Marketing is the lifeline of any business. An effective marketing strategy is essential to promote your brand, engage customers, generate leads, and drive revenue.
However, as a business owner, determining the best approach to manage your marketing can be a complex decision. Should you invest in recruiting an in-house marketing team or outsource the function to marketing agencies and freelancers?
Both options have their relative pros and cons and for your business and we will use this blog to discuss them.
Key Considerations for In-House Marketing Teams
Recruiting your own in-house marketing team involves making them a part of your company’s payroll and overall structure. Here are some key aspects to factor in:
With in-house marketers, you gain a team dedicated exclusively to marketing your business. They get fully invested in understanding your brand identity, products, vision, and target audience. This leads to alignment with your overall business goals.
Direct Control and Collaboration
Having your marketing team onsite gives you more direct control over the conceptualisation and execution of marketing campaigns. You can collaborate closely, provide timely feedback, and make real-time adjustments.
Deeper Brand Insights
In-house marketers develop an intimate understanding of your brand DNA, vision, tone, messaging, and assets over time. This enables consistent and authentic brand expression across touchpoints.
Agility and Availability
In-house teams are readily accessible at your workplace. This facilitates faster turnaround times, closely coordinated workflows, and the agility to respond swiftly to emerging marketing needs.
With in-house marketers, communication barriers are minimised. In-person meetings, brainstorming sessions, and informal conversations enable efficient collaboration and decision-making.
Potential Drawbacks to Consider for using In-House Marketing Teams
Salaries, benefits, training, workspaces, and other overhead costs make in-house marketing teams a more expensive option, especially for smaller businesses.
During slower periods, keeping your in-house team fully utilised on core marketing functions can be challenging. This may result in redundancy.
Limited Skill Sets
While specialisation is possible, realistically an in-house team may lack specialised expertise in certain emerging marketing disciplines like AI, AR, voice search etc.
Key Considerations for Outsourced Marketing
If managing an in-house team seems daunting, outsourcing your marketing to specialised agencies and freelancers is an alternative to consider:
Access to Niche Skills
Agencies often have specialised teams focusing explicitly on key functions like SEO, PPC, social media marketing, graphic design etc. This brings in relevant expertise.
Outsourcing eliminates the overhead of salaried employees. You pay only for the specific marketing services you need, saving payroll expenses.
Flexibility and Scalability
You can scale your marketing efforts up or down based on your changing business needs. This is easier than hiring and firing full-time resources.
Agencies work with multiple clients from diverse industries. This gives them exposure to a wider variety of marketing challenges and solutions.
An external agency brings in an independent, unbiased perspective. They can identify gaps or opportunities that internal teams may have overlooked.
Potential Challenges to Keep in Mind for Outsourced Marketing
Lack of Direct Control
While you get access to expertise, outsourcing may entail lesser control over day-to-day marketing execution and creative conceptualisation.
Weaker Brand Alignment
External teams may take time to fully grasp your brand identity and business objectives. This can dilute brand consistency.
Different time zones, multiple clients, and lack of in-person interaction can impede effective communication with outsourced teams.
Learning Curve Time
New outsourced partners go through a learning curve to understand your systems, workflows, and brand nuances. This slows initial progress.
The Hybrid Marketing Approach
Rather than limiting yourself to either insourcing or outsourcing your marketing completely, consider a hybrid model. Maintain a core in-house marketing team to handle the central work aligned with business objectives. Complement them by outsourcing specialised marketing tasks and projects to relevant experts.
This balances consistent brand storytelling with access to cutting-edge marketing capabilities beyond your core competencies. The in-house team manages your brand’s essence while outsourced partners provide supplementary skills and bandwidth.
Key Factors to Consider when Deciding Whether Inhouse or Outsourced Marketing is Right For Your Business
Here is an expanded explanation of the key factors to consider when deciding between in-house or outsourced marketing here are six crucial considerations –
1. Existing In-House Capabilities and Skill Gaps
Audit your current marketing team’s knowledge and expertise across channels like content, social media, SEO, PPC, email etc. Identify any gaps in skills or capacity that may necessitate bringing on additional in-house hires versus outsourcing those tactical needs.
2. Available Marketing Bandwidth
Gauge if your current team has the bandwidth to take on additional initiatives proposed in your marketing roadmap based on their current workloads. Limited bandwidth signals a need for supplemental outsourced support.
3. Projected Marketing Needs and Growth Plans
Factor in upcoming marketing goals for the next 6-12 months outlined in your business plan. If major expansions or new channels are planned, outsourced expertise may be required.
4. Total Budget and Affordability
Weigh the cost savings and flexibility of outsourcing against the fixed overhead of building in-house teams. Consider the investment required to achieve marketing goals through each model.
5. Need for Direct Control
Evaluate whether you require full in-house oversight of marketing execution vs being comfortable delegating defined aspects to an external partner. More complex activities may warrant tighter control.
6. Expected Timelines for Impact
If marketing success metrics need to be achieved quickly, leveraging an established agency with ready expertise may accelerate outcomes vs gradually building in-house capabilities.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Analysing your specific scenario across these parameters will lead you towards the ideal mix of in-house and outsourced marketing resources. Be open to hybrid models as well. The combination that allows you to execute marketing strategies most efficiently is the right approach.
Talk to Piece of Cake Marketing about their Outsourced Marketing and Hybrid Marketing Solutions
At Piece of Cake Marketing, we have lots of ways to support your business and we always tailor our services to the needs of your business.
So, whether you are looking to outsource your marketing, need an interim marketing solution or decide to do it in-house, why not get in touch with us? Call Emma on 07799626332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.