For most small and mid-size business owners, there is always a trade-off between outsourcing and handling all business functions in-house. The increased importance of marketing in the modern business landscape has made the choice of hiring an agency vs. doing it all internally a very important issue with regard to marketing strategy.
There are many advantages to hiring an outside agency, as there are for keeping all functions in house. Every business is different and must decide for itself which is the best option for its continued existence.
The Upsides: Hiring an Outside Marketing Agency
An outside marketing agency has the experience as well as the tools to give your business a leg up in current marketing strategies, as well as with analysis for use in planning. Their entire business hinges upon staying on the cutting edge of marketing trends and developments. Because small businesses usually have a limited amount of human resources, having to market as well as perform the day-to-day duties of business may be a bit overwhelming for a company’s employees.
An outside marketing agency will also be privy to the changes that the major search engines make in their algorithms. This will allow businesses stay on top of search engine rankings with greater consistency, increasing the visibility and ubiquity of a website and the business as a whole.
The Downsides: Hiring an Outside Marketing Agency
Outside marketing agencies can be a bit expensive for a small or mid-size business without the budget for a full-blown marketing campaign. Although the money a company saves will eventually overtake the money spent on a marketing agency in the long term, in the short term, the bills for the startup of a campaign can be quite overwhelming for a small business.
There is also a bit of lead time before a marketing strategy truly begins to realize results for company. Most marketing strategies, especially online marketing strategies, need a six-month time period before they can actually begin working for a company.
The Upsides: Keeping Marketing In House
If a company can keep their marketing in-house, they will save the short-term costs that go along with hiring an outside marketing agency. These saved costs can be put toward improving business functionality in the present time. In-house marketing can also work much more quickly because the employees of a business know the inner workings of the business much better than an outside agency.
In-house marketing also creates a much quicker response time for changes in a marketing program. Marketing agencies usually take a longer time to implement any changes because of prior commitments to their other clients.
The Downsides: Keeping Marketing In House
In-house marketers usually do not have access to the tools for analysis that a professional marketing company has. This can mean a decrease in the return on investment of the internal time spent on marketing.
In-house marketing also takes away from the time that employees have to spend on their everyday duties. In many cases, a business’s current clientele can suffer for the sake of a marketing campaign that is not bringing in the amount of revenue that it could if it was outsourced to a professional marketing company.