You run a business, or a marketing team. You know how to do this stuff, right? So what are the benefits of outsourcing your marketing to an external agency?
It’s a rare internal team that covers every aspect of its own marketing. At the bottom of this article there’s a handy checklist to see if you’d be someone who benefits from using an external marketing agency. But let’s look at some of the bigger issues in a bit of detail first…
1. Obviously it’s important to choose the right agency
Example. A client we once worked with had their own team set the overarching marketing strategy; BUT then outsourced content writing to one agency; photography to a freelancer; videography to another freelancer; and PR to yet another agency.
They then put their PPC and SEO work with another small external agency, and web design and literature design to ANOTHER agency yada, yada. You get the picture.
We had to stop working with them. It became impossible for us to do a good job.
They handle their own social media marketing – just about – but the PR company does some of it too. The result? Most of their content is about banging their own drum (it’s a bit boring and self-obsessed) – and their core messaging is spread out all over the place. It became impossible to even sit down with them to have a sensible conversation about content strategy. Everything was everywhere, and every meeting was with a different person. Yeesh. We can’t work like that. We like relationships.
If you’ve got a multi-layered need for outsourcing like this, why not find the best agency you can – an agency you like working with (like us!) – and put as much under one roof as possible? It’s the only way to get joined-up thinking. And perhaps a chance to hang onto your own sanity.
2. ‘Internal means cheaper’ is a dangerous assumption to make
Firstly, does your team really have all the skills you need to do the job? Maybe you’re considering hiring a ‘starter’ to cover some of it – a designer perhaps, or a content writer.
Hurrah, you think! Hiring a starter like this is going to be cheaper than bringing in an agency. But what is the TRUE cost?
Think about the time your creative leaders need to give up, to train your starter. Hey – is that the best use of their time? And what if the starter is a bit hopeless!? All that time for nowt. Do you keep on keeping on, or start all over again looking for someone else?
Have you heard the saying ‘If you think it’s expensive hiring a professional, try hiring an amateur’?
Time is wasted, and mistakes expensive. Cutting corners can lead to disasters.
Get someone decent in. Sometimes a quote from an agency can look a bit daunting. But add up all the time saved searching for freelancers, checking their work, training them and possibly fixing their mistakes, as well as the time your creative leaders have to give up, doing what is essentially training and admin. Wouldn’t it be better to just call in some trusted experts and save yourself that aggro?
3. Your business has grown – or shrunk!
Stuff happens. And maybe you have a team that no longer fits. When times are hard (cheers Covid) it’s easy to consider reducing spend on marketing, but that’s madness. It’s THE most important time to focus on this, together with your sales! You need to fight for your life, win new business.
But if your business has grown and you can’t keep up (huzzah!), that’s also an issue. What was once a slick marketing machine is now under pressure, not keeping up and not functioning effectively. Maybe your business starts to look untidy and unprofessional because everyone is stretched thin.
Look at set support for set fees with an agency if you’re struggling to push forward, so you can budget – ultimately you can probably do that more cheaply than hiring a decent marketing manager in house. And set really clear goals and KPIs.
If you’re struggling to keep up with business – go you! But don’t let your marketing slip. An agency can help bridge a gap, or even put together a feasibility study and strategy so you know how to move forward successfully and smoothly.
4. Special projects end up taking longer
You’d think that having your in house team handle a special project would be faster than outsourcing. But the team should be busy with day to day work. And this can affect the focus needed to finish an extra mission – or take them away from their normal jobs. Neither is ideal. Your marketing creatives can’t afford to drop the ball on the regular work, so the special project – let’s say a website audit, or rebrand job – can take far longer.
There’s nothing like bundling up a specific job, with clear objectives, and just handing it to someone else to get on with. This is one of the biggest benefits of using an external marketing agency. Factor in a regular meeting with updates so you can keep track and we pretty much guarantee your project will get finished WAY faster than if you do it in house.
The benefits of using an external marketing agency
I could go on forever, but we’re all busy. Does this sound like you?…
- You are outsourcing copywriting, strategic planning or web design on a per-project basis.
- You don’t have a clear idea of your own USPs, brand personality or target audience.
- You’ve stopped thinking about the bigger picture, the outside perspective.
- Your marketing projects often run over time and over budget.
- You don’t know how to make the most of your website.
- You’re not sure how to remarket to existing/past clients.
- You don’t know how to measure your marketing ROI.
- You aren’t getting enough/the right sales enquiries.
- When you do get them, there’s no follow-up procedure and they slip away.
- Your website isn’t getting enough traffic or generating enough leads.
- You don’t have a clear strategy for your social media marketing, your content marketing, or any kind of marketing.
- You’ve employed a marketing ‘starter’ and it’s not working – they don’t know what they’re doing.
- Literally nobody has time to blog…
- …or do the regular campaigns like newsletters, press releases or email marketing.
Does any of this sound familiar? Get in touch – we’re a friendly bunch and consultation won’t cost you a bean.
Alternatively, we have a friendly little marketing Hub group on Facebook – why not join the group.