Why just hiring in-house marketing is not enough

8 min read

Why just hiring in-house marketing is not enoughSo you’ve decided it’s time to invest in some marketing and are considering the pros and cons of hiring an in-house marketer versus outsourcing to a marketing agency. For obvious reasons, we think hiring a marketing agency is a stupendous idea, but that doesn’t mean it is the right choice for you. When it comes down to it, you must consider your company’s individual needs, budget, and goals.

Below we’ve put together a comparison chart that outlines what you can expect when you hire an agency versus an in-house marketer. But don’t be fooled; this decision is not completely black and white, either/or. There is lots of room for grey here and we actually think that in many instances, neither option on its own makes the best solution.

 With a marketing agency, you get...

 With an in-house marketer, you get...

 A team of specialists

 With an agency you get access to specialists in the  area of SEO, content writing, strategy, conversions,  design, PR and more.

 One generalist

 When you hire just one person you typically get a  generalist with broad knowledge across multiple  areas of marketing. They may have one or two  specialties, but they aren’t going to give you deep  knowledge across every area of marketing.

 Strategists and tactical experts

 A good marketing agency can create strategy, execute  the plan and track the results.

 Either a strategist or a tactical expert

 Typically a marketer is either great at developing  strategy or executing the tactical aspects of  marketing, but it can be hard (or very expensive) to  find one that is good at both.

 An outsider

 An agency is not available to you 24/7 as they are  balancing other clients’ needs as well. On the flip side  you get to benefit from their special insight into what  is and is not working at other companies.

 An insider

 An in-house marketing manager is fully dedicated to  your business and have relatively easy access to  decision makers. After all, they probably pass them in  the hall, or run into them at the coffee cart on their  way into work.

 Marketing industry experts

 Agencies stay connected to the industry at large and  are often first to know about the latest trends,  technologies and methodologies in marketing.

 An expert in your industry

 While an in-house marketer may be more in-tune with  your specific industry, it is often hard for them to stay  on the cutting edge of the latest and greatest in the  marketing industry too.

 A variable cost

 Agencies sometimes have a higher cost per hour than  an in-house staff member, but your overall cost is  variable and can easily be dialled up or down  depending on your current needs, budget and goals.

 Fixed cost

 Once hired, an in-house marketer becomes a fixed  overhead cost. While their hourly rate may look lower  than an agency’s on the surface, keep in mind that    your cost of employment is more than just their  salary.  You will be paying salary + benefits + payroll  taxes. You also cover their non-productive hours, sick  days and holidays.

 Access to tools and resources

 Agencies invest heavily in the best tools, software and  resources to create beautiful marketing collateral.  When you hire an agency, you get more than their  time; you get access to their resources.

 To buy tools and resources

 It takes more than personnel to execute a stellar  marketing strategy. Your marketer will also need  design software, tools, resources and equipment to  pull together your collateral. When you do everything  in-house you have to purchase this yourself.

 To start small, test, and expand

 When hiring an agency, you can start by contracting  them for a small project, test the relationship and  then expand it if they dazzle you with their results.

 To put all your eggs in one basket

 For all sorts of reasons (HR and other), it can be  difficult to let go of a staff member once they are  hired. If you make a bad hire, it may take a while  before you can recuperate.

Why you should hire both a marketing agency and an in-house marketer

Hmmm. Decisions. Decisions. As you can see there are pros and cons to both scenarios but, we like to think you can have your cake and eat it too. In fact, when you hire both an agency and an in-house marketer to manage that agency, a beautiful thing happens. You get the best of both worlds and you will probably get even better work out of the both of them. Sometimes the whole is more than just the sum of its parts.

Below are five reasons why you should consider hiring both a marketing agency and an in-house marketer:

  1. Iron sharpens iron; they will learn from one another: An agency can help to mentor, train, and upskill your in-house marketing personnel so you can get better quality work out of him or her. Likewise, your in-house marketing whiz has specific knowledge and up-close exposure to your specific business and industry. He or she can brief the agency on what they need to know to help supercharge their work and keep the collaborative relationship in tiptop shape.

  2. Guarantees access, but protects time: Outsourcing 100% of your marketing to an agency does not mean that it is going to be a 100% hands-free situation for you. The agency will still need time and attention from key stakeholders and decision makers, like you. Having an in-house liaison to help manage this relationship ensures the agency gets access to the right people when needed, while taking care of all the minutiae that comes up along the way to protect the precious time of your management team.

  3. Keeps projects moving forward: Slow and steady wins the race. When resources are stretched thin (as they often are in growing companies) your in-house marketer might get pulled in all different directions. Meanwhile, your agency remains relatively unscathed by internal pressures and can keep making progress on your longer-term, strategic projects while your staff focuses on keeping the business humming day-to-day.

  4. Creates checks and balances: There will be accountability between your agency and in-house marketer. If they start telling you two different things, it might be an indicator that you should get involved and sniff around a bit.

  5. Gets you more bang for your buck by maximising your marketing budget: If you have budget constraints (and we all do), consider leveraging the skills and areas of expertise that you have in-house and then outsource the parts in which you are not quite as proficient. This winning combo is often more productive than having an in-house marketer alone, but less costly than outsourcing it all.

Some of our best results have been with clients that use our services and have an in-house marketer too. We find it becomes a collaborative, dare we say alchemising, relationship that generates incredible, creative, and productive marketing results. See our case study on two such clients, Higgins and Kyocera. The proof is in the pudding after all, and our pudding is pretty darn impressive.

So are you ready to get started with an agency? Download our 7-step checklist to choosing your inbound agency.

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Brand chemistry is a strategic inbound marketing agency that goes the extra mile to deliver results for our b2b clients. Our inbound marketing specialists are HubSpot certified and use the latest techniques to provide our clients with a steady stream of relevant new leads.

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