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Life is full of weighty decisions: which college to attend, who to marry, if and/or when to have kids, and so on. 

In the business world, the decisions we make may not always have such a powerful impact on our personal lives. Nevertheless, for SMB owners and executives, there are a number of weighty decisions that must be made every day. One important decision that many managers face is whether to outsource company marketing to an agency, or try to keep it in-house.

Of course, there are pros and cons for both options. That being said, small to midsize businesses often have less marketing resources to work with than enterprise level corporations, and therefore fewer in-house capabilities. On the other hand, you may be a little nervous about partnering with a team of outside experts. 

Perhaps as you read this you are currently wrestling with the question, "Should I use a marketing agency?" If that's the case, be assured that a reputable marketing firm will not only work for you, but will work with you. They will educate you on cutting edge marketing strategies and tactics, and help your business to grow with an eye to the future.

Let's consider 3 reasons to outsource your marketing department, how you can find a good marketing agency to partner with, and how to avoid a bad agency.

Financial Costs

While this is by no means the only factor to consider, it is still an important piece of the puzzle.

Consider this: the combined average salaries for an in-house marketing team could total about $458,891 per year. That breaks down into:

  • Graphic designer - $59,407
  • Social media manager - $69,783
  • Web designer - $69,952
  • Copywriter - $83,892
  • PR Manager - $85,194
  • Digital marketing manager - $90,663

And that is actually on the lower end of the scale! For an in-house team of experts, you could very well have to shell out over $1 million every year. That figure does not necessarily include insurance, benefits, and other perks that may be included in your employees' contract.

In contrast, outsourced marketing agencies can provide the same level of expertise as an in-house marketing team, at only a fraction of the cost, (perhaps $100,000 per year or less).

A Focus on Core Competencies

To get as far as you've gotten in business, no doubt you have some marketing prowess. However, you may not be a marketing expert; in fact, you may not even like marketing in the first place.

If that's the case, then maintaining an in-house marketing team could become a major headache. Think, for example, of the investment your company would have to make in onboarding, training, and continuing education. Those are resources that could be allocated elsewhere, but instead are completely tied up in your company's marketing efforts.

On the other hand, outsourcing to a marketing agency allows you to focus first and foremost on your core competencies, whether those involve product development, distribution, operational management, or other aspects of your business. In addition, you won't have to worry about delays in marketing campaigns because of sick days or vacations: your business partners will be the ones dealing with those issues, not you.

The Marketing Agency's Expertise

An outsourced marketing firm can also bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the table. For instance, in-house marketing teams often develop "tunnel vision" over the years, which can lead to sub-optimal decisions. However, a 3rd party agency's outside perspective can be both refreshing and critical to sustained growth.

Additionally, a reputable marketing firm will be staffed with professionals that are intimately familiar with all the different types of marketing tools, channels, and strategies available today. They'll be up to date on the latest trends in web design; have highly specialized knowledge on best practices for lead generation; know how to leverage social media to your advantage; and be proficient at generating SEO-driven content.

Signs of a Good Marketing Agency

Now that we've considered a few reasons to outsource your marketing, perhaps your next thought is: "Well, that's great, but there are a ton of marketing agencies to choose from. How can I tell which one will be a good fit for my company?"

While it's imperative to do your due diligence when selecting a marketing agency to partner with, there are some common signs that indicate an agency's level of quality and professionalism is where it should be. For instance:

  • A good marketing agency is adaptable. They can deliver fast work, true, but they can also adapt their techniques and time frames according to the business needs of their partners.
  • A good marketing agency is realistic. They don't guarantee fantastic results immediately; instead, they work with their clients to craft workable plans to meet long-term goals.
  • A good marketing agency is transparent. They don't try to hide any mistakes that they make, or trumpet their achievements ad nauseum. And, crucially, they are willing to share all the consumer data that they collect with their clients.

In contrast to the above points, there are certain red flags around some agencies that signal you may want to look elsewhere for a marketing partner. These include the following signs:

  • A bad marketing agency wants to control your data from the start. This can be especially dangerous if the relationship goes sour at a future time.
  • A bad marketing agency promises unrealistic results. For instance, some agencies guarantee page 1 rankings on Google for their new clients. Which leads to the question: If they've already cracked Google's algorithm, why are they still working 9 to 5?
  • A bad marketing agency uses outdated case studies. If a marketing agency expects you to be impressed by their body of work in 2004, then one word comes to mind: run.

Partnering with a Reputable Marketing Agency

In conclusion, there are several key advantages to outsourcing your marketing department. It is usually cost-effective, can help you to focus on the more important aspects of your business, and can also bring a fresh perspective and years of marketing experience into your company.

If you decide to outsource your marketing, it is important to carefully research all of your options, and choose a partner that is both trustworthy and skilled. At MarComm, for example, we have an established reputation as not only a marketing agency, but a growth agency; that is, an agency committed to the long-term success of our business partners.

If you'd like to learn more about the advantages of partnering with us, reach out today for further information. Let us help you in making those weighty marketing decisions moving forward.