How Much Does It Cost to Outsource Your Marketing? Exploring the ROI

If you’re in business, you’re looking to boost your ROI. Who wouldn’t want more bang for their buck—especially when it comes to marketing efforts that net you more sales, amplify your brand, and win you loyal customers. But it can be tricky to get everyone on board to invest, especially when you’re thinking about outsourcing. Our suggestion? Arm yourself with the nitty-gritty details, and be ready with the facts about pricing and ROI. While marketing is an investment, it’s one that will pay back many times over.

Typical Marketing Agency Prices

Some agencies assisting with just social media might charge in the hundreds per month, but if you’re looking to outsource a good chunk of your marketing efforts and want to do everything you can to boost your ROI, you’ll be spending in the thousands. Typical prices for agency work can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands per month. That’s quite a range, but there are some good reasons why it’s so hard to pin down an exact dollar amount.

Price by Agency

Naturally, there’s a lot of variation in the cost of outsourced marketing. Some of that variation is due to the particular agency you choose—how big they are, how many resources they have, how high-quality their work is, and so on. There are lots of considerations to make when choosing a marketing agency.

Price by Service

Even so, you’ll also see a lot of variation within a single agency, depending on the services you’re interested in and the scope of the projects you want to pursue. Here are just a few of the many things we offer at CMG, for example:

  • Content marketing

  • SEO

  • Website assessments and optimization

  • Paid advertising

  • HubSpot management

  • Social media marketing

  • Video marketing

  • Email marketing

  • Customer success, relationship, and management

Each of these services comes with a whole host of subservices. Let’s take content marketing as an example. A barebones content strategy might provide you with basic keyword research and maybe a few SEO-optimized blog outlines. More involved strategies will dive deeper into keyword research, map out the optimal keyword targets for each page of your site, with copy and content suggestions to match, a robust editorial calendar, blog writing services, optimization of your existing content, and more.


In short, what you pay depends on what you want. The right combination of services for your business will be unique depending on your existing assets. Most agencies will work with you to determine what you need, and then can help you prioritize where you need the most assistance based on what you’re willing to spend.

Comparing The Costs To In-House Marketing

If you’re wavering between building up an in-house marketing team versus outsourcing, there are some easy ways to compare costs. What’s right for you will depend on a number of factors only you know, but in general, outsourcing your marketing is typically less expensive than creating an in-house team. 


If you’re starting out with no marketing assets and you want to go in-house, you’ll need to come up with the funds for at least one full-time employee—likely somewhere between $40K and $120K annually in salary alone, discounting benefits—and where you’ll fall in that range depends on the level of experience you’re looking for. A marketer on the lower end is most likely entry-level, with less experience, and while they might do great work on a team, they might not have the industry knowledge and independent work experience to shoulder your entire marketing strategy. If you swing the other way, you might be paying close to or more than $100,000 a year for a single marketing resource.


Compare these numbers to the prices we shared for agencies. While you might spend $40,000 per year on a single in-house, entry-level marketing specialist, you could spend a similar amount for a full team of experienced marketing professionals working through an agency. In this case, the answer is easy—the agency wins out. Your situation might be a bit more complex, but when you run the numbers, an agency will typically win out on investment alone.

A Look at the ROI

We’ve looked at what you’re likely to spend by outsourcing, but the real question is about ROI. Will investing in a marketing agency pay for itself, and then some?

Increased Visibility and Sales

Getting your brand noticed—whether that through paid advertising, a lead gen campaign, or organic search—gains your site more visits. When those visitors are qualified, more visits means more leads, and more leads means more sales for you to close. Without a robust marketing strategy, your business won’t be found. Working with an agency is an investment in your own visibility, and an experienced marketing agency will know how to make you visible to the right audience. 


Think about what your typical sale nets your business. If one closed sale is worth $10K, and you invest that same amount in a marketing campaign that results in five new customers who would not have known about your services otherwise, you’ve easily made back well over your investment. 

Engaged and Nurtured Customers

If your marketing is in good hands, it will continue to pay back even on the sales you’ve already made. Email nurturing and helpful content provide lasting value to your customers and keep them aware of and interested in your brand, making it easier for you to secure an upsell or offer additional services. Try calculating the potential price of continued engagement like this to get the longer-term picture of your marketing ROI.

Does Outsourcing Make Sense for You?

There are a number of things to consider when deciding whether or not to work with a marketing agency, but cost and ROI are naturally going to be at the top of your list. Luckily, your agency knows this, too, and can work with you to find the best balance between marketing spend and expected return.


Ready to talk specifics? Ask us how we can boost your ROI and we’ll discuss the best way to meet your goals.

Libby LaMantia
About the Author
Libby LaMantia

Libby is a Content & SEO Strategist who loves digging into keyword research, user and search intent, and content audits to make strategic SEO decisions and optimize calls to action. After studying and working for several years in upstate NY, Libby has recently moved back to New England.