Whether to outsource marketing or internally manage your marketing is an age-old debate that can be disputed ad infinitum. It’s an everlasting topic because marketing is an ever-evolving field with many facets. The pandemic showed businesses that there were other ways to get things done and that remote work was not only feasible, but reliable. With companies reevaluating their methods, and new small businesses popping up everywhere, the topic of internal versus agency marketing is more relevant now than ever. A ‘TLDR’ answer to which of the two is better is – it depends. While some businesses are better suited to in house marketing, those few are in the minority. Below we explain why internal marketing often can’t compete with an agency, so you can make an educated decision for your business.
1) Potential for Growth
Startups often want to keep their emerging brand close to their chest, thus opting for a marketing team they can manage themselves. Even if you had the expertise to do so effectively, the problem is that an internal marketing team doesn’t easily permit rapid expansion. If you suddenly start growing, it might not be as easy to scale your miniature marketing department to suit that growth. The overhead cost of hiring new employees, the time for finding the right ones, and the effort involved in managing it all, cuts into how much your business can grow as well. Time is money, and opportunity cost is expensive. The time invested into setting up your company’s advertising team could have been spent pursuing more profitable ventures within your business’s core competencies.
2) Expertise in the Field
Business growth is one thing, but then there’s the potential for marketing growth as well. Ad agencies specialize in marketing as their core competency, meaning that they are constantly evolving and adapting to the changing trends, methods, and technologies. With an in house marketing team, it is not as easy to maintain a competitive edge. An advertising agency can provide performance-proven software and marketing tools, offer sound advice, execute result-driven marketing, and analyze its results based on years of experience. This expertise is invaluable. Why try to hire the right marketing professionals when someone else already did?
3) Cost Effectiveness
When considering an in house marketing team, businesses must also think about employee turnover, the costs of replacing that employee, the additional training, and the effect it has on other staff members. This can cost thousands of dollars, leaving you counting your fingers to calculate your ROI. And this isn’t even mentioning the actual cost of marketing yet. When everything is outsourced, however, those costs go away and you only pay your very predictable – much lower – retainer or monthly fee. Even if you somehow managed to save on overhead with an in house agency, you could also be wasting money on the wrong tactics or avenues without knowing how to properly analyze your results.
4) Communication and Networking
While marketers are the experts in their field – no one knows your business better than you do. Don’t discount how valuable that is. The better you communicate with your marketing team, the better they will communicate your message to your customers. So, naturally, it makes more sense to keep your team closer to home… right? Not necessarily. Closer does not mean clearer. When you hire marketing professionals to work for you, consider that they are now incapable of being a truly unbiased third-party. Any creative person will maintain their creative integrity, but they will have no real peers outside of the company to brainstorm and bounce those ideas off of. And, at the end of the day, they don’t work for other clients – only you. Networking with other marketers and media houses, discussing trends, and most importantly – providing you with insight – isn’t as likely with an in house marketing team.
Making Your Choice
The pandemic has shocked the world and changed the way businesses are marketing. The value of digital marketing and e-commerce, paired with the newly realized reliability of remote work, has created limitless possibilities. Having too many options, however, often leads to bad decisions being made. Whether you choose to work with an in house marketing team, or to hire one, be sure to understand the pros and cons of each. Both can work well depending on your business’s challenges and goals. Some businesses even choose to do a bit of both so that they have control over content, branding, and other marketing deliverables, while others choose to outsource everything and keep open communication with an agency. Strategic Marketing is a full-service agency that will help you with your marketing planning, budget, and overall company mission. If we can’t convince you to choose us, at least let us help you decide. Contact us today!