My 6th contribution to the category: Marketing for Printers, takes us into the world of marketing agencies vs. in-house marketing departments.
I’ll begin by introducing myself; I’ve worked full-time with internet marketing, sales and website design since 2005. I managed a small website company, owned and operated my marketing agency and now work exclusively (in-house) for Heritage Printing.
Determining between a marketing agency or an in-house marketing department is based on your goals and finances. It’s a “get what you pay for” world, in-house will cost more, but will return a greater value, an agency is less expensive, and it typically takes longer to reach your goals. If your aspirations are to grow exponentially, develop an in-house team, if money is an issue, an agency can design a plan you can afford.
You Get What You Pay For
In-house Marketing: a person or persons, working full-time, on-site, to develop and manage the marketing of a company.
Duties can include, but not limited to:
Marketing For Printers
The largest advantage is time, marketing happens much faster with a dedicated department, he/she/they can dedicate days and/or weeks to a single project and reach very high goals quickly. Changes can be made immediately, simply by asking vs asking and waiting your turn in the queue with an agency. Control over the marketing is easy with an in-house team, reports and meetings can be scheduled weekly or bi-weekly.
The disadvantages are cost, a good marketing person/team has high value and high cost, small businesses may not be able to absorb this cost until the return on that investment pays off.
Marketing For Printers
Marketing Agency: a 3rd party vendor hired to manage specific marketing projects. Duties can include all the above and more. The advantages are diversity, having a team brainstorm an idea, will provide multiple good opinions and objectives to overcome obstacles and reach goals. Another benefit is cost, an agency can customize a marketing strategy to your budget and focus exclusively on specific areas of interest.
The main disadvantage (as mentioned earlier) is time, being a client of a company does not provide exclusivity, they have other customers (or they wouldn’t provide value) with needs as great or greater than yours. Patience is a Virtue, is a critical component with agencies.
I have worked for an agency, owned an agency and for the last 3 years, as an in-house marketer, I can’t say one is better than another. I can say that both can provide value, and both can be beneficial to a company.
Understand your finances.
Be very clear with your goals and what you categorize as failure and success.
Research thoroughly whomever you are considering.
Stay on top of the program, insist on reports, regular meetings and opinions to improve.
Be prepared for failure, it’s rare to find a good fit with any marketer the first time.
Prepare for a long commitment. Marketing takes time, I never make promises on results because there are no promises, other than I promise to try my best.
Good marketing people are hard to find and hard to keep. If you find someone you trust, make certain that person is invested in the company, the sense of ownership and worth is key to retention.