By John Horn
Choosing how to best spend your digital marketing budget is always a careful balancing act. Do you keep it in house and go the route that has worked for you before? Or do you take a chance on an external company that can try something different? There’s a number of factors that you need to consider including cost, technical requirements, specific needs, and how advanced the support that you require is. So what exactly do you need to factor in when making your decision?
How much are you willing to spend?
Did you know that the average annual salary of an in house marketer is $65,000? The average annual cost of an outsourced team of experts, in contrast, could start from somewhere around $20,000. If you have worked with the same in house marketer on numerous campaigns, and you have noticed consistent ROI, then it would make sense for you to stick to what has worked for you in the past. However, if you are spending a large amount of the budget on marketing campaigns that aren’t reaping results, and paying the large salary of an employee in the process, it might be time to ask if this is actually cost effective. Revisiting your budget and considering whether you can prioritize different avenues of spending might help realign your focus on areas that have been neglected.
What are your needs?
There are numerous reasons why people choose to keep their marketing in house. It might be that they are simply managing such large projects and require a team to constantly monitor and test different solutions. They might also need someone to be marketing in real time, monitoring changes or creating new social media ads to jump on the latest trends. Often these types of businesses will be driving enough revenue from those campaigns to justify the expense of one or two full time employees dedicated solely to those campaigns. In these scenarios, it makes perfect sense to have people in house who are going to be laser focused on these campaigns. But even with these needs, in house teams will sometimes tap into outside expertise to help with feedback, changes, and rolling out campaigns.
Out of house
One of the biggest pros to working with an outside agency is simply being able to tap into a much wider breadth of expertise and knowledge. With an in house team, you’re limited to the knowledge and experience of one person or team. It’s easy for marketers to work within their box, or get a tunnel vision idea of what does and doesn’t work. But when you’re working with an agency, they have the benefit of being able to see what businesses similar to yours are doing — essentially a birds-eye view of the industry. They have insider insight, and as a result, they’re able to see much wider trends and patterns in consumer behavior. It’s the best way to get access to the people who are seeing your competition.
Do you need advanced support?
There’s a lot to be said about the level of advanced support that is available from external marketers. Agencies usually have access to higher level support at platforms like Google and Facebook, which allows for quicker resolution of problems, access to beta features, industry insights, and much more. There’s a lot of value in having an insider contact, rather than having to call the generic helplines and being passed through the system. Not only this, but agencies can also offer exclusive access to new tools and strategies that bring ROI. External agencies are required to prove their worth time and time again, so it makes sense that they bring the ROI to back up their methods.
Do you need an industry expert?
No matter how savvy an in house marketing team might be, it’s easy to miss certain industry updates when focusing on just one strategy. I’ve seen various companies accidentally violating policies they didn’t know existed, and even getting strikes or having their account suspended by Google and Facebook. These are complex matters, and an out of house team can help to make sure they’re dotting all their I’s, crossing all their T’s, and keeping Google and Facebook happy with how they’re structuring their accounts and websites. Doing the job well is a hope, but keeping up to date with industry standards and trends is a necessity.
Whether you choose an in house marketer, an out of house team, or a hybrid of both, ask yourself what your needs are, what your budget allows, and what you would like to see being done differently. Often a change can be the first step to seeing better results.
John Horn is the CEO of StubGroup. He has spent his professional career focused on creating and delivering a unique, successful product to each client, every time. He spends his days looking for ways to thrive at the cutting edge of the digital advertising world, equipping the team at StubGroup to provide excellent service to every client, and speaking with businesses looking for an effective PPC management solution.