For many businesses, a fundamental question they will address at some point is whether they should keep their marketing in-house or outsource to an agency.
On one hand, in-house training is an investment for the future but requires time and financial investments, and on the other, outsourced marketing gives you access to a team of dedicated professionals, but does little for your staff’s development in terms of marketing experience.
With so many different aspects of marketing to consider, let’s take a look at the benefits and potential pitfalls of both outsourced and in-house marketing.
Benefits and Potential Pitfalls of Outsourced Marketing
When you outsource your marketing, whether it’s on an ongoing basis or a one-off project, you place your trust in an external company to operate on your behalf – this comes with its benefits and drawbacks:
Benefits Of Outsourcing Your Marketing
Expertise – Outsourcing to a marketing company allows you to utilise their expertise, marketing is an ever-changing industry particularly online. A successful marketing campaign will need a number of different skilled professionals to provide the best results – writers, SEO specialists, web designers, social media experts, and more. Creating a team with this skill set in-house requires a large investment in wages or training for existing employees.
Outsourcing also allows you to benefit from the specialist tools and programmes they use for marketing – these often cost a significant amount of money to purchase and require training to use efficiently, in addition to this, the salary of hiring a dedicated marketing person must be considered:
- Marketing Manager – £45,745
- Marketing Executive – £28,564
- Marketing Assistant – £23,984
- Graphic Designer – £28,843
- Web Designer – £36,608
Wage statistics from Reed’s average salary calculator
Expert Opinion – The company you outsource to will be able to provide you with an honest, professional and fresh insight into your marketing activities – without the employee bias that may come attached to in-house operations. A good agency will be able to undertake an audit into your current activities and work with you to improve them and achieve your goals.
Time – Business owners value their time, allowing another company to take on your marketing activities releases the time that would’ve been spent doing this, allowing you to free up resources in other areas to focus on other aspects of your business.
Potential Drawbacks Of Outsourcing Your Marketing
Less Control – Handing your marketing over to another company can be a daunting prospect for business owners, marketing agencies can come with a bad reputation – whether it’s through poor customer service, not delivering on results or tieing customers into unfair contracts.
As with any big purchase, do your research before buying – check reviews online and compare a number of different agencies to find the best fit for your business model. Finding an agency that provides a bespoke service to your needs is important; avoid those that guarantee unrealistic results and read the contract thoroughly before signing.
Too Many Clients – When working with an agency, you can be sure you are not their only client. Some agencies will let this affect their availability, standard of work and timescales of agreed work. If you find yourself being under serviced by an agency, consider moving on.
Benefits and Potential Pitfalls of In-house Marketing
When keeping your marketing in-house, you have more control over the marketing activity your business carries out – but may not have the expertise to do so effectively.
Benefits Of Keeping Your Marketing In-house
Faster Approvals – In-house marketing allows more control over timescales, this generally means that ideas and any work is completed and approved faster. Being in constant contact with your marketing team also allows for goals to be tracked and progress to be reviewed more efficiently.
Better Understanding Of Business – Employees in-house will undoubtedly have a better knowledge of your business or products than an external agency. This can mean more detailed and accurate marketing materials can be produced. Additionally, employees in-house will likely understand the companies values’ and legislation better eg. Branding, ethics and company vision.
Potential Drawbacks Of Keeping Your Marketing In-house
Staff Retention – Nurturing skills in-house is good for employees and your business. However, staff retention can start to become a problem, once more experienced – staff may leave for better-paid positions meaning further investment in staff and training for your company.
Limited Resources – Whether it’s due to time, budget or lack of skills – your in-house team will have a cap on how much they can handle. If the workload becomes too much, or you want to ramp up your marketing efforts, you may have to hire new employees – or let deadlines be missed.
Bespoke Outsourced Marketing Solutions At All Things Web®
As you can see, using a reputable agency may save your business money, once the cost, expertise, flexibility and time saved are considered, but training staff in-house can hold more long term benefits.
The great news, it’s not an all or nothing choice, many agencies (like us!) tailor their services to client’s requirements – whether it’s a complete takeover of marketing services, or just a specific area – allowing them to utilise their skill set in-house and utilise ours for areas they don’t have the expertise or time to cover.