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It’s an age-old conundrum all businesses face eventually: “do we hire an in-house marketing team or should we outsource the work?”
Well, my friend, if you’re in the midst of pondering on this decision, you’re in good company. This can be a complex determination to nail down.
Before you get too far into this blog, let’s get this out of the way early: the correct path forward will look different for every business.
That’s right, this is another one of those “there are no one-size-fits-all” marketing quandaries. But don’t fret! We can still set you on the right course to find the right solution for your business. By looking at your unique needs and the benefits of each option, we’ll get you on the road to your ideal marketing plan in no time!
Why You Should Outsource Your Marketing
Outsourcing your marketing is a choice that can save you a lot of time and effort. As a business owner, you know that it can be taxing to keep up with marketing all on your own. If you have a small team or simply don’t have the resources to hire dedicated marketing team members, outsourcing can be a great option. Here’s why your company might want to outsource:
A Variety of Marketing Modalities and Expertise
Marketing isn’t one simple silver bullet that will suddenly catapult you towards all your business goals. It’s a multifaceted, ongoing process that requires extensive knowledge of what types of marketing modalities will help you reach your audience and how to use them skillfully.
For some businesses, an emphasis on video content and social media advertising will be the best path forward. For others, they may need a complete website overhaul, email marketing, social media, and pay-per-click advertising.
A holistic approach is so important when it comes to marketing. This is a major benefit of outsourcing your marketing. Unless you have the funds to hire a fully-fledged team complete with multiple departments, you likely won’t have access to the same level of expertise as a marketing company with an in-house team. When outsourcing a full marketing team you get a one-stop-shop approach while hiring your own marketing employees will require recruiting multiple experts.
A Finger on the Pulse
When you have in-house employees who either only dedicate part of their time to marketing or are simply fixed within the microcosm of your workplace environment, it can be easy to miss out on the latest marketing trends. Eventually, fresh ideas may start to dwindle and your marketing efforts might grow stale.
External marketing companies are immersed in their field. They are constantly on the lookout for what’s new and innovative. They can offer a fresh perspective on what kind of marketing your company should pursue to stay connected to their core audience. Outsourcing will also give you a better understanding of what has been overdone. Since external marketing companies have an array of clients, they have a good idea of what’s new, what works, and what is overrated.
Readiness to Kickstart Your Marketing
If you’re just starting out with marketing your company, chances are you’re eager to get the ball rolling. But when you choose to go the in-house marketing route, you’ll need to be patient. There are a few steps to take before your marketing campaign will be in full swing.
First, you’ll have to take time to post job listings, interview candidates, vet your opinions, and train your new team members. If you need to get your marketing up and running as soon as possible, you might want to consider outsourcing.
External marketers typically have greater access to tools that optimize the marketing process From content management systems to analytics trackers, marketing companies typically operate smoothly with the help of tools the average business owner might not even think to incorporate into their methods. In-house teams may not have the know-how or funds to use such tools.
Can Be More Cost-Effective
When you hire your own in-house team you’ll need to pay the salary of multiple people for each branch of marketing you need. Want to up your social media presence? You’ll need to hire a Social Media Manager. Are you hoping to hone in on SEO goals? You’ll need to hire an SEO expert.
When you enlist the help of an external marketing company, all of these pieces are already in place. Oftentimes, it will be cheaper to hire a company than retain a team of your own.
Why You Should Hire an In-House Marketing Team
While there are many perks to outsourcing, choosing to use an in-house marketing team can be appealing for a lot of reasons too. At the end of the day, the best way to truly grasp the mission and ethos of a company is to be embedded in it. Choosing to work with a team of dedicated in-house marketers can be beneficial for a number of reasons:
They Just Get You
Your company is unique. An external company may never fully understand the ins and outs of your culture and values. They can come close to capturing that essence but they aren’t immersed in the company atmosphere in the same way an in-house team would be. When you hire internal marketers they can get a true feel for what your mission is and have a vested interest in your success story.
This is a huge benefit of choosing to go with an in-house team.
You Get All of Their Attention
Let’s face it; we can all get a little greedy when it comes to attention from time to time. When you want to play an active role in your marketing, it can be difficult to wait for an outsourced team to get back to you on their progress. They do, after all, have other clients to tend to as well. You’ll have to be patient which can be a challenge if you want to be plugged into your development at all times.
This is to say that most marketing agencies look for the quantity of clients that they have in their books, rather than the quality of clients. At Beyond Blue Media, we’re more interested in helping our current clients and growing their business, rather than focusing on bringing in as many new clients as possible. You lose the quality of work when you’re so focused on numbers alone.
An in-house team will have your complete, undivided attention. You won’t need to worry about sharing your team with several other companies. This will assure that you are plugged into what’s going on with your marketing at all times. It fosters more time for open, collaborative communication.
Getting a Running Start Isn’t a Priority
Not everyone is looking to kick start their marketing with all cylinders firing at full speed. If you’re okay with easing into things, forging a modest team of in-house marketers might be a good option for you. You can take your time building up your team and your marketing efforts brick by brick. This will allow you to build off of a solid foundation and slowly ease into crafting your overall marketing motif.
You Don’t Need a Complete Marketing Package
Not all companies need a full marketing package. Some are content with just a handful of areas to focus on. Say you only want to work on amping up your social media presence and creating blog content. You might only need a single individual to assist with these goals.
If this sounds like where your goals are at, it will likely be more cost-effective to hire a small marketing staff rather than an entire outsourced company.
Is There a Solution In Between?
Are there aspects of both outsourcing and building an in-house team that appeals to you? If so, you’re in good company – taking a hybrid approach to marketing is quite popular. Around 52% of businesses use a combination of outsourced and in-house marketing resources. Even Fortune 500 companies choose to use both in-house and external marketing to keep up with their strategic and creative needs.
Freelancers are often used when a company wants supplemental help without committing to an entire team of external marketers. This approach allows a business to cherry-pick its needs. Maybe they just need photography so they hire a freelancer to handle their shoots. Or perhaps they are only looking for content. A company can easily hire a freelance writer to get the job done.
For the average small to medium-sized business, hiring a freelancer to assist their marketing team might be the most cost-effective path forward. You can maintain a core group of marketers in-house while outsourcing more specialized services.
Your dedicated team will be able to collaborate with external members to cultivate a holistic marketing plan. They can then engage in a process of information sharing so the external team has a better understanding of your core messaging and the in-house team will have access to tools and knowledge they might not have previously had.
Take the Time to Evaluate Your Needs
Before you make any hard and fast decisions around how to structure your marketing plan, take a realistic look at your needs. What do you seek to gain from embarking on your marketing journey? More customers or clients. Well, duh.
But what is the path you wish to take in order to achieve that all too coveted goal? Are you in need of an all-hands-on-deck approach? Maybe you should hire an external marketing agency. Hoping to take it step-by-step with team members that truly understand your mission? Maybe you need to take the time to hire a team of in-house marketers.