Tips on outsourcing marketing to an agency
There are many pros to having in-house marketing teams:
- Locality:They are at their desks when you need them and you can call on them at any time from 9am to 5pm.
- Knowledge: They know what you like and what you don't like. Typically marketers in-house have a better grasp on your business and are able to communicate your value proposition to prospects and customers.
- Team: The team work environment often leads to empowered employees who come up with great ideas.
- Accountability: They are responsible not only to the person who hired them, but to the entire company to ensure that they generate enough leads for sales to do their jobs.
- Lower hourly rate.
The cons of having an in-house marketing team:
- Skill levels: marketers tend to be good at one or two things, but not across the entire marketing mix
- If you give someone an entire day to do something, they will take an entire day.
- Exposure to marketing of competitors and other like industries is typically limited.
- Depending on what level, many marketers take their position as a job, not a career.
- Less challenging working for one brand and can create boredom and lack of creativity.
- Cost of salaries versus efficiency and cost of agency is higher.
- Co-ordination of marketing activities doesn't need a qualified marketer. An administration staff member is more than capable and lower cost.
Using an agency has many pros too:
- A fresh set of eyes on your marketing
- Less likely to be 'yes' people and are usually confident enough to say what works and what doesn't
- More resources in-house like design, public relations, web, digital, social media and communications, and therefore not relying on a marketer to wear many hats
- ROI focus is heightened. No contract if results are not shown.
- Better trained. You need to be a better marketer if you work in agency land as expectations are higher.
- Higher cost per hour, but better ROI. Every hour they work, they work.
- Analytics is their scorecard and they know it.
The negatives of marketing agencies as an outsourced marketing department:
- Cost per hour is higher.
- Availability may be limited due to the number of hours your have hired the marketing agency to work on your account.
- Turnover of staff is higher in agencies and therefore you may be working with more than one account manager.
- The account manager doesn't know you as well as a staff member would, so expect to be challenged.
- Explaining what you do can be arduous if you work in a complex field, so specialists are necessary.
Having been both in-house and the outsourced marketing manager for a company, I know the importance understanding the merit of each option. In times like these, having in-house resources is a luxury as combined salaries often are the deciding factors.
Marketing Eye works as an outsourced marketing agency for small and mid-tier businesses for $3,000 per month. Even a double retainer is usually more efficient and effective than having an inhouse resource, and it will save the company money. What agencies have is metrics, data, and technology to catapult marketing performance. They are geared to tough situations and work on ensuring that companies stand out from the crowd rather than blend in. So if your budget for marketing is under $100k then outsource. If it is over, have at least one resource in-house.
US companies are outsourcing their marketing to Marketing Eye due to the drop in the Australian dollar. Our teams in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne are being inundated with calls from companies that want their accounts managed out of the US but the work done in Australia.