Some companies maintain their own marketing team, and while there are certainly benefits to taking the in-house approach, there are also plenty of reasons so many companies choose to outsource their marketing. Let’s explore!
Not marketing is not typically an option. You need to be found, and without marketers putting your brand out to be seen, your solutions will be all but invisible — especially if you’re working against competitors who already have brand recognition on their side.
If you don’t have a dedicated in-house marketing team, you’ll either need to build one from scratch or turn to an outsourced partner. Marketing is too important to hand off to someone whose primary focus is on something else — or someone without the experience and know-how to develop a solid marketing strategy.
Even if you do have a small in-house team, you might need to outsource to get the specialized experience you need to excel in certain areas like content creation, paid advertising, SEO, and so on. Using a combination of in-house and outsourced marketing like this is very popular in the B2B world, with nearly 40% of companies taking this approach (Statista). So don’t put everything on the shoulders of one or two people — effective marketing often relies on an interdisciplinary team!
Money is generally the driving force behind a company’s initial interest in outsourcing. And it’s not for nothing; a marketing agency is often far more cost-effective than maintaining an in-house team. Just think about how much one full-time employee costs — hiring, salary, benefits, training, etc. Most agencies won’t come close to hitting that price for a year of work. Plus, the work one employee can do versus a whole agency of experienced professionals is hardly comparable. It’s hard to argue with that cost-to-value ratio.
If you haven’t used an outsourced agency before, the idea might sound daunting. Maybe you’re used to having control over your brand and handing its public face off to a team of outsiders feels like a huge risk.
Luckily, that isn’t how most agencies conduct business. In fact, the relationship between your agency and your internal team is hugely important to a successful strategy. Your team has invaluable knowledge about your business, audience, and industry that a marketing agency will rely on, and you can expect to be a key stakeholder and decision-maker in every campaign, messaging project, or published article your agency proposes. Generally, agencies help you break down silos within your company, rather than creating new ones.
Agencies employ experienced marketers who know what works and what doesn’t, and your company can only benefit from that knowledge. By the time you begin working with your agency, your new outsourced team members have already worked on (at minimum) dozens of campaigns. All of your agency’s work with past clients forms a foundation for their work with you, giving you a leg up when it comes to picking the best strategy and reducing your risk of running an unsuccessful campaign.
There are many different kinds of agencies out there. Some focus only on specific marketing disciplines, like paid advertising, SEO, design, and so on. If you engage with a specialized agency, it may mean you need to pivot later and go in another direction when you want to prioritize another strategy, or you may even end up employing multiple marketing agencies at a time.
When you work with a full-service agency, on the other hand, you make things much easier and more efficient for yourself — and, with a full view of each part of your strategy, a full-service agency is likely to provide better quality recommendations overall. Plus, your business and your needs will change over time. A full-service agency can adapt along with you and pull in resources as needed to keep up with your brand’s growth.
We think outsourced marketing agencies provide great value, but it’s essential you consider your company’s unique position before jumping into a new business relationship — and a good agency will be just as invested in making sure the relationship is a good fit as you are.
Your first step should be to take a look at your business and evaluate where you are and whether now’s the right time to outsource. Hiring an agency isn’t the right choice for every business or at every stage in a business’s development, so we recommend taking time to do some introspection and considering what your goals are — we’ll certainly be asking you about them if we start working together!
Once you think you’re in the right place to outsource, you need to find the right agency. Again, not every agency will be the right fit for every company. You should look for a team that has experience in your industry and with the type of projects you’re interested in. We highly recommend setting up meetings with prospective agencies and asking some pointed questions to fully evaluate the fit — try to come prepared with some idea of how you want your relationship to look.
Think outsourcing might be a good idea — or still on the fence? We can help you decide. Our team knows the kind of clients we’re the right fit for, and we’ll be with you every step of the consideration process to make sure we can help with your unique situation. So, send your marketing questions our way and test us out!
Libby is a Content & SEO Strategist at PMG. She loves digging into keyword research, user and search intent, and content audits to make strategic SEO decisions and optimize calls to action. After studying and working for several years in upstate NY, Libby has recently moved back to New England.