Should you use a marketing agency to help drive your business forward?

Before you know it, your company has grown and you have become frustratingly aware of your untapped business potential, which you know deep-down could be uncovered by investing in a data-driven marketing strategy. The problem is, how exactly are you going to achieve this when you don’t have an established marketing team?

You could be suffering from a lack of resource, impacted by your recent growth in business, or you’re limited to one key marketing person who is spread too thinly to set up and manage an integrated marketing campaign. An important decision has to be made on whether to hire in-house or to outsource to a digital marketing agency, but what are the peaks and troughs of taking this big step?

As an established digital marketing agency, we experience a number of industries, challenges, campaigns and techniques that can take your marketing efforts to another level.

The brilliance of working with an agency is that we don’t suffer from ‘tunnel vision’ – we’re consistently exploring industry insights, trends and a plethora of talented individuals all hungry to learn and work hard.

So, are you ready to take your business to the next level? Your competitors are achieving a stronger brand reach and their marketing is looking much slicker. Until now your business has grown on referrals and strong relationships. You have managed without a marketing team, but increasingly, you are aware of your untapped business potential and are wondering how you can reach the next level.

The relationships and brand trust is already in place, so how can you build on your reputation to reach new customers? Do you recruit one or two marketing professionals to work in-house, or do you use a digital marketing agency?

You may already have a small marketing team in-house, but perhaps they are struggling to meet business demands and don’t possess the various skills required to develop an integrated marketing strategy. It’s vital to utilise content production; social media, email marketing, online paid advertising, website development and produce high-quality design for digital and printed materials.

Deciding to outsource to an agency is a big decision and there are advantages and disadvantages to consider.

The benefits of having an in-house team

  • You are the brand; you live and breathe your business and have a core understanding of how everything works
  • Your team is devoted to the company and are immersed in your values and culture – this connection is important so your team invests in everything they do for business growth
  • The team has easier access to internal data, which may speed up project work
  • Going in-house means you can spread a number of responsibilities across a smaller team
  • Your team is dedicated to working on your business and your projects only
  • You have a strong lead on every output you do, which can help influence your team to maximise their creativity to produce quality work, without this they could lose motivation
  • An in-house team is likely to have a varied skill set, which could also help with potential ad hoc jobs as and when they arise

The pros of working with a digital marketing agency

  • We work across multiple sectors and sizes of businesses so we have a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips to advise on how best to position and market yours.
  • We can accelerate your marketing efforts; an agency team is generally bigger and more specialised than in-house, so you can ensure tasks are taken care of and implemented with professionalism and ease
  • We take time to get to know your business and as part of our onboarding sessions, we throw ourselves into the day-to-day of your business so we can fully understand your culture, values and business goals
  • We set up processes to enable access to the internal data that will inform the campaign.
  • We have more diversity, experience and exposure to campaigns and industry insights
  • We are able to step back and look at the bigger picture; we are constantly on our toes to identify and optimise where our marketing services can excel together
  • We can offer an external and unbiased point of view
  • Our Strategy and Insights department can quickly begin work on a detailed research Discovery, working together as part of our marketing partnership so we can completely understand your brand, your competitors and your target audience
  • When we deliver a research and Discovery project for you, any marketing efforts are driven by data rather than ‘nice-to-haves’ and assumptions
  • Our agency boasts a talented, experienced and highly skilled team of specialists in a range of digital marketing services, which would be expensive to hire on an individual basis in-house
  • At Clicky, we’re flexible with our resources because we have established teams of specialists, so if someone is on holiday, we can ensure our output is consistent and supported by the wider team
  • Working with an agency means you don’t have to spread your own time or in-house resource too thinly, allowing you to focus on the day-to-day management of your business
  • Clicky is a premium Google partner and a certified Bing partner, so we have early access to beta applications and tools that allow us to stay ahead of our game and anticipate market trends
  • We won’t suffer from employee turnover; we have a department of specialists and a strong Account Management team who help us upkeep our service level
  • We are results driven and pride ourselves on achieving your goals so you can be confident that your time and money is well invested

The cons of working with a digital marketing agency

  • We need to spend time getting to know your brand and how your business works, which naturally may take a little bit more time than someone working in-house
  • Time is required to negotiate contracts
  • Agencies will need to be briefed on your marketing projects and business goals

The cons of going in-house

  • Significant funds are required so you can invest and train your team
  • Team members are restricted on resource, combining various responsibilities as part of one role will have its own quality pitfalls
  • As a result, the team is restricted on time and project completion is dragged out
  • The scope of the industry is narrowed, as individuals have a restricted awareness of the outside world and alternative markets, as your main focus is one sole brand
  • The team is unable to closely manage complex marketing techniques, SEO and PPC for example, which require continued management and improvement
  • Since the team is tasked with various responsibilities, the efficiency could suffer while they’re working on other duties and goals
  • As a result, projects suffer from a lack of consistency – it could even be weeks before any work is actioned and signed off
  • Budgets are restricted for use of marketing tools, and the business value and demand has to be proven – software licenses are expensive
  • Training costs can quickly add up and it takes time to upskill your team
  • More experienced and highly skilled individuals come at a price and hiring outright could be considerably more expensive

On balance

If you have a large budget, time, resource and the skill set to recruit a medium to large experienced marketing team, there are few limitations to setting up your own in-house marketing function, though the combined expertise of a digital marketing agency could help drive your business output at a faster rate, with a larger return on your spend, with a more focused strategic approach.

We’d love to hear your thoughts, good or bad (!) of working in-house and with a digital marketing agency. Tweet @ClickyMedia to share your thoughts

Written by Hollie Hines

Content & Social Media Specialist

Follow Hollie on Twitter