In-house vs agency marketing: Which is best for you?
To compete in today’s markets, businesses need to be more adaptable than ever. Becoming a fast-growing business is the result of a range of factors, of which marketing plays a significant part.
(Check out our Marketing as an Accelerator eBook to find out exactly how significant marketing is for growth.)
But, is it better to have an in-house marketing team or outsource to a marketing agency?
1. Marketing Experts Vs Subject Matter Experts
In this instance, we would consider those in an agency to be holistic marketing experts, with internal employees more likely to be subject-matter experts, specific to their businesses.
Working on a variety of projects and executing marketing plans for a whole host of clients is what marketing agencies do best. The experience gained from working in such an environment is invaluable.
Agencies will naturally have a broader understanding of the market from exposure to other industry partners. This visibility can help shape and build strategies that make a client stand out from their competitors.
Having access to a wide network also provides agencies with flexible skills and a fresh perspective, whereas in-house teams often have funneled knowledge.
Arguably, internal employees are subject matter experts, establishing a deep-rooted understanding of the business as a whole. This in-depth knowledge can make for better business understanding and learning, but it has its limitations.
2. More Creativity, Better Results
In-house, a team will be focused on complying to core business strategies and delivering results. However, this internal focus can often cause teams to become shielded from external macro factors.
Through hiring an outsourced marketing team, it is possible to gain fresh perspectives, which can lead to invaluable insights into the latest trends within your industry. Agencies can provide a level of creativity that you simply may not be able to achieve internally – they can be your ‘creative thinking hat’.
Results drive business growth. It is important to ensure that your agency understands your business strategy in order to align marketing plans. When this is done well, an agency can become an extended part of your team – agencies drive results!
3. Time is Money
In most cases, having an internal marketing team means your approval process will be better streamlined. Fewer emails and more face to face conversations allows for greater visibility and reduced lead times.
On the other hand, by outsourcing to a marketing agency, a business is able to free up internal resources to focus on other business tasks. An agency allows you to sit back and focus on other business-critical activity, enabling your existing staff to become more efficient.
Some may argue it is more cost efficient to have an internal marketing team as there aren’t any rush or overtime charges. But, it has been found that agencies provide an average 9% monetary saving and a 15% average time saving precisely for those reasons. When there is a financial penalty for delays, you’re much more likely to move the project along rush faster than when you have all the time in the world.
4. Give Your Business Space to Grow
Growth, specifically fast growth, is a key strategic approach for many businesses to maintain competitive advantage in their industry. Why do some businesses grow quicker than others? Marketing.
Marketing is important for getting to those clients you don’t know.
The focus should also be on developing networks and building relationships with external stakeholders. Agencies have a large network extending to functions that may not be available in an in-house marketing team. They can provide stronger relationships with fewer suppliers.
The real result and key importance of using a marketing agency is freeing up your time to grow internally and externally.
So, what’s better, an in-house or agency set up?
The merits of in house are employees are subject matter experts, fully aligned to their business strategy. Not only this, but activity can be turned around quickly because teams will be working closely and managed by one senior management team. On the flip side, if you’re looking for an agile team, experts within marketing with a full resource behind them including content, studio, strategy and more, then agency is the way to go.
In reality, the sweet spot is somewhere between the two, and that’s what the Bright Virtual Marketing offering tries to achieve.
Bright’s hybrid model – bringing together the benefits of both internal and outsourced teams.
The Bright team acts as a virtual marketing department for high growth and dynamic businesses. This provides clients with their own specialised marketing manager and supporting team, backed up by other Bright resources – such as design, web design and build, branding, event support, etc. – as and when required.
We shape and execute marketing strategies designed to plug any in-house gaps and support business goals. We also focus on driving as much as value as possible for our clients. We find the best way to do this is to regularly spend time on our client’s site each week – so that we truly become a part of your team.
Using our Minimum Viable Marketing (MVM) methodology, we fine tune each and every go-to-market message and campaign to get the best results possible.
By adopting a hybrid model, you are tapping into a dedicated team who work and learn from your own team to become advocates of your brand. This additional team takes on time-consuming tasks, so your business has the space to grow, whilst also providing a creative soundboard so you can take your business to places you may not have thought possible.
It’s like a match and a firecracker. You need to bring the two together to see the fireworks.
Visit our Virtual Marketing page to discover more about the services we offer.
Read more about how marketing is key to high growth and exit strategies in Bright’s new eBook: “Marketing as an Accelerator” – including commentary from business leaders and investors.