Figuring out when to invest in a new hire can be difficult, especially if your business is eager to grow but needs to be strategic about spending.
As an entrepreneurI had to decide when to hire, when to outsource and when to contract freelancers. As a marketer, I advise prospects and clients on the most appropriate marketing resources for their current situation and their ultimate goals.
The decision to go for internal marketing over an agency (or both – I’ve seen a lot of that too) depends on several factors, including your current strengths, short and long term goals, and resource availability. .
When to use an internal resource
1. Your marketing efforts are working
If you have tons of website traffic and you manage to keep your sales pipeline full of qualified leads, keep going! Do what you can to keep this marketing team happy and engaged.
But if you’re reading this article, you probably aren’t.
That said, even having a killer marketing team doesn’t mean you wouldn’t benefit from partnering with an outside company as well. Sometimes, highly skilled B2B marketing teams team up with agencies at the forefront of marketing strategy to improve their teams’ skills or test new strategies.
2. You have the money and resources to support additional staff
Some people, especially in the B2B business or the SaaS space, think their product or industry is simply too complex to outsource. They would rather have dedicated marketing resources that spend all of their time learning how the business works rather than an agency that typically juggles multiple clients and industries.
If your business can afford to hire an internal resource (with salary and benefits) and dedicate training and support resources, you might feel more comfortable with internal marketing than an agency. .
However, a marketing resource is usually not enough. Marketing requires a wide range of skills that is often not found in one person. And if you spend all of your time training an employee and that employee leaves, you’ll end up at square one.
3. You already have marketing expertise
CEOs and Founders often wear many hats, and maybe in your company one of those hats is called “Marketer Extraordinary”. If you have previous experience in B2B demand generation or content marketing, you may be able to quickly identify opportunities to optimize your strategy.
A word of warning, however: B2B marketing requires a different strategy B2C marketing. Previous experience with social media marketing, B2C marketing, SEO, or other marketing strategies doesn’t always translate when targeting a B2B buyer in a complex buying cycle.
When in doubt, consulting 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
1. You have to grow taller quickly
Generating results from marketing campaigns takes time, but it takes a lot longer if you don’t know where to start.
Building and executing an effective marketing strategy takes a lot of research, planning, and testing. There are a lot of B2B marketing tips online, but do any of them match your own business goals? Often not.
Marketing agencies have done all of this work already, and they can quickly come up with a plan. They have worked with companies like yours before and can immediately recommend strategies that will help you achieve your goals.
In my agency, we always test new practices on ourselves first so that any recommendation comes from a place of experience. Effective marketing naturally requires some trial and error, but why spend your time (and money) from scratch when you can easily and inexpensively call on the expertise of an entire marketing team?
2. You can’t afford mistakes
Hiring a team of experienced marketers to execute your strategy lowers the risk of something is wrong-sometimes catastrophic. The best marketing agencies must stay abreast of trends and new strategies for success.
When interviewing agencies, ask them how often they are rolling out new services and how they are doing it. Do they guess it or like it? If so, this is not the agency for you.
Plus, partnering with a third party minimizes any risk that could impact your business if a customer or competitor disputes something in your content.
Growing startups and B2B businesses are particularly vulnerable to risk, so any steps you can take to mitigate that risk, even in your marketing, can make it easier to build your business.
3. You want quality content without big expense
This is probably the most obvious reason why a B2B business would outsource their marketing. Outsourcing gives you quality, results-driven marketing at a fraction of the cost of a full in-house marketing team.
The real value of the marketing agency you partner with is the talent and experience they offer. Thanks to it, for a few thousand dollars per month, you can add a dedicated team of marketers:
- Strategic Marketing Program Manager
- Industry-specific, conversion-oriented copywriter
- Technology and Data Specialist
- Brand-conscious designer
Even with the most inclusive agency fees, the cost is far less than the salary and overhead of five employees. Many startups and scale-ups (and even mature companies) just can’t afford that many people on their payroll.
In-house or in an agency: choose the marketing resource that suits you
I may be running a marketing agency, but I recognize that outsourcing is not always the right option. In addition, not all agencies and all outsourcing options are the same; Every business deserves to find the solution that matches their needs, whether it’s internal marketing or agency options.
Don’t let indecision leave marketing on the back burner. Whether you choose insourcing or outsourcing, branding your business should always be the responsibility of a marketer.
Do your research to explore the options available and assess the investment (and potential return) that best fits your business.