Outsourced Marketing vs In-House Marketing
The age-old debate continues, in-house or outsourced marketing, which is best?
Well, the real answer is… There isn’t really one.
It all depends on your business needs and the marketing approach you want to take to achieve your goals, which is why we want to ensure that those looking for marketing support are choosing the most suitable options for them.
So let’s start with defining in-house and outsourced marketing:
is a marketer or team of marketers who your company employs to develop, manage and maintain your marketing strategy. You get to hire and build the team you choose; it could be one person or a team.
is hiring a marketing company to work alongside your company externally. Your outsourced marketing team usually consists of various specialist marketing skills, spanning strategies, Google Ads, social media, copywriting, graphic design and more, all under one umbrella.
So, what should you be looking out for when you want to choose between keeping your marketing in-house or outsourcing it? No matter what it is you need support with, we believe there are 4 main things that your marketing team (in-house or outsourced) needs to have:
Marketing Skill set:
Outsourced marketing companies include a team with a range of skills which can work together to bring a fresh perspective to your marketing strategy and deliverables.
While an outsourced marketing team isn’t necessarily more skilled than in-house marketers, the skill set tends to be more diverse. For example, within an outsourced marketing company, there will likely be a web developer who works on websites all day, every day, social media experts who work across different clients and channels, and graphic designers who are trained and specialised in creating stand-out brands.
Specifically, an outsourced social media marketing manager will be skilled in ensuring they are always up to date with the social landscape and maintain a strategy and plan. They will also track your progress throughout. Whilst, an in-house marketing team may not have the time or expertise to dedicate to these roles.
In-house marketing, however, means that you can pick and choose your team – meaning that you can create a marketing function with the skillset you need precisely.
Overall, you will want to choose a team with a range of skills that can implement them effectively to meet your marketing strategy, stay current and relevant and help you achieve your long-term goals.
People often vouch for an outsourced marketing team when it comes to creativity because they can introduce an outside perspective with a fresh take. Usually, when working on one project for a while, it can become hard to come up with new ideas – and in some cases, this leads to marketing efforts becoming stale and outdated.
Working within an agency setting also means working with many different clients from many other sectors, meaning being versatile and thinking outside the box is vital.
However, that is not to say that in-house marketing teams are not creative. An in-house team knows what to expect from the organisation and the kind of innovative approach expected a little more than an agency will; meaning they can be creative and more flexible than agencies when gathering content.
Ability to keep on trend:
Marketing approaches, strategies and the social landscape are constantly changing, and your marketing team, whether internal or external, should be willing and able to learn how to stay up to date with current and future trends.
An outsourced marketing team prioritises keeping up-to-date with new trends to maintain a competitive advantage and edge over competitors when creating strategies for their clients. With diversity in developing these strategies – outsourced marketing teams often see more of these changes first-hand.
Whereas an in-house team may not have the same exposure in the marketing space or resource as their day-to-day role covers a broader spectrum of marketing services. Although, they may be able to keep on trend and up to date with their industry more easily than an agency.
In marketing, you need to be flexible. Not just in terms of content creation and being able to keep up to date with the industry you are in, but in delivering what is needed.
An outsourced team is there to plug any gaps in your marketing and help as much or as little as you like. They take the time to understand your company and market and can grow alongside your business and work to your budget and needs. Whether that is a short-term cover or ongoing support, we are here to be your outsourced marketing team at all times.
An in-house team, however, can be more flexible in other ways. By being internal, they can gather and curate content in a way your outsourced team may be unable to (or at least not as easily). Employed marketers are living and breathing in your business every day and will undoubtedly be able to pick up on internal conversations which can be turned into valuable content.
Choosing both outsourced AND in-house marketing
It doesn’t have to be the battle of in-house vs outsourced marketing.
As a team of outsourced marketers, we are here to help as much or as little as you like; we can completely take over your marketing and act as your outsourced Marketing Manager, supported by a wide skillset, or we can work alongside your internal marketing team to provide direction, additional resource as required and exciting campaign ideas.
Whether it’s a little extra support when creating a marketing plan/ strategy or just outsourcing certain services – agencies and in-house teams working together can be the best option for some.
You can combine the specialist and diverse expertise of an outsourced team with your internal team’s knowledge and experience of your company and industry.
Not only is this a great technique to use in cases where your internal team may need support or if your outsourced team isn’t able to fully implement themselves within your business, but it can also help to introduce variety to your marketing. You get the best of both worlds!
One of our recent clients who took this approach and hired us to work alongside their in-house marketing team was – The University Of Kent.
They approached us to create a strategy and build the ‘buzz’ for their brand-new event within just four weeks! To make the event successful, The Innovation Hub team were looking to double their existing registrees and create more local awareness.
Before our support, there was no consolidated database, brand identity or digital marketing strategy for the conference. But alongside their team, we made it happen and received some BIG results.