One of the most common questions I’m asked as the founder of Ralli Marketing is whether businesses should build out their internal marketing teams or outsource their marketing efforts. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, after years of experience in the industry, I believe there’s a standard approach that can be applied to most businesses – particularly those with annual revenues as high as $10 million.
The Winning Formula: Outsourcing with Strategic In-House Roles
My advice boils down to this: until your business reaches a certain size and scale, outsourcing your marketing efforts can offer significant advantages. Here’s how I suggest structuring your marketing team:
- In-House Business Development Leader: Having a senior-level individual dedicated to business development is crucial. This person will spearhead your growth initiatives, ensuring there’s someone with a finger on the pulse of your company’s growth trajectory day in and day out.
- Marketing Generalist (optional): Complement your business development leader with a marketing generalist who can handle day-to-day marketing tasks and support the growth strategy.
- Outsource the Rest: For all other marketing functions, consider outsourcing to a marketing agency. This allows you to tap into a wide array of skills and expertise without the overhead of hiring and training a full internal team.
Addressing Common Objections to Outsourcing
Let’s address three common objections that often arise when discussing outsourcing marketing efforts:
- Cost Concerns: It’s true that external agencies often have higher hourly rates than internal teams. However, when you consider factors such as recruiting, training, management, and overhead costs associated with internal teams, the scales often tip in favour of outsourcing. The overall cost-effectiveness of external agencies is more substantial than it may seem at first glance.
- Understanding Brand Voice and Culture: The perception that internal teams have a better understanding of brand culture and voice stems from the quality, not the quantity, of communication. It’s about fostering a strong partnership with your chosen agency and ensuring clear communication channels. An agency can align with your brand culture just as effectively as an internal team when there’s open and transparent collaboration.
- Motivation to Grow: Motivation isn’t solely determined by whether someone is in-house or external. While there are highly motivated individuals within organizations, the notion that internal teams are inherently more motivated to grow the business is a misconception. Good external agencies thrive on delivering results – your success is their success.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Marketing Efforts
Choosing to outsource your marketing endeavours can offer several undeniable benefits:
- Cost-Effectiveness and Efficiency: Outsourcing allows you to focus your time and financial resources on core business activities, maximizing efficiency and productivity.
- Access to Top-Tier Talent: Agencies bring a diverse range of specialized skills and expertise to the table, offering a talent pool that’s difficult to replicate with a small internal team.
- Advanced Tools and Technologies: Marketing agencies often have access to cutting-edge tools and technologies that can give your campaigns a competitive edge.
In conclusion, the decision to build an internal marketing team versus outsourcing your marketing efforts isn’t a black-and-white choice. However, until your business reaches a certain size, the benefits of outsourcing often outweigh the drawbacks. By strategically combining in-house leadership with outsourced expertise, you can navigate the ever-evolving marketing landscape with confidence and drive your business towards greater success.
Remember, success with an external agency hinges on finding the right partner – one that understands your goals, aligns with your culture, and is as committed to your growth as you are. Should you find that your current agency isn’t meeting your expectations, it’s not a reflection of the concept of outsourcing, but rather an indication that a better-fit agency is out there waiting to propel your business to new heights.