For most businesses, managing a profitable digital marketing strategy can be a big challenge. Different companies have varying levels of resources and levels of capacity to be able to dedicate towards their digital marketing efforts.
It usually comes down to two types of solutions: start building your internal digital team and allocate resources to grow those efforts or, take those resources and invest in an outsourced agency team to help your company grow. Ideally, you can take a hybrid approach and maximize your return on investment.
So, how can you start to break it down and decide what is best for your business's digital marketing strategy?
We'll look at a few main aspects that apply to anyone who is trying to put together their plan of attack.
The Battle for Profitability: Internal vs. Agency
We've designed a matrix that will help you put into perspective your ability for proper in-house management by comparing the volume of content and campaigns you'll need versus the capacity and budget that you have to dedicate towards your strategy.
Like any business or executive, you want to know what is going to be worth your investment and what you are getting in return for the expenses you are about to incur. First you need to analyze your own operations and figure your what capacity you have to take-on the task of hiring internally and building your own team. You also need to determine what level of production your digital marketing and content strategy will require.
Let's a dive into a few different categories and pick a winner for each!
1. Cost Effectiveness
Hiring internally can be beneficial, but finding the right talent can prove to be a tall task. Once you do find the right people, you'll have to delegate responsibilities accordingly. Often times we see the in-house digital manager getting inundated with tasks and trying to accomplish everything. There are a lot of moving parts in digital marketing: research, design, copywriting, development, PR, analytics, etc. This is no small task and your results will suffer if you can't get the performance you need in each area.
It all ties back to your capacity. Can you comfortably support a team of employees? Including costs like wage, benefits, salary taxes and any additional expenses that come with bringing on a new employee. Not to mention the time and money it takes to recruit, hire, and train that individual or multiple new team members.
In contrast, hiring an agency can be a bit less intimidating. You know the agency will already have the personnel in place for the skills your digital marketing strategy desires. If the agency is working in your best interest, they should be able to cater to your budget with a reasonable retainer or contract to fit your needs.
If you have the capacity and determination to build your own internal team, thats the better long term play. However, being able to "plug and play" with an agency partner could be the smarter move as your business continues to grow.
2. Industry Knowledge & Expertise
This one is a bit of a no brainer, but none-the-less important to your strategy. When you are creating and publishing content you want to position yourself as the expert in your field. Nobody will do this better than your employees who are completely in-tune with the strengths and benefits that your brand has to offer.
Although agencies are accustomed to having to adapt, nothing can replace having an internal expert to fuel your marketing content. Even if you decide to utilize and agency partner for creative assets and production you should still have internal resources to establish your knowledge with your target audience and keep your content on point.
Keep control of your content and keep your brand on the forefront of your industry. You'll need this to top your competition.
3. Skills & Scalability
How much time and money can you put towards expanding and diversifying your team? We've already touched on the fact that hiring internally can come with a variety of different expenses. Meanwhile, agencies are built to have people in place for all of your needs.
Although you may be one of many clients for your agency partner, they are responsible for making sure you get the final product you deserve. This puts you in the driver's seat and gives you the ability to demand results for the investment you are making.
When you are looking to get more out of your internal team, that's on you. You need to put the right people in place, trust them, and invest in the training and resources that they need to get the job done. Another important aspect of managing your internal team is maintaining employee moral. For companies with a strong work culture and leadership, this may not be too difficult, but for many companies it can pose as a problem.
It's not always so easy to fuel your digital team to success, especially if you are yet to have a personal understanding of the technicalities that their job requires.
So, which is right for your Digital Marketing Strategy? Building an internal team or finding an agency partner?
Although there is no set answer, we believe a mixture of internal and external resources is important to have. Even some of the largest companies and corporations rely on an agency to help them operate smoothly. Whether it's your SEO, social media advertising, web development, or content production it's nice to have a helping hand to compliment your internal team. There is no question that if you have the capacity and resources to build and manage your own digital marketing team, that is an asset that nobody can replace.
Regardless of what you decide, having a proper digital marketing strategy is crucial to the growth of any brand. Make sure you keep up to date on the latest tech and trends in your industry so you can keep your company at the top and continue generating new ways to profit.