When you decide it’s time to ramp up your marketing, whether you’re just starting out or just looking for a change, you probably start to wonder whether you should outsource to a marketing agency or hire someone in-house.
Both have their benefits and drawbacks, but it ultimately all comes down to your business needs, what you can afford, and what your goals are.
With the goal of being transparent and providing real value to you, I won’t say that an agency is always the way to go. Hiring an agency makes sense for many cases, but each business is unique. If hiring someone in-house will help you succeed more than an agency, then by all means go that route.
Hiring an agency or a new employee (or team) is a big decision. Here are a few pointers to help you make the choice.
Remember it’s not all or nothing.
Before you decide on one or the other, know that there is also the hybrid solution. Many companies that hire agencies still have someone in-house for their day-to-day needs, while leaning on the agency for the specialties and strategies they can’t execute themselves. This happens in varying degree. For instance an agency might be hired only for web design work while content is completed in-house.
When I was working as an in-house marketer, I was the one doing it all. I was the writer, designer, website builder, and webinar host all in one. I made it work, but it would’ve been helpful to have an agency’s input and experience.
Be ready to participate if you hire an agency.
Hiring an agency doesn’t mean going fully hands-off. You’ll need to respond to communications and occasionally collaborate. At Big Sea, web design and marketing engagements begin with a great deal of client contact. We perform a deep dive and identify our clients needs and their customer’s needs. Be ready to assign someone on your staff as a point of contact. This person should have a good handle on your business, and what makes it special.
Know whether you need the skills of an entire team or one specialist.
An agency has a team with a wide variety of skillsets that go beyond what you’d find in one individual. Need your website updated, or even a whole new customized website? Need some design skills to put together a poster or downloadable content? An agency can do that and more. They’ve got a team of writers, designers, SEO specialists and marketing strategists, all working with you and your company. They may even have photography and film equipment, along with a team that can produce high quality videos.
While there are some highly talented people out there, it’s rare that you’ll find someone with all these skills plus all the equipment and software to make it happen. And that doesn’t even take into account the time it takes. It may be more cost effective for your company to outsource some (or all) of these things to an agency.
If you’re still wondering which is right for you, we can help you test the water and get a glimpse at what an agency can do for you. Contact us for a consultation and we’d be happy to help!