Agency Advice on the Internal Vs. External Marketing Debate
When you’re a small or medium business owner, it can be difficult to grow your brand effectively. One great way to help take your business to the big leagues is to hire a marketing team to help you with all aspects of your branding, design, and online presence. You can hire an internal marketing manager or team to work in-house, or partner with an external marketing agency, but how do you know which is right for you? Here’s the top three considerations for your small to medium business when deciding between internal vs. external marketing.
An important factor to consider when deciding whether to hire an internal marketing team or an external marketing agency is the size and duration of the job. As a small or medium sized business, your marketing needs may vary from a few simple tasks to a more complicated brand overhaul. If your marketing needs are small, very straightforward, or infrequent, an internal marketer who can handle the load alone could be the right answer. The added benefit of an internal marketer or building a marketing team over time is that you have them on staff long-term, without having to re-sign contracts every year.
However, if your marketing needs are larger, more complicated, or frequent, a marketing agency is likely your best bet. Because external agencies have so much experience, they’re better equipped to handle more difficult marketing needs and larger scaled projects. Although you may have to periodically renew your partnership with a marketing agency, it’s worth it for the complex project management they are able to bring to the table.
Is Speed A Priority?
Another consideration in planning your marketing decisions is speed. The benefit of internal marketers is that they are able to communicate faster than a marketing agency because they work in-house. If you need to hold a conference or meeting with your internal marketing team, it can be as easy as stopping by their desks. However, even though in-house teams are faster to communicate with, they’re usually slower to complete projects than a marketing agency is, whether it’s because of office disruptions, less manpower, or a lower level of expertise.
Because an external marketing agency initially relies on phone calls and email to communicate, it may take longer for business owners to reach out to their external marketing team. Although it can take a little more time and coordination to communicate, because agencies have so many employees and so much experience, they tend to complete projects much faster than internal teams. In choosing between internal and external marketing, consider how highly you value quick communication versus timely and quality project completion!
You know you want an expert marketer, but do you know what projects you want them for and what skills they’ll require? If you have a specific project in mind and know exactly what it calls for, an internal marketer could be a good bet. You control the hiring process to onboard an expert in that area to achieve your vision. But what happens when a future project requires a different expertise? Internal marketers tend to have more generalized skillsets that make them jacks of all trades but masters of none. Unless you build a very large internal marketing team, it’s unlikely you’ll have a high degree of expertise in every possible area of graphic design, web development, branding, SEO, and more. If more general marketing skills or a specific area of expertise will comfortably cover your marketing needs, an internal marketing team could work for you.
If you need several different skill sets or specialties, working with an external marketing agency is the right call. Because agencies bring together so many marketing experts, you get the benefit of several different specialties without having to hire a huge in-house marketing team. You get a high degree of specialization without the price tag and the security of knowing your team is well prepared for any future projects, regardless of what they entail. For more complicated or multimedia projects or just for a well-rounded marketing approach, an agency is the best choice for your business.
Hiring a marketing team is a big step for any business, and it’s important to choose wisely! Internal and external marketing are both great options and can even be used together. When deciding which choice is right for your small to medium business, remember to consider size, speed, and specialization in determining which style best fits your marketing needs.
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