As an individual who has experienced both the agency and in-house side of marketing – it would only be right for me to write this post, right?
Determining how to effectively market your business can be a problematic decision, especially when there’s no shortage of marketing professionals in this day and age. The thought of taking the time to find the right option for you is a daunting task, but an absolute MUST if you truly care about your business.
Maybe you’ve been paying someone a full-time wage and you’re wondering if you can get more bang for your buck? Or, perhaps you’ve been with an agency for so long, that maybe having everything under your own roof would be more convenient for you. Either way, I’m here to review and let you be the judge.
Convenience & Control.
The number one pro that’s come up amongst my research and one that I’ve experienced myself, is convenience. A lot of businesses like the thought of having someone in-house that can quickly assign themselves to a task that needs completing. Alongside this, you will have more control over your in-house marketing, because you can prioritise their tasks to suit yourself and the needs of the business.
A BIG plus of having an internal creative in-house will allow them to know the ins and outs of the business, without having to do a tiresome amount of research. They will rapidly pick up the way the business works, the culture, the products and services that are offered.
“An in-house marketing team is embedded in the company and has a deep understanding of brand, culture, product, and internal processes.” – Zoe Matthews, Marketing manager at RealTimeUK.
Having someone work in-house for you can really help improve the company morale. Functioning with a team that are all trying to achieve the same goals will drive motivation. Also, being in an office all together creates friendship-like bonds. Team spirit = positive results.
From experience, working in-house as an individual can have a negative impact on your creativity. You are putting all of your time and effort into one single subject, 9am-5pm, 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week. Eventually, your mind starts to become susceptibly numb and the inspiration just doesn’t come to you as easily as it did before. If you really want to hire in-house, you need to put some careful thought and consideration into how you keep that sole person stimulated.
On the basis of my last point, if marketing people aren’t surrounded by other marketing minds, they can often feel isolated and very bored. As a result, their work will suffer, or they’ll simply quit. If your in-house individual is lacking inspiration or knowledge from a marketing point of view, it can be hard for them to know where to turn.
Lack of Work:
More often than not, you may not always have enough work to keep your marketer/s busy. This either means you’re paying them to do nothing, or you find something else for them to do just for the sake of doing it. This can mean marketers are asked to help out with general to-dos, again, numbing their creativity. As they say, “to stand still is to stagnate”!
Knowledge and Experience:
For the price it pays to hire one full-time member of staff, you can access the minds of several creatives at a marketing agency. An agency is made up of a highly skilled team of passionate and ambitious professionals, that will host a wide range of skills. The collective experience and knowledge of digital marketing is much more efficient than relying on the single mind of an in-house employee.
Business managers or owners can be control freaks and want everything done their way, or the high way – even if they know squat about marketing. (There, I said it.) This sort of micromanaging can ultimately jeopardise their business’s marketing strategy, yet they won’t comprehend why they’re not getting the results they want. (It’s because of themselves. There, I said it again.)
A marketing agency brings convenience to your business by doing all of the creative work for you. You don’t need to worry about what your in-house employee is doing, or monitor Google Analytics all day. An agency will just work their magic in the background and get sh*t done.
Not to boast or anything, but if our clients ever wonder what we’re getting up to, we give them access to our CRM that allows them to see exactly what tasks we are doing for them and how much time we are spending on them. Efficient, ey?
The great thing about a marketing agency is that they will work with you, to help you figure out your business’s needs. Instead of paying a full-time salary, an agency can come up with a tailor-made monthly retainer, based on your budget and marketing requirements.
The stigma around marketing agencies being more expensive is bullsh*t if you find the right one. Smaller agencies are becoming increasingly popular with brands of all sizes:
“At Yogurt Top Marketing, we have wined and dined the suppliers you need, to get the prices that no other agency gets. From sophisticated video production teams for your next TV advertisement, to 1000 fancy balloons for your upcoming event. We know the right people to get you more for your money, no questions asked.”
If you want to know more as to why big brands are choosing smaller agencies, check out our Creative Director’s blog post by clicking here.
If you come from a niche industry, chances are some agencies may lack experience in marketing your field. Have this in mind when searching for an agency – look at their past and present clients to make sure that they have worked with your field before.
In the beginning of your professional relationship with a marketing agency, they will need more guidance and monitoring. However, as time goes by, they will learn more and more about your business and industry.
Whilst you are focusing on your business, an agency has lots of different clients to focus on. Some marketers can individually manage 10+ accounts, leading them to prioritise the higher-paying clients and deadlines can often be pushed. However, a good agency will think of their clients as equally important and will set realistic deadlines to manage their workload efficiently. *cough* Yogurt Top *cough*
As agencies have a forever-busy schedule, their response time may not always be up to scratch. Also, just to have a thorough sit-down with your account manager would consist of booking a meeting a few days in advance, and then taking time out of your day to have said meeting. Furthermore, your account manager may not always know what’s going on with the business internally, because they are not in-house amongst your staff.
A ‘cream of the crop’ account manager will be in weekly communication with their clients, along with the usual emails in between, to ensure they are informed about anything regarding the business.