As an experienced marketer, countless business leaders have posed the following question: “Should I work with a marketing agency or hire in-house marketers?”
Regardless of your business, there are multiple advantages and correlating disadvantages when reaching out to a marketing agency. The most critical element to keep in mind however is to ensure you’re making the decision that’s best for your company.
The answer lies in defining your company’s marketing goals, in relation to your company’s strengths and weaknesses. Though painstaking to assess your limitations and restrictions, it is necessary in order to ascertain whether your marketing initiatives are better off remaining in-house, or require further external assistance from marketing experts.
I have to admit that even the team at WSI have done both. As well as our team of in-house marketers, we have a global network of marketing and media experts whom we can call on if a project needs some specialized expertise. As well as this, we have a further support network of partners who are on hand to help with the various applications we use as an agency.
Example: Our Sharpspring contact for marketing automation is on hand in case we have a specific client requirement for email and personalization.
Having read the title of this blog, you would be forgiven for thinking this was a persuasion piece all about how “Your business needs an agency”. In fact, we cover both sides of the equation and discuss the different factors to consider when deciding if it suits your business to talk to an agency… or not.
Key Factor 1: Your Company Values, Culture, and Vision
Most businesses prefer to work with marketers in accordance with their company’s values, vision and culture, and this is quite achievable when hiring from within. As is expected, a full time employee is more integrated and invested in the success of the company than an external agency is. If you do choose to proceed with an external agency, locate and choose one that maintains similar values in order to harness a better relationship with them and always remain on the same page.
Key Factor 2: Wide Range Skill-Set Needs
The persona analysis and description will assist in defining the varying journeys through which visitors can go through. It is therefore mandatory for marketers to pay careful attention to the options, questions and suggestions that a Chatbot is likely to present your visitor with.
This will be required when the Chatbot is discerning the visitor persona, the path they should be directed to towards and the steps that are required to be along those paths. You can also read how Chatbots rely on traditional marketing.
Key Factor 3: Industry Best Practices By Keeping a Competitive Edge
Tactics and tools from the yesteryear may not be affective tomorrow in this constantly evolving digital marketing landscape. Competition increases, and technology alters, and if you’re caught with one foot in the past, you’ll likely be left in the past.
A good marketing agency is adept at staying in-tune with the latest digital marketing best practices, and generally is already equipped with the must-have technologies.
Key Factor #4: Keep On Top Of Your Marketing
Depending on your situation, you might need to jump on your marketing right now. Let’s say, for example, you discover you’re losing sales because your closest competitor just launched a user-friendly eCommerce website and yours isn’t equipped to facilitate online purchases. Obviously, your website needs a speedy overhaul to improve your customers’ online experience.
The speediest way to do this is NOT by posting a job, reviewing resumes, conducting three rounds of interviews, calling references…you get the picture. Marketing agencies are designed to jump in quickly and efficiently so your team can adapt to your marketing strategies sooner rather than later. Ultimately, urgencies that affect your bottom line are better handled by agency teams.
Key Factor 5: A Broader Network Of Brainpower
In the same line of thinking as #2, but moving beyond; you’ll recognize that compared to a full-service agency, in-house marketers lack some required tools. The most expansive option would be to reach an agency when thinking of supplementary marketing services such as script writing, video production and traditional PR services.
Ultimately, the answer to the question of outsourcing or keeping it in-house is dependent on the situation. When you review the key factors we have listed, which way do you lean?
Choosing an agency can be the difference in the outcome of your campaign and whether it winds up successful or a costly learning experience.
Credit to Cheryl Baldwin from WSI and you can follow her @Twitter