For most brands, in-house marketing teams have become a competitive necessity. Shifts in the marketplace, culture, and customer expectations happen fast, especially in the digital economy. An in-house creative team allows firms to respond quickly and efficiently to cultural trends and new project ideas.
Except, too often, your internal resources are stretched too thin to deliver on their promise. Today’s market demands a wealth of digital content, customer research, and targeted campaigns across multiple media channels. Even setting aside the challenge of managing and retaining an in-house creative team, internal resources too often fall short of your needs. The demands on their time are simply too great, and they can't offer the fresh insights an outside perspective provides. Your executive leadership may see your in-house agency as a ready resource that's at your service. But the harsh truth of the matter is they’re likely not.
In reality, marketers hoping to keep pace with a competitive market benefit most from applying a mix of internal resources and an outside agency. An in-house marketing staff helps deliver what you need for internal stakeholders and allow for control over its process. But if you need work done thoughtfully, efficiently, and on a tight deadline, you need the addition of an external partner.
An outside marketing agency offers fresh perspectives and approaches for your brand
For every in-house marketing team, a certain level of tunnel vision is understandable – and, depending on your perspective, beneficial. For some marketers, a team dedicated to a full-time focus on your business translates to internal resources that know your brand better than anyone else. On the other hand, the perspective of an outside agency reveals critical insights that often escape the notice of your in-house team.
By looking at your brand from fresh angles, an external agency can see a bigger picture of your audience and their needs. Without the blinders that develop over time for in-house teams, an agency offers a new perspective on your brand's problems. But part of this fresh perspective is gained by your in-house team's creative process receiving new input.
For every problem, considering more than one perspective toward finding a solution is advantageous. Sure, there's bound to be overlap once you augment the efforts of your internal marketing team with the duplicate process of your agency. But the combination will yield a stronger result. By allowing an agency to fill in the areas where your internal team falls short (and vice versa), both sides gain opportunities to hone their craft. And, ultimately, both teams improve in support of your brand.
Plus, by functioning outside of your company's internal politics, external agencies have greater freedom to try new things. Without the need to log a request with IT to use a specific platform or experiment with a new technology, your agency isn't handcuffed by adhering to legacy policies or other systemic issues. Consequently, the work you need will venture into unexpected and potentially rewarding new directions.
Partnering with an agency offers a boost to your in-house marketing team
Bringing on an outside agency provides a means to bridge gaps between the silos that develop across your marketing strategy. Often, multiple teams manage your brand’s website, emails, or advertising. The addition of an external partner allows for an holistic view of these touch points to find a cohesive approach.
That said, hiring an agency can cause tension within your internal teams. After all, you’re turning to outside resources because you’re not getting the work you need, and that can be seen as threatening. Maybe you're approaching an agency because your in-house resources are shorthanded, or your team has become uninspired. After serving a single brand for an extended period of time, creative teams can lose their edge and grow accustomed to work that merely maintains the status quo.
The right agency has the skills to navigate any resistance it may encounter from your internal teams. But an external partner doesn't have to be seen as an assault on anyone's job security. At We the Collective, we do our best work working with organizations that mirror our internal structure with people who are copywriters, designers, developers, and content strategists. We aren't trying to take away anyone's jobs; we want to help everyone's work improve.
Plus, the introduction of outside collaborators doesn't have to be an unfamiliar or threatening scenario for your team. The addition of extra time spent teaming up with “their” agency provides fuel for inspiration and renewed excitement for their work.
The right agency partner delivers the proficiencies your marketing needs
Augmenting your team with an outside agency isn’t just a means to find a fresh approach to a show-stopping project. It’s also an ongoing, collaborative relationship that offers immediate help with even small tasks when your internal teams need support.
As your agency gets to know your brand, their work only improves as the relationship develops. Communication grows more effective, and both sides of the partnership grow more comfortable working together. As a result, the return on investment from bringing on an outside agency only grows.
At We The Collective, everyone on our team is committed to continuous improvement. Our clients hire us to stay informed about the latest approaches to digital marketing. As a result, we’re still finding fresh inspiration and perspectives that lay beyond their reach. We’ve always felt like we need to keep learning in order to deliver that value to our partners.
Plus, we developed the experience that allows us to navigate the stakeholders within your organization who are affecting your internal team’s performance. Whatever your situation, we’ve seen it, worked through it, and learned from it along the way. Let's talk and see how we can support your internal team and take your marketing to another level.
Plus, if everything goes wrong on the project you can always throw your external agency under the bus. This is a lot harder with your own internal employees ;)