Businesses are always trying to get the best results for the least money spent, and marketing is no different. Although marketing is the key tool that can help a business gain more leads and customers, increase brand awareness and loyalty, and boost profits significantly, companies don’t always have the time to dedicate it enough focus.
So, what’s the best way to handle marketing? By developing a brand new in-house team, or by outsourcing your marketing needs to an agency with ample experience and practice in delivering desired results?
In-House or Outsource?
From a marketing strategist’s standpoint, moving past this “fork in the road” can be incredibly challenging. Many factors can influence your business goals and growth.
Here at Umbrella Marketing Agency, we’ve noticed that both approaches can bring positive results. However, this usually depends on what you’re looking to achieve – what resonates best with your brand’s mission, vision, values, and strategic objectives?
That’s why it’s crucial to investigate the pros and cons of outsourced and in-house marketing before you take the plunge and find which of the two worlds aligns with your desires.
So which approach will help you hit your targets? What will be the smartest option in terms of your budget and your time? Here’s our breakdown.
With a traditional in-house marketing department, you will have to hire and build a group of employees. They will be a part of your team and will work inside your company. Ideally, if you do your marketing in-house, and create a well-structured team, you will not need to hire any remote services. This also entails that you’ll have to control and manage your marketing team, just like any other department in your company.
If you opt for this approach, you will need to consider your marketing objectives, capacity, budget, and employee competency.
Pros for In-House
Obviously, an in-house team will be easier to reach and manage, as it is colocated.
Beyond that, if you are looking for active collaboration, constant availability, and a group of experts that shares your vision and company loyalty, an in-house team can fit that description.
This choice can also allow you to personally select a group of employees (or an individual) with high competency levels and unique marketing skills. In some cases, it may even be possible to bring your current employees from other departments and use them as the basis for your in-house marketing department.
Essentially, with an in-house team, you could gain an advantage if you choose a team that already knows the ins and outs of your business culture. In contrast to outsourced teams, an in-house group of professionals could understand your business plan and strategic goals faster and “live and breathe” the product.
However, all of that may be easier said than done. If you’ve already tried to form some sort of an internal marketing team, you probably know that the whole process is much more difficult than it seems.
Cons for In-House
One of the biggest arguments against in-house teams is that they require a lot of time and resources to build and grow. If you don’t have any connections with the marketing world, chances are that the company will have to invest a lot of effort into finding the right experts for the job.
Additionally, the onboarding process could be lengthy and frustrating. It’s possible that new hires could require a lot of time to adjust to their responsibilities and the company’s pace and work culture.
In most cases, you’ll have to work by trial and error. If you look at the bigger picture, you may not want to go through the entire hiring process. For example, your HR team could have a hard time finding experts with relevant experience in your industry. You’ll also need to deal with retention and will have to think about employee satisfaction.
What’s more, in-house teams can put a gigantic dent in your budget. Hiring a group of full-time employees and securing their benefits can be very costly. It can also be quite risky, especially if the team members are not the right fit for each other or the company, and due to that, they fail to deliver.
What Can You Do?
From a marketing strategist’s perspective, in-house teams can bring a lot to the table. In ideal conditions, nothing compares to a dedicated team that believes in the potential of your brand and works strategically towards delivering the best results for it.
Unfortunately, many companies are in danger of failing in building an internal marketing team if they do not know the right experts or if their hiring/onboarding process isn’t up to par.
You could avoid the cons of in-house teams with a good strategy, testing of potential employees, and sequenced hiring that will minimize risk. But, so much of it will depend on you. It’s possible that your business may not have the time or the resources to develop a brand new in-house team.
For starters, if you outsource, you can find and hire a third-party team of experts with proven track records and transparent use cases. This team could offer full-service digital marketing and cover the entire scope of your business’ needs, leaving you with no more concerns than their monthly fee.
An outsourced marketing team can offer everything your company needs, and they will often go the extra mile to show they appreciate you as a client. That includes research, strategy development, brand identity, brand book creation, SEO and content development, social media management, community building, analytics and reporting, graphic design, as well as advertising campaigns across any digital platforms that are suitable for your business.
That way, you can simply find the agency that fits your needs and is the most aligned with your values, and you wouldn’t need an entire in-house marketing team, but rather internal one person to make sure the agency gets needed support and direction from your side. Still, outsourced marketing teams can also collaborate with you and work towards your goals. If you pick an agency that understands the value of collaborative strategy development and execution, you could build a very productive and fruitful relationship that will last for years to come.
Pros for Outsource
The demand for outsourced work has grown rapidly over the past decade. Outsourced marketing is no longer considered a third-rate, low-quality solution. And many business owners are very aware of that.
While working with our clients, we’ve noticed that many of them consider us to be an extension of their business. They bring us in, share their goals, and we dedicate our time and expertise to making sure their business soars.
Therefore, if you are a bit worried that an outsourced team may not offer you quality services or its full attention, schedule an introductory call with agencies you’re interested in working with and get yourself an opportunity to feel the terrain, meet the people there, and see if they are in the same mind space as you are.
Perhaps the most significant advantage of an outsourced team is that you can easily reach a wide talent pool. You can work with experts who can handle highly specialized tasks. It’s possible to find specialists who follow the latest marketing trends that are specifically related to your industry.
All the while, you will not have to waste time and money on HR hassles. Also, you can forget about hiring and onboarding, paychecks and benefits, software/hardware costs, and overheads in general.
And if you choose the right team that is the ideal fit for your company, you’ll gain more than just time. You will get peace of mind, and be able to focus on other areas of your business.
On top of all the benefits listed above, it’s a cost-effective solution. The fees of outsourcing for one-time or long-term projects are significantly cheaper than hiring and maintaining an in-house team.
Cons for Outsource
A big con of outsourced work is that it may be difficult to establish clear communication. Things like language barriers and time zones could cause some hold-ups with your deadlines and task revisions.
It’s also possible that a remote agency is overbooked and unable to focus a lot of their attention on your business. Their team could be working on tons of projects at once. It may not be able to provide its full attention to your task.
How to Dodge Outsourcing Problems
However, in our work with numerous businesses, we’ve seen that most CEOs and managers are already aware of the downsides of outsourcing. It’s fairly simple to dodge them and form a productive relationship with an outsourced team.
The key thing to do when outsourcing is to pick the most knowledgeable team for the job and ensure they are the right fit for you and your company. You can simply schedule a conference call and discuss some operational regulations, privacy concerns, response times, availability, etc.
As a result, you will have a clearly delineated work breakdown, and an established workflow that will ensure everything is in place on both sides.
Furthermore, it’s very easy to dismiss an outsourced marketing team if the results are less than what you expected, and find another one. What’s more, since you are the one paying for their services, the agencies that are offering the best quality will respect your business, as well as your time and money.
Here at Umbrella Marketing Agency, we’ve noticed that the most effective way to avoid the previously mentioned cons is to be completely transparent. Simply open a very detailed communication, set up expectations, align on the deliverables, and make sure everything is clear on both sides.
Takeaway: Which Choice is the Best For You?
In the end, only you can decide what’s best for the future of your business.
If you want a full-time in-house team, you’ll need to invest time, money, and energy into forming and managing one. It could pay off in the long run but only if you have the right connections as well as the knowledge/patience to manage a team like that.
On the other hand, an outsourced team could offer a much broader skillset with multiple years of experience and for a lower price.
If you’re considering hiring an agency to cover all of your marketing needs, we’re open to have a conversation and help you decide.
Reach out, and let’s schedule a call!
Title photo by creativeart, Freepik.