Should I appoint an agency, or recruit in-house?

“Why should I pay an agency when I can employ someone in-house on a full-time basis?”

This is one of the most common questions agencies get asked, and it is a completely valid one. Especially now all businesses are looking at cost-saving measures in a post-Covid world.

Getting a real return on investment from your marketing budget is one of the biggest challenges facing directors of marketing and business development.

I’ll be honest with you; an agency isn’t the right fit for every business. It depends on the budget and where the business is in terms of its growth strategy.

Recognising when the right time is to appoint an agency versus when to recruit internally can help support major milestones in your business and can often provide a creative addition to a lean in-house team.

Here are my responses to some of the queries around this conundrum.

If I appoint someone in-house, they’ll get the job done quicker

Internal teams can get embroiled in internal politics and often end up picking up other tasks to support the day-to-day running of the business.

This can have a major impact on planning time and creative thinking, as a result, in-house teams are at risk of regurgitating the same content year on year. Sound familiar?

An agency dedicated to compiling creative and engaging content is committed to delivering to the agreed brief, within budget and to deadline – and will often bend over backwards to ensure even the tightest deadlines can be met.

I will get better value for money from an in-house member of the team

It depends entirely on what you’re looking to achieve.

Are you looking for an all-rounder who can contribute to the day-to-day running of the business, or are you looking for an impartial eye to encourage creativity and help formulate a strategy aligned to your business objectives?

Working with an agency means that you don’t just have access to the knowledge and expertise of one person, but the whole agency. At CWA, we pride ourselves on having experts within every discipline so the knowledge you have access to can be a real gamechanger.

From microsites to e-newsletters, social media and PR campaigns, video content and events and an expert design team, full-service agencies provide flexibility to respond to the needs of your business.

Not only that, but communications agencies will have access to tools and such as media clippings services and social media monitoring tools, access to the most influential journalists and reporters, specialist equipment and technology.

An agency won’t have the same sector knowledge of in-house employee

You should expect your agency team to understand the key themes affecting your industry, now and in the future.

Very few communications professionals will have the same in-depth knowledge of someone who has spent their career working within that sector, but it’s not their job to.

It’s their role to understand key issues in the sector, translate mundane or complex issues into engaging and insightful content for different audiences.

Best of all, we bring insight and experience from complementary sectors and similar clients. We have time to carry out competitor analysis and bring fresh ideas from other sectors which we know work.

We are jargon killers and know the best way to get your message across and through which platforms.

Still not sure?

Consider these three questions

  1. Does your senior team have time to be tactical? Marketing directors being asked to do everything isn’t reasonable or effective.
    Agencies work best with senior leaders who have a responsibility for marketing or business development and are close to the customer. Agencies offer that level of support, allowing your talent to focus on what’s important.
  2. Do you have the time to train? I wholeheartedly support growing talent from within, but I’ve seen many times young ambitious graduates thrown in at the deep end with no proper training or support. If your business has the time to train and develop a new recruit, then that’s fantastic.
  3. Does your business need to be agile? Working with an agency gives you the opportunity to flex your marketing strategy to respond to what’s happening in the sector, scale up or scale down, pivot your content onto a different channel? That’s ok, we’re used to working fast and problem-solving. Appointing an agency at the right time can leverage your sales targets, help you grow into new markets and attract the best talent. But there is no one size fits all approach.

If you’re interested in finding out more about working with a full-service agency, get in touch today.

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Written by
Zoe Wyles
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