Why do companies outsource marketing

Outsourcing: definition, areas of application and tips

What does outsourcing mean?

Outsourcing describes the outsourcing of individual task structures to third-party companies. This means that you can outsource certain tasks to specialized external service providers. If you z. If, for example, you do not have enough expertise or financial resources in the field of marketing and PR, you can turn to agencies that take on this area of ​​responsibility. This not only saves you money, but also raises the standard of professionalism of your company, since the selected providers are, in the best case, specialists for the respective field of activity.

Which areas can you outsource?

Which area you can outsource within your company depends on your individual specialization. Typical areas of responsibility, however, are: accounting, tax advice, graphics / design and IT areas, as these areas are not part of the core business or are only needed occasionally. It would not be financially worthwhile, especially for smaller companies, to employ an employee, which is why outsourcing to external providers is often the only option. But large companies also outsource certain areas to specialized companies.

There are different forms of outsourcing that can be combined differently depending on the area of ​​responsibility:

  1. Out-tasking
    Outsourcing usually involves large areas of responsibility, whereas outtasking involves outsourcing very specific subtasks. Depending on which service (s) you offer in your company, out-tasking can relate to a wide variety of tasks - for example, the development or adaptation of software or the production of a commercial.
  2. Out-servicing
    Out-servicing refers to any customer contact that is handed over to a service provider. Call centers, customer advice centers or a corresponding office service can be commissioned for this purpose. This also falls under the so-called managed services, which take care of the maintenance of information and communication technology.
  3. Transitional Outsourcing
    It can happen again and again that a restructuring is necessary within one or more departments of the company. For this restructuring, certain areas of responsibility may no longer be able to be performed. To prevent this, the departments are handed over to external service providers for this time and the losses can at least be contained.
  4. Offshore outsourcing
    Offshoring is a form of outsourcing in which certain areas of responsibility are relocated abroad. The competition therefore takes place internationally and offers a greater range for your own company. Often the goal here is to produce more cost-effectively and still be able to achieve a high standard of performance. Particularly with this type of outsourcing, you should make sure that communication is flawless, as the geographical distance, possible time difference and lack of flexibility can lead to misunderstandings more quickly than if you can hold meetings directly on site.
  5. Complete outsourcing
    Complete outsourcing means the outsourcing of entire areas of responsibility. The only thing that distinguishes this form from higher-level outsourcing is that the personnel in the area to be outsourced is often also outsourced. Many companies, for example, place search engine optimization completely in the hands of external agencies because they do not have the necessary skills.
  6. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
    BPO means submitting entire business processes to a selected service provider. This takes over the IT applications of the business processes and administrative activities. This means that these are service operators and not service providers like most other forms of outsourcing.
  7. Business Transformation Outsourcing (BTO)
    This sub-form of outsourcing is particularly used when new business models are introduced. In such a case, the external provider not only takes over the tasks of your company, but also supports you with the help of a management consultancy. This means that the provider takes on these tasks with the aim of continuously optimizing your company.
  8. Application Service Providing (ASP)
    ASP offers standardized software services and the associated tasks, such as program maintenance and management. With this form of outsourcing, you as an entrepreneur can access software from public and private networks without having to reprogram your own software.

The top freelancer platforms

Digital outsourcing in particular is becoming more and more relevant. Freelancers offer their expertise as a service on various platforms. Customers can easily obtain the necessary skills digitally here. Here is a small selection of German freelancer platforms:

Twago offers specialists in the areas of design, text, web development and marketing.

The portal places freelancers in the areas of text, media, design and management.

Above all, the Gulp platform offers expertise in IT topics.

The eye
On this portal you will find particularly creative service providers: designers, photographers and graphic artists.

Project work
Projektwerk convinces with specialists in marketing, controlling and development.

Advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing


  • Cost reductions
    Qualified service providers can reduce production and development costs and often use economies of scale. For tasks that are perhaps even one-off or only needed a few times, it is simply not worth employing your own employee. In such a case, it is particularly worthwhile to outsource. The cost reductions when outsourcing should be at least 20 percent so that the project is considered worthwhile.
  • Higher quality
    Outsourcing to companies can lead to an increasing quality of the products if the providers have specialized in a selected area of ​​activity and have more experience. As a company founder, you may not have to worry about marketing as a beginner and risk a loss of quality.
  • Time savings
    Getting to grips with a new field of work takes a lot of time. You can save this time by outsourcing it to a third-party company and investing in more important areas in order to further develop your own expertise in another specialist area. Newly founded companies benefit from this time gain in every respect.
  • Less risks
    Companies that are still at the very beginning are particularly hard hit by economic fluctuations. By outsourcing one or more areas, however, the risk in difficult times is reduced and flexibility is increased because no infrastructure has to be built in the first place.
  • Improved market positioning
    By outsourcing, your company has free resources that can be used for the main tasks and thus stimulate growth. This changes your own market positioning and the internal effectiveness of your business.


  • Bad working atmosphere
    If you start to outsource every complex task in your company, the expertise of your employees cannot grow. So think carefully about which areas you want to outsource and which expertise your employees should acquire themselves. Indiscriminate outsourcing of core competencies is not appropriate.
  • Risk of addiction
    Depending on which contract you agree with the external provider, it can happen that you become dependent on the service provider. Delays, manufacturing problems or strikes have a direct impact on your business. Pay particular attention to a binding contract that can also be terminated at short notice and try to spread the risk among several service providers.
  • Loss of data protection
    By working with external providers, internal information is also passed on, which can quickly be made public. Without a basis of trust, data access can lead to problems.
  • communication
    The most difficult, but also the most important thing about outsourcing is communication between the company and the service provider. Depending on the location, communication with the external provider can be very difficult. Nevertheless, you should openly exchange ideas about problems and wishes so that there are no misunderstandings that could get in the way of working together at a later point in time.

5 tips for successful outsourcing

  1. Do not choose the areas of responsibility for outsourcing at random.
  2. Put communication first.
  3. Pay attention to a short notice period when binding the contract.
  4. Despite outsourcing, make sure you have plenty of expertise within the company.
  5. Do not reveal all of your company's key competencies to external providers.

Conclusion: outsourcing for companies

Outsourcing is a corporate strategy that can relieve you of complicated tasks, especially when setting up a company, and relieve you as the managing director. The benefits sound tempting to any company, but without a well-thought-out structure, outsourcing can also become a major risk. Outsource the right tasks and find the right partner for them - the greatest caution should be exercised when making these decisions, because they will become part of the further process in your new company as well as your own employees.

  • Research and analyze exactly which partner is the best fit, whether they have an individual pricing model and, above all, whether nothing stands in the way of good communication.
  • When choosing the tasks to be outsourced, consider which could add particular value to your company before arbitrarily outsourcing just to have less work.
  • Outsourcing is definitely not a one-size-fits-all solution, just a support. It is better to consider a second time whether you really want to hand this one task over to an external provider, or whether there isn't a suitable solution for it internally.
Author: Für-Gründer.de editors

As editor-in-chief, René Klein has been responsible for the content of the portal and all publications by Für-Gründer.de for over 10 years. He is a regular interlocutor in other media and writes numerous external specialist articles on start-up topics. Before his time as editor-in-chief and co-founder of Für-Gründer.de, he advised listed companies in the field of financial market communication.