The ongoing conundrum of outsourced vs. in-house marketing provided a packed roundtable discussion on Day 2 of the Dealership Minds Summit in Iowa City. With representatives ranging from single-store operations to 76-location Titan Machinery, the common ground was “cookie-cutter solutions” didn’t exist for any particular outsourcing decision.
The Boundaries of Outsourcing
The “jack-of-all-trades” approach to operating a dealership is inevitable for most smaller-scale or single store entities, which puts more pressure on deciding what to outsource when the budget exists to do so. Website development was agreed upon as an easy task to delegate considering the complex learning process. “Very few companies in this room are probably going to do their own website from scratch,” one attendee says. “You’re going to have to use somebody like Team SI or some of the other choices out there.”
As for avenues to avoid outsourcing, social media practices were universally tagged as an in-house responsibility. The intimate nature of expressing your brand is something an outsourced company can’t replicate regardless of industry knowledge, one attendee stressed. The same logic applies to implementing Google AdWords, as mastering a course on search engine optimization is insufficient without an understanding of dealership goals and target audience to go with it.
As discussion moderator and Marketing Director of Titan Machinery Mike Hall put it, appropriate outsourcing enables a staff to focus on the objectives they — and no one else — can do best.
“Outsourcing allows you to leverage your resources. It’s a matter of budgeting and being able to justify the expense.”