We explore whether in-house or outsourced marketing is the most cost-effective and which gives the best return on investment
Today’s marketing covers a wide range of disciplines with a large proportion of efforts concentrated online. This means there’s a huge arsenal of different methods, platforms and techniques to master to achieve your desired results, but which is better, in-house or outsourced marketing?
Getting down to basics, what’s the ultimate reason behind marketing? Typically a business wants to boost sales although there are other reasons, possibly less measurable, such as brand awareness, customer engagement, thought leadership, etc; concepts that arguably tend to indirectly lead to sales & certainly serve to strengthen the brand.
Let’s assume a business owner wants to increase sales by marketing. A typical marketing funnel will consist of the following steps & associated skill sets:
Raising awareness of the brand and its products or services, using social media, content marketing, online ads, brand identity, etc, moving to creating interest, with blogs, online content, social interactions etc. Then consideration utilising case studies, trials, video which will end in the decision making stage, where demos, price, availability come into play, culminating in a purchase, necessitating ecommerce, user experience / interaction.
The above (very brief) list shows there is a significant and diverse range of expertise required; web, tech, social, graphic, creative, content, analytics, so marketers tend to specialise in certain areas. Doing marketing in-house would therefore require several members of a marketing team to be fully effective.
Outsourcing to a professional marketing agency is likely to cost between one and two employees wages, yet the business gets a full suite of experts for 52 weeks a year at a fraction of the cost, without the headaches of employment, HR, holidays / sickness, recruitment, etc.
Typically projects come in peaks & troughs; for example, once a website is built & working properly, other than the odd updates & tweaks, what is the web designer going to do for the rest of the year?
Google et al tend to change their algorithms regularly, social channels also change, adding features regularly, different tools become available; online is an ever changing arena, so the marketing team also needs to keep abreast or risk falling behind very quickly. Specialist marketing agencies tend to keep abreast of this organic world, adapting & relearning skills.
An agency takes ownership & full responsible for campaigns and ultimately results; in-house can often stall; waiting on this, that’s not compatible, this is the wrong format, we’ve all heard these excuses. Ultimately outsourcing takes all these headaches away.
Just ensure there is a a clear, measurable & realistic goal and you’ll find a marketing agency will give a significantly greater return on investment than in-house team.
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