It’s a decision that every business has to face (and continually review as needs change) – should your marketing be done in-house by your own marketing team, and how much should be outsourced? Is the traditional agency model even a good fit for your business? There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to having your own team handle it instead. Let’s look at the pros and cons of using an agency versus an in-house team.
Building an in-house marketing team
- Solid brand alignment and depth of understanding. An in-house team is immersed in the company’s culture and brand values and in tune with the brand’s voice, company goals and target audience.
- Speed and agility. An in-house team can be quick to respond to ad-hoc requests like updating content and adjusting campaigns, ensuring agility.
- Direct communication. Seamless communication is easier to achieve when you’re under the same roof, allowing for the removal of silos between marketing and other departments.
- Limited expertise. The truth is, finding leading expertise for your in-house team isn’t easy, and even a good hire is bound to have skills gaps, considering how multi-faceted marketing is. Trying to find an expert in everything is like looking for a unicorn.
- Resource constraints. Smaller businesses simply don’t have the budget for a full-fledged in-house marketing team, along with all the advanced tools and software licenses they need to be effective.
- Lack of outside influence. An in-house team tends to lack exposure to new ideas in the marketing world, impeding innovation and leading to stagnation.
- Time-consuming (and expensive). The process of recruiting, training and managing an in-house team costs both time and money while diverting management’s focus.
Outsourcing to a marketing-as-a-service (MaaS) agency
- Specialized expertise. With a good marketing agency, you can leave it to the experts. Outsourcing offers diverse expertise and experience, allowing companies to tap into a vast pool of talent and knowledge while leveraging cutting-edge strategies and tactics.
- Cost-effectiveness. Outsourcing to a MaaS agency means avoiding the up-front investments and overhead costs required for an in-house team, making it much more cost-effective, especially for smaller businesses.
- Marketing on the cutting-edge. Specialized marketing agencies have the latest technology tools and are up-to-speed on best-practice and the tactics that work. That’s because marketing is what they do, and specialized focus means they stay abreast of industry trends, emerging technologies and new tools and can offer innovative solutions that get better results.
- As the needs of a business change or grow, an agency will be able to meet them seamlessly and adapt their services to suit, delivering total flexibility.
- Lack of deep brand understanding. An agency isn’t going to understand the business as intimately as an in-house team can, but that can be addressed with clear communication and close collaboration to avoid misaligned messaging or branding.
- Communication challenges. It falls on both parties to ensure that communication is as seamless as possible, but modern technology is a big help with the likes of virtual conferencing.
- Turn-around times. If an agency is over-stretched, turn-around times on projects can be negatively affected, which is why it’s important to negotiate (and for an agency to adhere to) firm deadlines.
The choice between an in-house marketing team and a MaaS agency depends on various factors, such as the size of the company, its budget constraints, and its specific marketing goals. The agency advantages are especially attractive for smaller businesses which need agility and scalability. An agency that offers month-to-month contracts means no long-term commitments, and one that offers flat fees ensures cost control.
In-house teams, on the other hand, have the potential to become an inescapable cost spiral. Consider, for starters, the fact that the average salary of a decent marketing manager can be up to $127,000. Office facilities, training – it all adds up. Outsourcing as your needs dictate means you’re never over-resourced; instead, you pay for the services you use, and you can leverage leading skills and marketing tools. Communication challenges can be solved, and a good agency team will work hard to ensure it’s never an issue.
Whatever the size of your requirements, you can rest assured that your marketing is in safe hands with CODESM, so get in touch.