In-House Marketing vs Outsourcing – The Pros & Cons

In-House Marketing vs Outsourcing – The Pros & Cons

All companies need to engage in marketing activities if they want to succeed long term – you can’t rely on referrals and chance enquiries to deliver predictable growth. However, for busy SMEs with stretched resources it can be difficult to decide whether to task your marketing activities to in-house staff or to hire a professional agency. Let's look at the pros and cons of each option:

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Hiring In-House Marketing Professionals

The Advantages:

1) They'll Know A Lot About Your Business

Your staff will understand your company and the sector that you're working in, so they'll be able to promote your goods and services with confidence. However, if you don't already have marketing professionals within your company, you'll need to hire some - and they'll need to learn about your company from scratch.

2) They'll Have A Physical Presence In Your Company

In-house staff will be on hand whenever you need them, and you'll be able to keep track of exactly what they're doing and the results that come from each action. However, you'll need to have enough office space to accommodate them, and a line-management structure in place to give them guidance and direction. They’ll also need to be supported in their role by other colleagues, so hiring one marketing specialist might require 2-3 new staff members for them to operate effectively.

3) You Can Use Them To Carry Out Other Tasks

In principle, you can ask in-house marketers to provide support in other areas of your company as well. In practice, however, marketing is a time-consuming business, so they'll already have plenty to do. Splitting an employee’s role could spread their time too thinly, increase their stress and reduce their overall productivity.

The Disadvantages:

1) Employment Costs Can Be High

Hiring, training, and accommodating in-house staff can be expensive, especially when you factor in all the skills and specialist knowledge you’ll need to run a successful marketing team. Compare the costs involved with those of outsourcing the work before taking anyone on. It’s why only the largest businesses tend to have dedicated marketing teams – and these are often 10-30 people strong.

2) They Are Unlikely To Have Expertise In Everything

There are many forms of marketing, including search engine optimisation, content marketing, and email marketing, not to mention the minefield that is Social Media and paid advertising across multiple platforms. Most professionals only have direct experience in some of them. A marketing degree will impart general overall knowledge, but doesn’t guarantee expertise in specific fields.

3) They May Not Be Objective

It's often difficult for in-house marketing staff to judge their own efforts accurately. They may be unconsciously biased or nervous about telling you that things aren't going to plan. Even if you do employ in house marketing people, it may be worth working with an agency to put a measurable strategy in place with set goals your team can work towards with the resources at their disposal.

Outsourcing Your Marketing To An Agency

The Advantages:

1) You'll Get A Full Team Of Marketing Experts

An agency will employ an array of staff with expertise in particular areas of marketing to work on each account. As a result, you'll be able to deliver an integrated marketing plan and get great value for money.

2) You Won't Need Extra Office Space

When you hire an agency, you'll essentially be taking on an entire department without needing to worry about providing them with an office, desks, managerial supervision, or equipment – not to mention no employer’s NI, pension contributions, training costs, holiday or sick pay.

3) You'll Benefit From Their Industry Knowledge

Your agency will understand how various types of marketing work together and keep up to date with the latest trends. They'll be able to help you create successful campaigns and let you know when it's time to adjust your techniques.

The Disadvantages:

1) They May Not Know Much About Your Business

Each company has its own way of working, and its unique products and needs. However, agency staff are used to getting up to speed with things quickly. Choosing one with experience of working with businesses in your industry should help.

2) Your Marketing Experts Won't Be Located Within Your Company

If you employ an agency, you won't simply be able to walk over to team members' desks to speak to them. However, a reputable agency will always be on hand to help you and will communicate with you regularly.

Find Out More

For more information about hiring an agency, including a detailed breakdown of the strategies we use and your potential ROI, contact JDR and we'll guide you through the process.

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