Digital Marketing – Build or Buy? Or Synergize?

Traditional marketing communication is complicated. Digital marketing is exponentially more complex. You know your integrated marketing program needs digital marketing to make your entire program more effective, but how do you structure your marketing team to get the digital marketing job done?

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Build an In-House Team or Hire a Digital Marketing Agency?

There are pros and cons for doing it either way. Let’s consider them.

In-House Pros

  • You will have marketers dedicated to your company.
  • They’ll know your products and services.
  • They can better integrate program components.

In-House Cons

  • Recruiting and retaining qualified digital marketing talent is tough. Good digital marketers are creative and require diversity to remain interested. Will they remain enthusiastic focusing on a single company and its products?
  • Don’t expect to find good digital marketers who can bring a smorgasbord of skills. Content development, SEO, digital advertising, email marketing, analytics, web development, and graphic design all require very different expert skills to be competently implemented. If your team is small, you will not have a complete set of expert skills.
  • If your team is small and someone leaves, you will lose a significant amount of knowledge.
  • If your budget is cut, you will need to let people go.

Digital Agency Pros

  • An agency brings a team of experts across digital marketing disciplines to give you a broader skill set.
  • Agency partners will offer fresh perspectives from working with multiple clients.
  • If you use digital advertising, an agency will have better access to as providers, such as Google, because their multiple clients create a larger budget. A single advertiser will not have that access.
  • When an agency loses an employee, there remains the rest of the agency account team still holding your company’s knowledge.
  • If your budget is cut, you can adjust the agency deliverables and fee or resign the agency. That’s a lot easier than laying off your employees.

Digital Agency Cons

  • The agency is not a participant in all your internal meetings and discussions. You need to communicate developments to the agency team, and much can be lost in translation.
  • An agency needs someone on staff to interface with the agency. The agency needs input and oversight just like any staffer.
  • The hourly rate for agencies is higher than what you would pay for staff.
  • The agency may require your in-house team to implement some of its work.
  • If your in-house team is not providing the agency with timely feedback, approvals, and implementation, then you will not be getting your money’s worth.

When you look at various costs, you may well find that the total costs of having an in-house team versus a digital agency could go either way. You may assume that it is more economical to do your digital marketing in-house.  However, when you consider costs such as employee benefits, overhead and administrative costs,  and salaries, an in-house staff is expensive.

Whether an agency would be more economical depends on how well you manage them and their fees. You can work with an agency to deliver just what you need. An agency provides you with top talent while you pay for only the time you need.

The Best of Both Worlds – An In-House Team Partnered with a Digital Marketing Agency

The pros and cons above reveal that an in-house team partnered with a digital agency can create terrific synergy to power your marketing to new heights. You can build an in-house/agency team that precisely meets your needs, and thus your budget will be well-spent.

Let’s say your in-house marketers are not well trained and experienced in digital advertising. You could easily waste more money than the cost of hiring a digital agency. We see that often when we review prospect ad programs. You want digital advertising experts who know how to manage and optimize digital ad programs. Does your budget support hiring a real digital ad expert to be on staff? Having someone in-house who is not digital advertising certified and without experience can be really expensive running your digital ads. The cost of a poorly run advertising program will eat up all the savings you were planning on. Not only will you spend more than you need, but you also will not generate the sales your spending should generate.

A Digital Agency is an Extension of Your Business

A digital marketing agency does feel it is a part of your business. We work together. We struggle together. We win together.

E-Power Marketing sees many of our client programs partnered with in-house teams performing splendidly. A hotel marketing team excels at promotions and staging corporate events. E-Power supports the hotel with digital advertising to publicize the promotions, fill heads in beds for slow periods, and precisely target corporate events decision-makers. Our advertising programs generate between 6 and 10 times more booking revenue than ad spend depending on the season.

An educational software client has a marketing team with its hands full. The in-house team managed social media but was not happy with the results. E-Power analyzed their existing social channels to see where efforts would best resonate with the desired audience to achieve the goals and objectives.  Our expert analysis and recommendations created a plan on how to improve the response from the postings. Within two months, impressions rose 90% and mentions increased 110%.

Yes, those two examples are bragging. After all, we are E-Power Marketing, known for delivering results. But jumps like that are what you should expect when you work with an agency staffed with digital marketing experts.

So keep your in-house staff. Just keep in mind how the right digital marketing agency can turbocharge your in-house team’s efforts and skillsets.

E-Power Marketing is a team of experienced online marketing professionals dedicated to developing hard-working digital marketing programs that generate a strong return on investment. Enjoy our Midwest work ethic delivering dependability, trustworthiness, and accountability.

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This content was originally published here.

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