4 min.
Should you outsource your digital marketing insights practice?
1L’art de la gestion de projet2Un projet à succès commence par une bonne gouvernance3Cascade, agilité, demandes de changement?

Should you outsource your digital marketing insights practice?


Outsourcing your digital marketing insights practice

Before we start, please allow me to direct you to a previous article where I outline the properties of a good insight.

The search for insights and how to apply them to your business is a key part of a successful analytics strategy. Unfortunately, technology (analytics platforms) alone can’t deliver a return on your analytics investments. Two important components of a winning analytics strategy are the team that will operate your platforms, and your corporate culture (i.e., do you see data as a valuable asset to compete in 2020?).

This article will focus on the human aspect (team/skills/people) of producing digital marketing insights. To produce actionable insights you need to complete the following (oversimplified view):

  • Define the key business questions that will guide your digital initiative
  • Collect the right data to start your analysis
  • Enrich this data with other data sources
  • Search for insights (the analysis)
  • Formulate business recommendations (the actionable component)
  • Efficiently deliver these recommendations to key stakeholders
  • Apply these recommendations to your business processes (usually done by a team outside the insight team)
  • Monitor and assess the impact of these recommendations on your business (the return)
  • Start the process again…

To build this practice you need a multidisciplinary team (not one person) with the following skills:

  • Business acumen/sense
  • Technical expertise
  • Digital marketing expertise
  • Research and statistics background
  • Good storytelling (the delivery of the insights)

An ideal team would loosely look like this; while not entirely part of the digital insights team the resources in the Action section (of the graph) are critical to making your insights valuable to your business (they are the ones putting these insights into action):

You have a few options for how to put together your digital marketing insights practice:


Option 1: Build an internal digital marketing data & insights team

You can build a team from scratch, or add the missing pieces if you already have strong talent in place. You can also train existing team members to develop in-depth expertise in each field. If you are going to do this, however, make sure you have a good employee retention plan in place. Regardless of the path you chose, a significant investment in time and money will be required. Only large organizations can typically undertake this endeavor.

Pros: data is an asset to your company, and this allows you to control the entire process, from data, to insight, to action.

Cons: it will require time and money. Large organisations commonly outsource their paid media to agencies, which creates an additional hurdle to acting on the insights you uncover (the optimization is done by a third party).

Option 2: Outsource your production of insights to a partner or third party

You can outsource the majority of your practice to a third party (agency or analytics partner). This is usually ideal for SMEs that don’t have the expertise in house.

Pros: this allows you to focus on your core competencies and let the experts focus on the other areas of your business.

Cons: you limit your ability to build your digital insight competencies. The analysis can be a challenge when the third party doesn’t understand your business or vertical. The recommendations might not give you the return you are  expecting (due to the lack of understanding of your business).

Option 3: Build a hybrid model (combination of both models)

Business intelligence meets digital marketing intelligence.

The hybrid model is a combination of options 1 and 2. It enables you to slowly build a digital insights practice while mitigating the impact of the time and money you’ll need to invest.

The core of your business analytics should generally stay within the organization; the business analyst or business intelligence analyst/team should be the bridge between your digital marketing insights and business insights. You can outsource the production of your digital marketing insights to a third party that has the capability of producing these insights but also acting on them. This model can’t work without a bulletproof digital marketing analytics strategy that focuses on maximizing the impact of digital marketing initiatives on your business processes and goals.

Pros: a full alignment with your business goals, paired with the opportunity to slowly and safely build a digital insights team in collaboration with your digital marketing partner.

Cons: this option requires a good digital analytics strategy that is aligned with your overall analytics roadmap.


If you’re interested in implementing options 2 or 3, Adviso can help. Our passionate marketing analytics experts can leverage your digital data to help you reach your business goals.