Ahh the age old question, should you hire in-house or outsource?
A question that has most likely crossed the path of every business no matter the size or department.
Of course there is plenty of material about this online, so within this blog we are going to focus on the construction and building products industry.
Digital marketing is becoming a strong pillar in many business' marketing strategy so there's no doubt it needs to be handled one way or another.
So who handles your digital marketing?
First of all you need to consider your reasons why, and whether your business in the right position to. Ask yourselves these questions:
- Do you need someone to generally manage your digital marketing because you've realised it's been neglected for far too long?
- Or do you want to completely overhaul it with a full revamp, new strategies and campaigns to re-define your digital presence?
- Is your business able to accommodate the costs required to handle your digital marketing update? Whether it is done in-house or not?
There's no doubt that handling the digital marketing side of your business needs to be done by an expert. It just depends on whether you should hire in-house or outsource to an agency.
Lets see what the benefits are and things to consider when choosing between the two.
One benefit of hiring in-house is the freedom and flexibility of your costs. There are no additional costs, you can re-strategise, try new tactics and ideas without the worry of gaining costs. You can also be budget smart, adjusting your budgets and re-targeting them on trends and shifts in marketing.
With hiring in-house, you have full control of your digital marketing, right down to the nitty and gritty of your campaigns. It also gives you a quicker reaction rate. Any changes or strategy adjustments can be done instantly without the need to depend and wait on another company to do it for you.
This elevated control and calibration can be hard to come by when working with an external agency.
The company culture would be easier to convey to customers when the marketing is done in-house. There is a more direct approach to connecting with customers without the middle-man.
Employee company culture familiarity is a strong point to this. Being connected to the company vision and goals would make it easier to adjusting strategies and being one with the customers.
With a better insight to the products and services on offer would also align them more with the sales department. This collaborative working can prove to be beneficial, aligning strategies and targeting can be tremendous for lead generation and closing sales.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
The costs for hiring someone in-house can be as high as outsourcing to a construction marketing agency. However a fixed contract would need to be put in place whilst with an agency work can be halted almost suddenly.
Salaries vary depending on the role and with a technical capability required for this job it won't come cheap.
According to PayScale.com the average UK marketing manager's salary is £33,664. Which can be quite costly if you're an SME.
One thing you need to consider is the business's capability to hire someone. Do you have the budget to? Do you have the time to?
Time is a big factor when hiring someone. How long will it take for them to start working? Finding someone suitable, interviewing, on-boarding, training can be tough and all take a lot of time, as well as resources.
According to an article in Training Industry Quarterly, it takes at least 1 to 2 years before an employee is “fully productive”. That means that even after an employee has been hired, they may not be as productive as the previous employee for 2 years!
You’ll be losing out on potential value for months to years after your previous employee has left.
Depending on how urgent you need to get your digital marketing sorted, other quicker avenues might be more appropriate.
OUTSOURCING TO AN AGENCY
An external team can provide a fresh approach and perspective that aren't influenced by internal company politics.
A construction marketing agency is more likely to push the limits with their creativity and think of ways different campaigns could benefit your outcomes. Meanwhile in-house this could be suppressed through taking a "safe" approach.
Use Of Experts
Using a construction marketing agency will provide you with industry experts. They will constantly be up-to-date with all the latest strategies and industry changes with a breadth and depth of construction marketing knowledge.
Most likely they will know the right strategies and campaigns for your business to achieve your desired outcomes.
There will also be multiple forms of input, unlike with hiring someone in-house, with a construction marketing agency there will most likely be a team with different knowledge and experience on the matter.
Multiple input channels will provide an assortment of creativity that will benefit to developing the right strategies for you.
Network And Channels
A construction marketing agency will most likely know plenty of other agencies and businesses within the industry. Using this network can save a lot of time when looking for help with something, such as redesigning your website.
Most likely the referral would be a trusted expert and suitable so there's no worry about finding the right help for you.
Low Time Commitment
A big benefit with outsourcing to an agency is the low time commitment required. You just tell them what outcomes you want and they'll get on with it. Of course, an agency would need you approval before anything goes out for the world to see, but this would be less time consuming than having to carry out the task yourself.
You'll get periodic updates on the work done and results generated. But other than that you have saved plenty of time to get on with other more important things within the business.
There's no need to constantly watch over, you've handed it over to the experts and they'll get on with it. Easy!
With a construction marketing agency you'll get monthly reports showing you the results and work done. They'll show you exactly what has worked and what hasn't and would advise on what can be changed.
This shows you how well the campaigns and strategies are progressing towards your desired outcomes as well as new goals that can be formed.
It gives you some peace of mind knowing that work is being done and you'll find out what has been done on a monthly basis. Gives you more time and confidence to focus on other important things.
Expert Data Analysis, Helping You To Adjust Your Strategy
An agency will know exactly what metrics to keep track of and the strategies to improve and optimise them.
There will most likely be a team behind this analysing the metrics daily to understand and adjust campaigns and strategies when required.
Keeping track on metrics is no easy task, it can be easy to be overwhelmed with all the data on your screen. Understanding exactly what you're measuring is the key to optimising your strategies.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
The Right Fit
The main thing you would need to consider is if the agency you're looking to outsource to is the right fit for your business? Is it a specialised agency?
There are plenty of digital marketing agencies out there that provide services to hairdressers and the local garage.
But these agencies tend to be generalised, if you have a construction or building products business you would most likely want a construction marketing agency.
A specialised agency for a specialised industry will provide much better results. Why? Because a specialised agency will know more about the targeted industry than a generalised one.
Therefore better effective strategies would be developed to ensure the results generated are relevant and qualified.
Last thing you want to be doing is paying for results that don't favour your business's products and services.
Of course with specialised help there will be a cost to it. Although outsourcing may look expensive in the short-term, the bigger picture may prove otherwise.
When outsourcing to an agency, you won't just be paying for work on one campaign. Most likely it would be multiple, targeting different channels and using various strategies.
Over a long period of time, this can reap great return when compared to hiring in-house, where the individual may only be able to focus on one or two campaigns at a time.
Overall we can see that for both avenues there are benefits as well as drawbacks. The key is to determine which one is best suited for your business and your outcomes.
If you would like full control of your digital marketing then hiring in-house might be better for you; depending on your business's capability to do so, e.g. enough budget, enough time, enough resources.
However if you want this to be taken care of with minimal time and resource commitment then outsourcing to an industry specialist agency may be better for you.
Really it depends on the outcomes you want to receive, but either way there's no question that a specialist whether agency or employee would be required for this technical role.
Do you want your construction marketing to be taken care of with minimal time and resource commitment by industry specialists?
Why not schedule a free consultation with us to discuss your needs further with one of our construction marketing experts?