Determining when to invest in a new employee can be difficult, especially if your company is eager to grow but needs to be strategic about spending.
As an entrepreneur, I had to make decisions about when to hire, when to outsource and when to hire freelancers. As a marketer, I advise clients and potential clients which marketing features best fit their current situation and ultimate goals.
The decision to opt for an agency’s internal marketing (or both – I’ve seen many of them too) depends on several factors, including your current strengths, short- and long-term goals, and resource availability.
When should you use a built-in function?
• Your marketing efforts are working
If you have a lot of site traffic and can keep your sales pipeline full of qualified leads, keep going! Do everything you can to keep the marketing team happy and engaged.
But if you’re reading this, it probably isn’t.
That said, just because you have an excellent marketing team doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from partnering with an outside company. Sometimes highly qualified B2B marketing teams partner with agencies at the forefront of marketing strategy to improve their teams or test new strategies.
• You have the money and resources to support an additional team
Some people, especially in the B2B or SaaS business environment, find their product or industry too complex to outsource. They prefer to have dedicated marketing resources that spend all of their time learning how the business works, rather than an agency that typically works with different clients and industries.
If your company can use an internal resource (with compensation and benefits) and spend resources on training and support, you will be more comfortable with internal marketing than with an agency.
However, one marketing resource is usually not enough. Marketing requires a wide range of skills that are often not found in a person. And if you spend all your time training an employee and you leave, you will be the first to finish.
• You already have marketing experience
CEOs and founders often wear a lot of hats, and perhaps one of your company’s hats says “Marketing Professional Extraordinary.” If you have previous experience generating B2B queries or content marketing, you can quickly identify opportunities to optimize your strategy.
A caveat: B2B marketing requires a different strategy than B2C marketing. Previous experience with social media marketing, B2C marketing, SEO, or other marketing strategies doesn’t always translate to a B2B buyer in a complex buying cycle.
When in doubt, an outside agency can help you identify your weaknesses to ensure you hire a team member with the right skills.
When to hire a marketing agency?
• You have to grow up fast
It takes time to generate results from marketing campaigns, but it takes a lot longer if you don’t know where to start.
Developing and implementing an effective marketing strategy requires a lot of research, planning, and testing. There are many B2B marketing tips online, but they don’t fit your company’s goals? Often not.
• You can’t go wrong
Hiring a team of marketers to execute your strategy reduces the risk of things going wrong, sometimes catastrophically. The best marketing agencies need to be aware of trends and new strategies for success.
During agency interviews, ask them how often new services are introduced and how they do it. Will they guess or improvise? In that case, it’s not the right agency for you.
In addition, partnering with third parties reduces the risk your business faces if a customer or competitor questions something in your content.
Growing businesses and B2B businesses are particularly vulnerable to risk, so any steps you can take to reduce risk, including in your marketing, can make building your business easier.
• You want quality content without the big spend
This is probably the most obvious reason why a B2B company should outsource its marketing. Outsourcing delivers high-quality, results-driven marketing at a fraction of the cost of a fully in-house marketing team.
The real value of the marketing agency you work with is the talent and experience it offers. This allows you to add a dedicated team of marketers for a few thousand dollars a month:
- Head of the strategic marketing program
- Industry-specific copywriter, focusing on conversion
- Technology and data specialist
- Brand Aware Designer
- From others!
Even with the most comprehensive desk manager, the cost is much less than paying salary plus overhead for five employees. Many new businesses and large-scale businesses (and even mature companies) simply cannot pay so many people on their payroll.
In-house or agency: choose the marketing source that’s right for you
I can run a marketing agency, but I realize that outsourcing is not always the right option. Also, agencies and all outsourcing options are not the same; Every company deserves the solution that fits their needs, whether in internal marketing or agency options.
Don’t let indecision lead to in-depth marketing. Whether you choose in-house or outsourcing, your company’s brand should always be in the hands of a marketer.
Do your research to explore available options and assess the investment (and potential return) that best suits your business.