It’s an age-old conundrum: Do you scale up your in-house marketing and communications team or do you partner with a specialist marketing agency to achieve your objectives? There are benefits on both sides of the argument.
It usually comes down to each individual organisation, marketing team and each individual marketing professional responsible for the job function. As marketing generally becomes more difficult – with more channels, technology, competitors, perhaps restrictions and a consumer who is becoming more demanding – marketers have their jobs cut out.
Rather than us telling you that you need a marketing agency or more people in your in-house team, it would be more relevant if you analysed this for your own circumstance. There are many questions to ask yourself before signing up an agency. First, ask yourself…
Are you currently generating enough marketing leads?
Are elements of your marketing plan not getting done?
Do you have scope to employ new in-house staff?
If any of these questions raise concerns, read on and find out the benefits of working with a specialist marketing agency.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF WORKING WITH A SPECIALIST MARKETING AGENCY?
Assuming your organisation’s marketing potential and reach isn’t being fulfilled, here are a number of benefits associated with working with a specialist marketing agency.
1. RETURN ON INVESTMENT
The cost of hiring an in-house specialist – regardless of specific marketing area of expertise – is often costly. Costs from the hiring itself, along with ongoing training, hardware and software set up, salary and benefits all build up and there’s no guarantee you’ll see direct results from that hire, let alone keep hold of that staff member for a long period. Employing staff is costly, and it can be far more effective with less risk to partner with an agency rather than build an in-house team to support specialist elements of the marketing plan.
When working with an agency many operational costs are avoided, where in return, you will see measurable results for your investment.
2. ACCESS SPECIALIST SERVICES
When working with a specialist marketing agency, you are accessing a specific set of services that is often absent from general marketing and communications teams. It’s uncommon for such teams (large or medium sized) to employ specialists in events, branding SEO, content, digital, design, inbound, CRO and media planning, for example. Partnering with an agency to access these specific services, means that you are also accessing the expertise of the agency’s other staff for one fee.
When working with an agency, you can still focus on your areas of expertise, and the agency can focus on those specialist services for your benefit.
3. …VIA EXPERTS
Agency staff, offering these specialist services, are usually experts in their fields who have knowledge and experience of marketing tactics that you do not possess. Experts as such, do not want to fail and will strive to create high-quality work that produces results for their clients. Experts who also keep on top of the latest marketing trends, which are commonly transferred directly to the clients’ work.
You will not need to worry about the agency’s ability, its experts will already be taken care of.
4. FREE UP YOUR (AND YOUR TEAM’S) TIME
If your marketing department is like most marketing departments, you might feel overwhelmed with your current activities and workload. By partnering with a specialist agency, you can outsource some of your marketing needs, enabling you to focus on your core projects, and not having to worry about the management of a potentially larger in-house team. Also, your marketing initiatives will not suffer if a team member is experiencing problems or is on annual leave as the agency will function independently.
By outsourcing elements of your marketing to an agency, you can relieve this pressure off your staff and ensure that your own organisation’s marketing activities are on course to meet objectives.
5. RECEIVE AN ADDITIONAL PERSPECTIVE
Since agencies work with a number of organisations and on many different campaigns, it is likely that what they are doing for your organisation is based on years of tried and tested campaigns and can offer a completely different perspective to your own. Often, agencies can sit in on an organisation’s marketing meetings and offer valuable input, often providing new insights and opportunities.
Having a marketing team away from your in-house team can offer an outside look in, meaning that a second point of view can generate fresh ideas.
6. RECEIVE ADDITIONAL PERKS
Agencies have access to a large network of partners and suppliers, who will also have access to a range of benefits such as free placements, faster support and early access to new products and services from those partners. A good agency can provide clients with a number of benefits like these that are unavailable to the general public and most in-house marketing teams. Our media planning clients often receive free value-added placements from our media providers.
Additional perks can be expected when working with and developing partnerships with marketing agencies.
IN-HOUSE VS AGENCY
Working with specialist marketing agencies poses many benefits, with some of the most common listed above. Of course, partnering with a marketing agency costs money and those agencies will have their own internal processes which will be different from yours.
But generally, if an organisation does possess the budget, partnering with a specialist marketing agency is generally a good idea. Know your internal strengths and weaknesses, assess your marketing plan and objectives and do your research on the marketing agency first.
Working with a marketing agency might well be the solution to your growth and can work as a second arm to your internal marketing and communications team.