In-House Marketing or Agency?
I recently read an article titled “The Future of Small Business Marketing is In-House.”
I work for a marketing agency. And I agree.
But let’s clarify what this article means by “in-house marketing.”
The underlying sell in this article is consultation and training for an in-house Marketing Manager. This is one person who typically oversees all marketing activities for the business. They deeply understand the core products or services and goals of the company. They help develop and drive the strategic marketing vision to achieve those goals.
As an agency, we celebrate the move toward clients having a dedicated marketing resource in-house. This provides a single point of contact whose job is to push marketing performance forward. They are focused on that function, and we speak the same language.
But they are just one person.
Consider what a comprehensive marketing strategy includes:
- Digital Media Planning and Buying
- Traditional Media Planning and Buying
- Creative Strategy and Development
- Marketing Automation Strategy and Execution
- Web Development and SEO
- Social Media Strategy and Execution
If you’ve ever been an in-house marketing manager trying to do all the above, you probably understand why it often fails.
You are limited.
Not only is there not enough time in the day, but these are distinct focus areas. To do them each well takes education, training, and time. For most, an in-house marketing team is not practical or financially feasible.
That’s where the scale of an agency comes in.
- An agency serves multiple clients, so you can leverage a full-service marketing team but only pay for a fraction of each person on that team. You can also leverage the experience that comes from the trials and successes of other clients.
- Each member of your agency team is focused on their area of expertise. They are responsible for staying up to date on trends and training.
- Agencies are buying media for multiple clients – this buying power results in volume discounts which ultimately make their way to you.
- In most agencies, the relationship with the client is managed by an Account Manager. They work together with the Marketing Manager to develop and drive the marketing strategy and provide a single, cohesive communication point for both the client and internal agency team.
As a company grows, as the one did in the original article, it may become more practical to build an internal marketing team. For all businesses, the agency relationship provides expertise, buying power, and bandwidth that they couldn’t achieve efficiently in-house.
See the full article here: The Future of Small Business Marketing is In-House