Executing an ecommerce marketing strategy

Posted by: Stafford Sumner

I’ve been in the marketing game for well over 15 years now, working with all kinds of businesses and essentially helping them all to do the same thing: generate more sales.

Hotels want more bookings, businesses want more leads and retailers want more sales. Every business is different, so while my approach rarely changes, the marketing strategies developed frequently do.

Just because something works for a luxury hotel doesn’t mean it will for a ‘bricks and mortar’ retailer with an ecommerce store. Of course there are elements that are always universal, like putting the right message in front of the right people, but the tactics used to do this can differ wildly.

I often get asked: “Can’t we just do all our marketing ourselves?” The simple answer is yes; there’s absolutely nothing stopping any business running all of their own marketing. There’s plenty of guides and resources out there telling you how to do it. However, with elements where a high-level of technical proficiency is required, it’s definitely worth exploring the options of outsourcing.

Let’s take one element of ecommerce marketing as an example: automated email programmes. A good automated email programme will have post-purchase emails, pre and post-delivery emails, loyalty emails, shopping cart abandonment emails and reactivation campaigns.

If you can execute this both technically and creatively with the resources you already have at your disposal then you might not have to look at outsourcing. This is just one element of one channel. Even if you can do something in-house it doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

For us, it’s about finding the right balance and the best results. Here are some of the pros and cons of each approach:


As a rule of thumb, when you decide to engage an agency to help you execute your strategy you’re buying their quality and expertise. If you’ve done your homework and found an agency you think is the right fit for your business then you can be confident the work they produce for you will be of significantly better quality than if you did the same work in-house.


For some business owners and marketing managers, outsourcing is giving up too much control. They like to be hands on and involved in the micro details of every campaign. If this is the case with you, while it’s not impossible to work with an agency, you may be better off keeping your marketing in-house. Trust plays a big part in a successful relationship and is a vital component when outsourcing work.


Working in and running a business means one thing is guaranteed: you can expect the unexpected. Your time is precious and inevitably you’ll be pulled in numerous different directions. If you’re trying to execute a marketing strategy and this happens then your marketing can often suffer. Outsourcing should save you time and energy.


If you go down the route to outsource then you’ll want to know the impact this is going to have on your bottom line. Keep in mind that running everything in-house not only has a financial cost but also a time cost (as mentioned above). Outsourcing may seem expensive but you’ll be paying for quality and results.

As you can see, there is no clear answer on whether to outsource your marketing efforts or keep them in-house. By weighing the positives and advantages related to each of these factors, you can make an educated decision that will point your business in the right direction.

Our approach is to treat each situation on its own merit and give the best advice we can as to how we can help and the results you’re likely to see.

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About the author

Stafford Sumner

An expert in developing businesses through data-driven marketing, Stafford founded Jarrang in 2003. “I’ve worked with many organisations, helping them grow while enabling them to fundamentally shift the way they operate their sales and marketing processes for the better.”