The marketing world has moved incredibly quickly over the past decade, especially with the innovation and advancement that the technology industry has seen. So, to keep up with this, businesses are having to find different ways to adapt - and quickly too.
Without solid marketing efforts, even the best product or services in your respective industry wouldn’t sell. That’s why you need to make the right decision whether to do your marketing yourself or outsource.
No two businesses are the same, so there’s no one size fits all approach that’s suitable for different business’ marketing efforts. There are various areas that you can benefit from hiring a marketing agency, but there are also disadvantages too.
This post will compare in-house vs agency marketing and will help you decide which is the right one for your business.
- The advantages and disadvantages of hiring an agency
- The advantages and disadvantages of keeping your efforts in-house
- Our verdict
The advantages and disadvantages of hiring an agency
Hiring a third-party agency to carry out your business’ marketing is becoming increasingly more popular. Agencies work with you to plan and execute your marketing efforts in the most effective way possible to help drive results. So, what are the main advantages and disadvantages?
Creativity is one of the biggest benefits of working with an agency. A lot of marketing agencies have a creative director a wealth of experience. And under them, they have a team of professional content marketers, designers and other specialists all waiting to show off their creative flair.
The people in these jobs can tell a story with your business background that not only engages and draws in the audience but nurtures them along the buyer’s journey towards a purchase. Their creativity is unrivalled and their experience within the industry will allow them to lend their previous learnings to your business case.
Your marketing campaigns have to be memorable, otherwise, they’re just going to be another campaign in the sea of many others. With top-level creativity, the chances of your campaigns being more memorable and thought-provoking is much higher.
They’re experts in their field
Marketing agencies have different departments that are solely dedicated to their areas of marketing. At the head of these departments, you’ll find managers and senior employees who have various years of experience and a great amount of knowledge. Whether you need blogs, video marketing, a heavy social media presence or paid advertising, an agency will be able to help you.
This is very important for your business. An omnichannel approach allows you to cast a wider net and reach a broader audience - putting your marketing efforts in front of people who might not have necessarily seen it before. This holistic approach will allow you to create a strong brand image too.
Agencies also tend to have experts outside of marketing too. Their design teams and development teams are second to none. They can ensure that everything is designed up to standard, looking slick and professional. A great benefit of hiring an agency is that their expertise isn’t limited to just marketing.
Fresh campaign ideas
When you’ve been working on your own campaigns for a long time, businesses can start to see an overlap in ideas. After all, businesses have their own style and language preferences, which is great for consistency, but it runs the risk of producing very similar campaigns to what they’ve already produced before.
Marketing agencies can bring fresh ideas to the table. And not only from their thoughts either. Their strategists will put the hours in doing keyword research to see what your ideal audience is searching for on Google. Therefore, they can tailor your content around these keywords so that you’re more likely to be discovered.
Agencies often hold brainstorming sessions where a group of marketers throw ideas around. Some of the ideas that come out of these sessions simply wouldn’t be achievable from just one person or a very small group sat behind a computer. In-house marketers can be biased or blindsided by the brand - outsourcing brings a new perspective and they can pick up on things in-house teams may overlook.
More time for high priority tasks
When you hire a marketing agency, you can sit back and let them take care of your efforts. This frees up some time for your business and you can then reinvest it into the areas of your business that require attention the most.
Can you afford the costs?
The costs of hiring a marketing agency are usually the deal breaker for businesses. After all, marketing agencies are businesses too and have their own costs that they need to worry about. They’ll have their salaries, taxes and other expenses that they need to cover - so, unfortunately, you won’t be receiving the service for nothing.
However, they’re always transparent and clear with their pricing strategies from the start. Plus, they usually operate on a retainer basis, so there’s a constant payment plan ongoing that spreads costs out and makes their service more affordable.
Although they get business from a variety of industries, there is a chance that an agency may not be as clued up as you are within your industry. Or that your business could prove to be a little too technical. However, you’ll be able to get a feel for the agency when researching them by looking at their past case studies and testimonials.
