MARKETING AGENCY VS IN-HOUSE
As an agency, we are often posed with the question ‘why should I choose an agency over recruiting a marketing person in-house’? So we thought we’d have a go at the positives and negatives of both (and try to make it as unbiased as possible!).
Here, we focus on 3 key areas. Cost, Skillset, and Adaptability …
Agency: An agency is external resource to support your marketing requirements in line with your goals. This can (should) include everything from strategy through to achieving results from the monthly output.
In-house: Investing in recruiting marketing employees
We’ll firstly address the cost. Many believe that you could ‘recruit a full time position for what we pay an agency to deliver 3 or 4 days a month’. This is true in some respects and not so in others.
For micro businesses, this will be the case and often it would be more worthwhile recruiting for these type of businesses (or using a freelancer) than investing in an agency. The reason for this is because at this stage of their business, they need an all round marketer to administer the admin of marketing tasks rather than somebody with years of experience and a strategic mind.
For small to medium and large businesses, the use of an agency should be cost effective and a saving to the business. If a business were to recruit all of the skillsets that an agency offers, it would be a huge investment.
It’s also worth considering that agencies pay for all their own tools, software, management systems (for tasks such as social media scheduling), on-going training etc.
When recruiting in-house, you’re typically looking for an ‘all round marketer’. Somebody who understands the principles and foundations of marketing and how to manage such tasks. We believe it is worth finding somebody with a creative mind (it is a mythical fact that all marketers are creative!). We also suggest that you find somebody who is excellent at planning and organising as they’ll be lots of tasks to juggle – but find the right person and it could be a match made in heaven for your brand.
When appointing an agency, what you can (and should) expect is to be working with experienced professionals. You won’t just be investing in an ‘all round marketer’, you’ll be investing in a Marketing Director who can guide you on the best strategy to achieve your goals, a trained content writer to write anything from website copy to blogs and press releases, social media guru’s, digital experts etc (you get the drift!).
Another positive when using an agency is that you can expect them to stay up to date with the ever evolution of ‘marketing’.
Of course, when you have a marketing person in-house, living and breathing your brand on a day to day basis, you should absolutely expect them to be adaptable and deal with ‘change’ well (‘change’ is a common occurrence in small businesses and can happen several times a year). The employer can expect to have the responsibility of communicating and articulating the change well, and deliver an excellent brief in what should happen next.
When using an agency, they should be very used to dealing with a change of circumstance and adapting the plan accordingly (adapting marketing plans is what they’re trained to do). They should also be asking all the questions to understand the change and suggesting the strategy for the next step forward.
There are many pro’s and con’s with both. It will come down to the needs of your business and what’s affordable. If you are a micro business or can afford to recruit a whole department of skills, then perhaps an in-house person/team would be the best fit. But for those who sit outside of this, there are great reasons to partner with (the right) agency.
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