Manage In-house or Outsource Your Digital Marketing - What You Need To Know
Last month I wrote about the 5 Tips for Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Agency. I think however there is a sixth tip I didn't mention that EVERY business should look for in a digital marketing agency.
The term partner or "true partnership" when referring to an agencies relationship with a client is often used flipantly, but I think when considering if you are going to bring all of your marketing in house, or you choose to work with a marketing agency, partnership becomes extremely important.
While digital marketing agencies, like E-Power, will always have a place in the industry, it's becoming increasingly popular to bring all of a companies marketing efforts in house. In fact, as of 2014, 27% of companies reportedly no longer work with an outside agency. That number compares to 13% in 2013.
So the question is, what should your business do?
This is not an easy question to answer. There are a lot of considerations to make when deciding who will handle your marketing efforts.
Here is some insight on three of the most important things to consider:
One thing to consider is the overall cost benefit to either outsource or handle marketing internally. Marketing costs significantly more than a happy meal, so it's a big decision to make. If you are considering hiring a marketing agency to handle some or all of your digital efforts, or you currently work with an agency and are considering bringing your efforts in house, do a cost analysis.
How much is the agency charging? How much would it cost you to hire someone to handle it? How many people would it take to handle it?
It's always good to have someone who has some marketing savvy on your team to work beside the agency if you choose to go that route.
That brings us to experience. You might say to yourself, I can hire someone, or several someone's, right out of college and they will cost me "x" amount per year, when an agency costs me "y," which might be thousands more than "x." The problem with this theory is that person or people right out of college have either no or very little professional marketing experience. A seasoned agency will likely have decades of experience.
If you spend any amount of time on LinkedIn you've likely noticed an absurd amount of memes with Leonardo Dicaprio as Jordan Belfort from The Wolf of Wall Street. I can't tell you how much these annoy me, however this one really drives home the point of hiring for experience rather than cost.
Image from ElasticSolutions
If money is the deciding factor when making your marketing decisions, make sure you consider that quote. If you throw away a years salary on someone who isn't fit to handle your needs, you'll end up back in the same predicament you started in with less money than you started with.
The last thing to consider when deciding to outsource or handle marketing internally is the attention you will receive. More likely than not, unless you hired Homer Simpson, someone working at your company can be more attentive than an agency ever could be.
I think that is one of the reasons we've seen the number of companies opting for internal marketers. Many large agencies, as one of our clients put it, are just a "big machine." There is no real customer service or getting to know your business. It's simply about pumping out the service you signed off on without any real customer service.
This brings us back to partnership. Without a true partner in the industry, an agency that takes the time to get to know your business, you will likely be left feeling dissatisfied.
I don't believe there is a clear answer when considering how to answer your marketing, but the above should give you a lot to consider.
I will leave you with this. There are still agencies out there that work as true partners and will feel like an extension of your business. The client I mentioned above has worked with "big machine's" in the past and are now are working with us as a trusted partner.