Different clients, different priorities
With an agency, you’re not going to be their sole focus. Which isn’t necessarily a problem. Agencies are experts at juggling different clients and delighting them all with their exceptional standard of work. However, if a long-standing client of theirs calls on them for an emergency job, one of your deadlines could be delayed to accommodate them.
Good agencies set realistic deadlines and manage their priorities. No client should feel less important than any other and that’s something we put into practice at Red-Fern. We’re totally transparent with our clients in whatever they ask and successfully manage various accounts simultaneously.
The advantages and disadvantages of keeping your efforts in-house
You know your brand inside out
Who knows your business better than yourself and it’s employees? Nobody. That means you can be confident that everything created will be 100 percent factually correct. However, although your team knows your brand inside out, do they know the industry that you work in as well? Plus, do they have the marketing knowledge so they can effectively reach out to your audience?
The knowledge of your brand is a big draw to keeping it in-house as you’ll be able to get your efforts up and running with minimal fuss. Whereas, an agency would have to go through a discovery phase and research period to meet deadlines. And would their knowledge be of the same level that your loyal workforce possesses?
Team are multi-disciplined
When using an agency, it tends to be that it’s one person per specialist role. So, that means you could have a wider team working on your account all with different knowledge levels. Whereas, in an in-house team, your team may be multi-disciplined, which means that the same person will be working on various bits of your campaign.
Whilst this may be seen as a drawback in some areas, it means that the same people are touching the campaign constantly. Which means that each effort will pull in the same direction towards the same end goals. Plus, the messaging will stay consistent and won’t conflict with any other channel - which is a common mistake when various people are working on the account.
Your in-house marketing team are based within your offices. Depending on how big your business is, this is likely to be in the same building as the rest of your team. That makes them a whole more accessible than agencies. Even though they’re only a phone call away, there’s nothing like face to face conversation to resolve any issues.
Longer turnaround times
As in-house marketing teams aren’t solely focusing on individual areas of a campaign, as agencies do, there’s more likely to be delays with turnaround times. This obviously isn’t ideal as you want your marketing efforts and process to be as efficient and smooth as possible.
Plus, if your team is having to focus on other areas too, it could mean that the standard of work produced isn’t of a high standard either.
Other areas of the business suffering
Just like the marketing content may suffer, the standards of other departments may suffer too. Giving your team the extra responsibility of marketing may not leave them with much time to concentrate on other key areas of the business.
Companies only perform well when they’re like one big machine and all the different cogs are turning in time. There’s no point trying to perfect one area if your team can’t cope with the capacity and are going to let standards slip.
Less marketing experience
As we mentioned earlier, your team may know your business better than anybody else, but do they know the right channels to capture your audience? You could have the best brand in the world, yet if your marketing it all wrong, it’s useless. You need to know how to sell your business to your audience, that’s what will really drive the buy-in.
Agencies are experts at storytelling to any audience, from any industry. Your website and marketing efforts need to be as engaging as possible, otherwise, you’ll get no traffic and won’t be reaching the potential that you believe you’re capable of.
So, after looking at both sides of the argument of in-house vs agency, it’s clear that there are advantages and disadvantages with both. However, we do believe that using a hybrid of the two methods is the best way to go about your marketing campaigns.
Your in-house team has an unrivalled knowledge of your brand, which is invaluable when paired with the expertise and efficiency of a marketing agency. The two different methods dovetail perfectly and can help your business reach the heights that you’ve forecasted, but never actually been able to achieve.
By using a hybrid of methods, you’re involving more people within your business. The ideal situation is working with an agency with lots of different capabilities but also having one in-house person who can be the main point of contact for marketing - and knows the business like the back of their hand.
When looking for an agency, look no further than Red-Fern Media
So, after seeing the above verdict it’s normal to be left wondering what your next move is. Working in partnership with a marketing agency has many benefits to your business. From saving you time and money to creating strategic campaigns that are tailored specifically to your main target audience, we’ve got everything covered.
Our team of dedicated professionals are experts in their own subject fields. To find out how they can help you further, set up a discovery call and we’ll be glad to chat about how we can drive your business forward. Together we can achieve the results that you’ve always dreamed of.