efforts to compete both locally and globally. One of the most pressing questions is whether to manage marketing in-house or to outsource it to specialised agencies.

Each option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. In this post we dive into the pros and cons to guide you through this complex decision-making process.

The Pros

Expertise at Your Fingertips

Outsourced marketing gives you access to a full range of specialised skills.

Agencies employ experts in various marketing disciplines, from SEO to pay-per-click advertising, content creation, and social media management.

In Ireland, where digital ad spend grew at a rate of 6.9% between 2021 and 2022, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, staying abreast of trends is crucial. With outsourced professionals, you’re essentially fast-tracking your marketing efforts to meet current industry standards.


The average salary for a marketing manager in Ireland hovers around €41,000 per year – and that’s before additional costs like benefits, training, and software subscriptions.

On the other hand, marketing agencies often offer flexible pricing structures such as project-based pricing, hourly rates, or retainers, allowing you to tailor your expenditure to the specific needs of your business. This flexibility can translate directly to considerable cost savings for your business.


If you’re managing an SME, time is one of your most valuable resources.

According to a survey by US-based OutboundEngine, 4.33% of SME owners allocate over 20 hours weekly to marketing efforts. Another 5.34% dedicate between 15 and 20 hours, whilst 22.14% commit a weekly timeframe of 5 to 10 hours to their marketing.

Outsourcing can drastically reduce this time commitment, allowing you to focus on critical business operations like product development, supply chain management, or customer service.

A Fresh Perspective

In Ireland’s fast-paced business environment, innovation is key.

An external marketing agency can offer fresh, unbiased perspectives on how to position your brand in the market. They can help identify new customer segments or even untapped international markets, given their broader exposure to varied industries.

The Cons

Risk of Mismatch

Whilst Ireland has a growing number of reputable marketing agencies, not all of them may be the right fit for your unique business goals – therefore, due diligence is crucial.

Remember to check agency reviews, ask for case studies, and consider an initial small-scale project to evaluate their capabilities.

Communication Barriers

Even within the confines of Ireland, where cultural and language barriers are minimal, miscommunication can occur.

For example, an agency in Belfast may not fully grasp the consumer behaviour nuances in rural areas like County Kerry – as a result, it’s crucial to maintain open lines of communication to ensure that your brand’s essence is captured accurately.

Limited Control

Outsourcing invariably means relinquishing some level of control over your marketing activities.

Whilst agencies usually offer performance reports and regular updates, you’re not involved in the day-to-day execution. If you’re the type of business owner who likes to keep a finger on the pulse of every activity, this could be unsettling.


In Ireland’s dynamic SME sector, outsourcing marketing comes with a mix of tangible benefits and potential pitfalls.

The key lies in choosing an agency that understands not just marketing, but also the intricacies of doing business in Ireland. When executed thoughtfully, outsourcing can offer a streamlined, cost-effective pathway to propel your brand into the spotlight.

So, weigh your options, do your research, and take that calculated leap – it could very well be the boost your business needs to reach the next level.

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