Keeping marketing in-house vs. outsourcing to agencies is one of the most debated topics in the marketing and communications field. Which is more effective? Where is the expertise? Which will help contribute to the future success of my company?
While these questions do not have clear cut answers, trends of companies seeking marketing assistance have been shifting back and forth between in-house and agency for decades. In recent months, while companies lean towards in-house, how do agencies survive? Survival is based on intelligence, innovation and an evolution of capabilities that fit your client’s needs. Agencies that are able to provide effective expertise and strategic knowledge to their clients are the ones who will survive.
Working without walls
It is our job as agencies is to build relationships with our clients. This includes developing a deep understanding of their business goals and helping to envision what is next. A major aspect of the In-house vs. outsourcing debate stems from client relationships. One advantage agencies have is a holistic understanding of audiences across industries. While In House marketers may have firsthand access to a company’s business structure and long term goals, agencies are able to understand constituent groups of people and the different ways they consume content. This capability comes from an agency style workplace, in which employees work collaboratively and collectively. This work environment allows for integration between marketing, public relations and advertising, in order to deliver relevant, useful content. A cohesive workplace allows for agencies to deliver work that combines new and traditional communications practices, while grounding content in analytics and results.
Exclusive Focus on Content and Storytelling
In a collaborative and integrated workspace, agencies serve as thinkers, creators, analysts and consultants. At my agency, Racepoint Global, an intelligence-based marketing agency, we are able to bring all of our expertise to the table, concentrating solely on the client and their business needs. Agency employees are then able to focus exclusively on content creation and storytelling for the client, whatever that story may be. With experience and knowledge in the field, agencies are able to deliver content across various methods of storytelling, all while delivering one strong, single message.
Incorporating Social & Digital
While telling our clients’ stories, it is important to keep messaging consistent across communication channels. With plenty of experience and expertise in the field, agencies are always on top of industry trends. In today’s world, both social and digital marketing are equally important as traditional communication methods. Brands rely on the services of an agency to account for all of a message’s touchpoints across the customer experience. Today, as social and digital become more intertwined than ever, some marketers tend to draw lines to differ their messaging across platforms. Agencies have the know-how to create communication strategies that cross these imaginary lines between communication outlets, creating authentic, integrated content that deliver results for its clients.
Innovation and Accountability
Return on Investment and measurement continue to haunt marketers. So, when they approach an agency, they need reassurance around value the agency will deliver. Agencies need to step up their game by providing effective results for their clients. One way Racepoint Global has done this is by creating proprietary software in-house. Field Facts helps us understand where people consume information and to then narrow the playing field by targeting them more often – maximizing effectiveness and driving sales. The software is an analytics and measurement system we use in order to build effective and valuable campaigns. Every campaign and program we recommend reflects the intelligence gleaned from FieldFacts analytics. Every adjustment reflects the measurement output, and every campaign chooses the best tactics and services to support the audience and stakeholders we define and measure with FieldFacts.
Choosing to own marketing efforts in house or outsourcing to agencies will always have its pros and cons as different companies’ preferences and needs change. It is through these capabilities and offerings that set agencies apart, delivering integrated content for clients and their target audiences across industries.