The topic of in-house vs agency has long been disputed, with everyone having their own opinion on whether digital marketing should be carried out in-house; by a dedicated team (or person) or whether the services of an outside agency should be retained. Let’s face it digital marketing isn’t easy, and in order to succeed in digital you’ll need to constantly up your game, learn about new opportunities, trends, products and advances in order for you to successfully beat away the competition.
In this post we’ve looked at just a few of the key question areas in which the subject of in-house vs agency has arisen, many with our own clients and prospects. It’s a question most businesses ask and a decision every business has to make at some point, with many often reviewing their current arrangements and capabilities on a regular basis. Will an in-house team be able to effectively and efficiently seize upon new digital opportunities? Or will an outside agency with their specialised skills and experience help to meet potential gaps your organisation may have in regards to digital marketing.
Let’s look at just some of the reasons why you might benefit from an outside agency. Does your business fall into any of these categories?
1. The ability to benchmark success: Data and the ability to analyse and compare valuable insights from the information will help you make smart data driven decisions. Agencies have the added bonus of having huge amounts of data at scale due to the variety of different clients on the books. Benchmarking is a common practice that quite simply makes sense for any business, it helps to establish initial baselines, define best practices, and identify opportunities for improvement. Best practices and industry relevant experience can be gleaned from years of working with clients, ultimately they’ll understand what works and what doesn’t, saving you time and money.
2. Maybe you struggle to stay up to date: A huge benefit of working with agencies is the fact that agency professionals foster an environment of constantly staying up to date and sharing information amongst each other. Staying up to date can be time consuming due to the level and breadth of content that is out there to follow and consume in order to stay informed about current digital trends, so it isn’t difficult to see how in-house employees might struggle to keep up to date. We all here have our favourite blogs and feeds which we read regular to stay in the know in this ever changing digital environment.
3. You have previously been relying on other methods of generating new business, which has started to see diminishing returns: Whether we like it or not marketing requires a significant investment, not just in monetary terms but an investment of people, time, and energy. It’s never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket. An agency can help you discover the missing piece(s) in your marketing strategy. Every marketing asset needs to be tested diligently to find out what’s working and what’s not. An agency can thus ensure that you don’t miss out on an opportunity to do something better and for less.
4. Having trouble tracking and measuring current digital efforts: Tracking and continuously monitoring campaigns are crucial for achieving the best marketing results. You may find an in-house team don’t have the necessary time to dedicate to continuous monitoring and/or correctly setting up tracking. It’s therefore an agencies job to constantly monitor and track performance, while reporting on campaign success to clients. A good agency will move quickly, test repeatedly and constantly look for ways to get greater returns for a client’s spend.
5. TOOLS! Agencies have them, you might not: Greater economies of scale mean it’s far more economical for agencies to pay for the best digital marketing software and services. While an in-house team may use certain tools for their own needs, agencies are able to more efficiently operate using the best in class tools due to those same tools being used across a large array of clients.
6. Your business is new and/or has not been able afford or justify spend on marketing online until now: A fair point, perhaps one that many small business owners and managers have to deal with. However an agency can help you reach your revenue goals more efficiently, by executing highly effective strategies based on a sound foundation of experience.
7. Rose tinted specs: Your perspective of your business and reality may not be always aligned. Sometimes it takes an outsider to effectively convey where your business sits in the market when compared to your competitors. An agency can help deliver a clear and concise perspective of your business whilst also giving you a fresh perspective, in some cases helping you out of your comfort zone where needed.
8. Need help growing your in-house capabilities: It’s likely even while retaining the services of an outside agency, your business will have someone or numerous persons in-house who can benefit from the experience and knowledge garnered from an agency. Use the agencies own experience to build skills within your own company, your agency should be more than willing to assist you with any reasonable knowledge gaps.
Whatever your ultimate goals and current capabilities are, it’s always worth weighing up the positives and negatives for hiring a digital agency. Bringing on an agency is no easy decision, if you’d like to discuss whether hiring an agency could be right for you and your business, get in touch now. We’d love to hear from you.