08 December 2017
In-house versus agency?
As a PR and marketing consultancy there is no doubt in our mind that the role we play in a company’s growth is essential, and as the market changes we also have adapted how we work as a business. We have seen our clients need more support than ever with their marketing – sometimes due to a lack of resources internally, or a reduction in in-house teams. However, even when budgets are tight, the communication process still needs attention and having a flexible resource to help with both strategy and day-to-day activity - such as social media updates and internal communications - can be a big benefit.
As a business, we have provided a marketing resource for our clients during times of change – essentially, we match an individual and their skills to in-house work, saving our clients the cost and effort of recruiting a full-time staff member. Many of our clients don’t have the network to source a suitable candidate or sufficient direct experience of marketing (plus are busy doing their own jobs!), so having someone come in and pick up what needs to be done straight away is a massive help. Even when there is a marketing team, sometimes the need to outsource is there and helps the existing marketing function focus on the job in hand while having back up.
What are the other benefits of outsourcing the marketing function to an agency? We believe there are quite a few…
• Having a breadth of knowledge and range of skills within one agency. Very often we mix and match what our clients need with the team we have (ranging from marketing, PR, design, digital, journalism) – imagine trying to find that in one permanent member of staff…
• Cost-effective - hiring one person is costly. There are holidays/sick leave/tax burdens etc to consider. Using an agency can ensure there is a set budget and there is always another member of the team to pick up any cover required.
• Skill set – having the flexibility to use different skills as and when required is always appealing. For instance, a client can be launching a product as a one-off and need branding, website copy, marketing material, event coordination, a PR campaign and social media updates. We can provide a team to undertake this as an ad-hoc project, without the need to hire a person for each skill that might not be required regularly.
• Experience – we have a team of Directors, Managers and Executives and with each of our projects and clients there is always a senior member of staff involved. Having the strategic input is essential and this is backed up by dynamic, creative individuals who build strong working relationships within the client company.
• Continuity – having a team working on every account ensures there is always someone up to speed with the work and objectives of the marketing function. We know people move on but when there is a team working on an account, the transition is seamless
Having that extra resource at your fingertips (even with an existing marketing team), can be of huge benefit to your marketing. Whether we work in-house or not, we always strive to be part of our clients’ teams and work hard to understand the culture of the business. More and more, we are providing a more structured resource to save our clients time and money – they hand the marketing to us and it takes away one job from their (usually long!) to-do list.
A number of our clients have benefited from our part-time and full-time in-house help.
Here’s what Philip Buchan, Commercial Director at Cyberhawk Innovations, said: “We initially hired think to perform an audit of our existing marketing efforts and work with our sales and management teams to create a strategic marketing plan which matched our growth aspirations.
“The outcome of this included a refresh of our marketing materials, a new website and upping the ante in PR and social media - as well as identifying the need for a full-time marketing assistant to support these efforts.
“think spent six months working in our office on a part-time basis which was of huge benefit to us – it allowed their team to really understand Cyberhawk and the direction of our business. This continues to benefit us, as their in-depth understanding of our services, USPs and target markets means they can proactively generate new opportunities for us, which has led to new business on many occasions.
“think’s approach is motivated, professional and friendly – exactly the characteristics we look for in anyone joining our business. That is why the in-house support worked so well for us, and why we continue to work very closely with the team.”