Should your company build an in-house marketing department or outsource work to an agency? The answer is yes and yes. Here’s why the best-run companies have a strong internal team of marketing/branding professionals, but still understand the benefits of partnering with an outside marketing firm.
Some in-house marketing managers are great at strategy and project management, but don’t have a creative bone in their body. Other in-house departments have a writer and a designer, but no one who excels at big picture planning. Either way, you can find a marketing agency that has the skillset(s) to supplement your in-house department. If you don’t have enough work to support a full-time staff member, hire an agency instead of trying to have non-experts handle the work internally. (Have you ever seen a technical content writer design an infographic? It’s not pretty.)
Temporary Gaps in Staffing
What happens when your graphic designer is out on maternity leave? Or your web developer accepts a new job? Does all hell break loose or do you have a backup plan? A creative studio that’s already up-to-speed with your branding can easily step in and make sure work gets done when there are temporary gaps in your in-house department.
Most in-house marketing departments run just lean enough to handle the normal flow of day-to-day work. Special large-scale projects, like an annual sales meeting or receiving an influx of partner funding to promote a specific technology, can quickly overwhelm a small internal team. Having an agency on standby to which you can outsource this overflow work ensures all projects get completed on time.
In-house creative teams know their company’s branding like the back of their hand. But that familiarity can also lead to creative burnout when writing the same direct mail campaign for the fourth year in a row. For an outsider perspective on how to use the same colors and fonts in a fresh new way, it’s helpful to send select projects to an outside marketing firm.
Moral of the story? Successful marketing occurs when there’s a collaboration between internal teams and outside agencies. If you’re a CMO or marketing manager at your company, we’d love to hear from you: when do you prefer to keep projects in-house vs. sending them out to a marketing agency?