Hiring a Marketing Agency vs Hiring an Individual

Source : Kaboompics

So you have your exciting new product, service offering or feel it’s time for a brand makeover. The very first question that has to be answered is whether you need to hire a marketing agency or a high an in-house marketing staff.

It’s a tough decision to be sure. Either decision could make or break the success of delivering your message and these thoughts are enough to keep you up at night.

To be sure, there is no single right answer to this question so it is important to know the pros and cons before you dive headlong into creating your campaign.

The benefits and pitfalls of whether to hire in-house or acquire the services of an outside agency can vary depending on what it is you are trying to achieve with your campaign and also what is the right fit for your particular company as what is good for one is not always good for the other.

Decisions, Decisions

Deciding whether to hire an outside agency or bring on a new employee is not arbitrary. First you have to ask yourself some key questions.

  • What kind of budget are you working with?
  • What turn around time are you looking at? Days? Weeks? Months? Years?
  • How closely do you want to be involved in every nuance of the process?
  • And most importantly, what is your end-goal for the campaign?

It’s not a mystery why some companies immediately balk at the thought of hiring a new employee, and which is why many companies choose the route of hiring an outside agency. That is why it is important to ask yourself the above questions as this will lead you down the path to finding what is the right fit for your company.

The Positives of Hiring an Agency

First and foremost, when you hire an outside agency you are partnering with a group whose sole main focus marketing. This is all they do day in and day out. Put simply, they live for this shit.

A marketing agency has the breadth of talent and resources to carry out marketing possibilities you may never have considered. And if they do not have the talent on-staff it is common for agencies to have partnerships that can fill any need that is required to carry out your marketing strategy.

An on-staff employee will often not have these types of connections, so when a large scale campaign is needed then the headache of finding freelancers and contractors is now an added burden.

The second, and just as important benefit from hiring and an outside agency is the money not spent on overhead. When you are hiring an agency you know exactly where you money is going.

Agencies are not burdened by the bureaucracy inherent in the day-to-day functioning of your company. Their time is not wasted on meetings, company events and other corporate responsibilities that can hamper an in-house marketing staff.

If you have a branding campaign that requires multiple areas of expertise such as design, implementation, marketing strategies then the pool of talent that agencies bring to the project is invaluable.

The Positives of Hiring a Full-Time Individual

There are also positive reasons to hire . Simply put, they are right there. Need a quick video for a Facebook post or a quick colorful paragraph for a client proposal you are getting out that day?

Hopping over to your marketing employee’s desk to have a quick chat about your concept and having it out the door that day is extremely appealing. This goes back to the above question of turn-around time.

If you find that your marketing projects consist mostly of these very quick out-the-door pieces of content then the allure of someone on-site can be very appealing.

The second advantage is about control that you will have over your marketing message. From your initial idea to the final product, you are allowed to have hands-on day-by-day (hour-by-hour even) over site to ensure that what you are creating is done to your exact liking.

The Negatives of Hiring an Agency

There can be aspects of hiring an outside agency that directly correlate to the reasoning behind hiring an onsite employee. The number one reason to hire someone on-staff would be proximity.

To be fair, most marketing agencies are but a phone call away from having a conversation about on ongoing product, but it may not provide the “warm-fuzzies” of having an actual employee that may sit footsteps away.

Keeping an Agency up-to-date on the latest project, if they are not pro-actively embedded in the creation process can become a job unto itself. If you want status on a project, a walk out of your door and down the hall can be easier than it is to continually pick up the phone to call your agency.

As we talked about in the positives for hiring an employee, if you are creating quick one-off marketing campaigns that only consist of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter then it may be overkill to higher an agency for those.

The Negatives of Hiring a Full-Time Employee

Your sitting in your third meeting of the day. You look over and there is your marketing employee sitting there during a Powerpoint presentation that has nothing to do with your marketing strategy.

The questions start to whirl around in your head. What about the logo redesign I need by COB for our presentation tomorrow? Who is doing that if they are sitting here?

The marketing costs and delivery time suffer when you have a marketing employee that is caught up in the daily hum-drum activities of your company. Meetings, vacations and sick days start to add up and your marketing campaign could suffer for it.

Have you ever been walking by an employees desk and see Facebook up on their screen as they scroll through the text messages on their phone? You then realize that haven’t had something for them to do for the past two weeks.

Adding on top of that is the costs of having an employee on-staff. Taxes, health insurance, bonuses and retirement plans all come into play when on-boarding and retaining an employee.

The excellent HR Resource site Paycor estimates that an employee’s costs can average around 120% to 140% of their gross bass wages.

More importantly than monetary cost though can be just the sheer commitment to having an employee. Hiring a new employee not only takes money, but time. That includes training time as well as time for the individual to become acclimated to the company.

Do not forget when you have to fill the hole that will be left while trying to replace them after the employee has departed. These can add up to substantial valuable resources lost.

Something to keep in mind when hiring an marketing employee is that often you are limited to the skill set of that particular individual. Even if you hire multiple people you cannot be assured that your hires have all of the necessary skills and resources to carry out your marketing vision.

Our House, In the Middle of the Street

As you can see the options of whether to hire an agency or whether to hire an employee can be very specific to the needs of your company. A solution that companies often turn to is a hybrid of the two.

They will hire an on-site individual or staff to act as the “tip of the spear” for all of their marketing campaigns, who in-turn will then turn to an agency to then fill the gaps where needed.

The benefits here are two-fold in that it gives the company a single on-site voice for the marketing campaign and also gives the agency a single point of contact while creating their marketing campaign.

Once you have answered the initial questions of how aggressive, as well as what your marketing campaigns scope will be you will be well on your way to making the best decisions to provide the most effective marketing campaign for your organization.

Thank you so much for reading.

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