All companies with an online presence (so all of them?) Will at some point ask themselves whether they should build an internal marketing team or whether they should outsource this skill to a specialized agency. The question usually arises when launching marketing operations on Facebook, Instagram or Google. But this question will also prove to be important as needs and goals evolve over time …
To help you in your decision-making, we have compiled a list of observations gathered by industry, market segment and marketing approach. Then we refined it to offer you a list of the pros and cons of each of the models, as well as the types of tools available. And finally, we will conclude with a checklist to help you in your decision-making.
Home team: generate income effectively
Having an in-house marketing team with 100% attention focused on the behavior of your customers and how to capture their attention is the best way to maximize the convergence of KPIs to business goals.
All internal tests allow the company’s knowledge base to grow and can be reused by other teams. For example, your internal team can monitor the ViewContent => AddToCart => Purchase transformation rate. If it finds a rate lower than the typical 10% step by step, many questions can then be asked and allow to improve the sales tunnel and thus optimize your converting machine.
Easy access to internal data and other teams also allows easy cooperation, with the Business Intelligence team or the CRM team for example. Optimizing and personalizing the delivery of advertising to customers with the greatest purchasing power, or the most loyal customers, is the easiest and most effective way to maximize revenue. Collaboration with other internal teams is by far the shortest route to these high-value audiences.
Members of the internal team generally have a high level of motivation and adequate compensation for achieving the objectives. The internal construction of a motivated and competent team is the basis for sustainable development. Also, minimizing the number of steps between the design of the campaign, its approval, and its launch allows incomparable gains in agility and speed. This makes it possible to repair blunders and other blunders very quickly, but also and above all to take advantage of sudden changes and other opportunities.
An agency – a flexible expert
Hiring an agency to handle your advertising is the quickest way to get a battery of experts dedicated to your communication project. The core business of an agency is based on the expertise of these employees that it will use to create your advertising. You save time and energy because you don’t have to recruit anyone.
The agencies work with several clients simultaneously, which gives them a great experience and allows them to take certain shortcuts or avoid youthful mistakes. They can also more easily replicate strategies that have worked with other clients for your communication.
The contracts with the agencies are generally flexible enough to absorb variations due to seasonality or changes in strategies, opening / closing of channels, etc. Their expertise is also less dependent on the qualities of one or two people you have successfully hired and they are usually never on vacation. Also, with low fixed costs and low dependence on employees, your risks are greatly reduced.
Finally, creativity is a muscle and it is necessary to vary the pleasures to maintain it. If you only work on one project, you risk going around in circles. An agency works on numerous projects, keeps abreast of the latest techniques and methods, and is often a force for proposals. She will be able to find certain angles of approach that you would never have thought of yourself.
Provide your team with the right tools
Whichever approach you choose, a world-class team will never reach their maximum potential if they don’t have the right tools at their disposal.
Marketing platforms like Facebook provide free tools to create and manage your campaigns and work very well for many advertisers. If at one time or another you think that these tools are not doing the job, be it for lack of functionalities, for lack of automation or optimization or more simply because they are badly adapted to your method of work or the scale of your activity, this may be the time to turn to alternative tools.
Marketing tool providers (Adtech = Advertisement Technology) can be divided into three categories based on their business model.
Often inexpensive, they provide additional functionality that free tools do not offer. The operating model remains the same. You and your team are still responsible for the creation and management of campaigns and your education.
Self-Service with support
In general, this type of offer is of better quality and much more complete. But a super advanced tool loses its value if your team is not able to take advantage of it. These tools are often accompanied by an advisory and technical and strategic support service. We have found that the best results are generally obtained with a combination of advanced tools and consulting, fast and efficient technical support, best practices, and training of your teams to make the most of the tool’s capabilities. This is a very important aspect to take into account when choosing the product. It is also the best way to develop the expertise of your teams.
A managed service partner is a partner who uses a specific tool and who creates and manages your campaigns. This positions him between an agency and a Self-Service tool. If you want to use a Managed Service partner, we recommend that you assess the quality of its tools (access to statistics, reporting, validation and approval, etc.) as well as its ability to quickly develop new features at the pace of Facebook or Google. Or other. Finally, we recommend that you try to assess the quality of the technical teams in the same way as you would assess a self-service tool or an agency. It is not uncommon to see tools with relatively few functionalities available to users and a slightly more advanced battery of functions only available to teams in charge of the service.
And the agencies?
Choosing a third-party tool is also important when choosing an agency. Most of them use marketing partners (often Self-Service with support) to improve their productivity and their ability to provide advanced services or optimize your campaigns. Do not hesitate to ask which tool is used within the agency.
An example that proves the disparity between third-party tools: on Facebook, some advertisers had access to the Carrousel advertising format long before the others simply because they used a third-party tool which cooperated in the development of this new format. The latter generated superb conversion rates as soon as it was released, so it was important to take advantage of it as soon as possible.
Lastly, agencies that use third-party tools can also take advantage of the advantages offered by these tools and can keep abreast of them thanks to the continuous training provided by these tool suppliers.
Has the time to make your choice arrived?
Here is a checklist of questions to ask yourself to make the best decision:
- Am I able to find, test, select a professional marketer able to manage my campaigns? If not, do I have the skills and knowledge required to train someone, why not just hired or graduated from school?
- Am I able to identify my goals and do I have the (financial) resources to reach those goals?
- Will my marketing team be able to handle everything or do I need an additional designer or other to achieve the expected result?
- Is my marketing team agile enough to adapt to the frequent changes of platforms like Facebook?
- Does the agency have experience in my market, my industry?
- What is the billing model? Fixed? Performance function? Is there a breach of contract clause in case of bad results?
- Will she manage everything for me? Or will I for example have to provide illustrations, logos, graphics, texts, etc. ?
- Can we agree on the measured KPIs and the objectives during this cooperation?
Here, you have all the keys in hand. Good luck on your quest! If you have already had to make this choice, now is the time to share your comments in the section dedicated to this purpose below.