Key considerations for an important decision about your business’ growth.
One of the growing pains, or “good problems to have,” for a successful business is a decision about how to expand marketing capacity.
Whether to hire a new marketing staff member or outsource to a marketing company is an important decision. Let’s take look at both options in relation to three key factors affecting the decision.
Duration of need
Determining the duration of your marketing need can be tricky. You have a clear need now, but will that last months and years into the future?
Hiring an associate: Bringing someone on signifies a certain confidence in the future of your business. You will invest time and energy into the hiring, training, and onboarding processes and commit to paying a salary, payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, and workers compensation insurance. This makes sense when you are fulfilling an enduring need on your staff.
Outsourcing: Marketing companies stand at the ready to help you build marketing capacity. In the time it takes to interview candidates for an in-house role, your outsourced marketing partner could be digging into the work of marketing your business.
For shorter-duration projects or needs that have an uncertain future, a marketing company is an option that gives businesses quick expertise without a long-term commitment.
Marketing skills mix
There is an array of skills that go into effective marketing. A full marketing program needs a high-level strategist, graphic designer, web designer, content creator, digital ad manager, and social media marketer.
Hiring an associate: Most applicants to a marketing job opening will come with strong skills in one of the areas above, perhaps serviceable skills in some of the others, and probably minimal to no skills in at least one of the others.
An experienced graphic designer, for example, offers expert design skills, but can they execute a digital advertising campaign? It’s rare to find someone with quality experience in several marketing categories.
If your current in-house team covers most of the essential marketing skills, and you are looking for a specialist to round out your staff, then hiring could be the right move.
Outsourcing: Most marketing projects incorporate multiple strategies, requiring multiple skills. If your need is tied to a specific initiative or project, outsourcing to a full-service marketing company will ensure all your bases are covered and that each area of need will be met with an experienced specialist. A marketing company will also be nimble enough to maintain quality performance when the focus of the project shifts or a new element is added, like if a new social media profile is launched or a new website landing page needs to be built.
Control and responsiveness
Business owners may be reluctant to hand the keys to their marketing strategy and execution to an outside partner. Hiring an associate to fill a marketing need can feel like the safer choice in terms of maintaining control over your marketing activities.
But there is a fine line between managing your marketing activities and micro-managing your staff.
Hiring an associate: With an in-house marketing staffer, you retain maximum control over your messaging and allocating resources to tasks, but you might lose out on honest feedback about your campaigns and ideas. Staff members may be reluctant challenge your thinking and more inclined to go along with the program you lay out.
On the other hand, this maximized control affords quick responses to the needs of the project and direct accountability to performance.
Outsourcing: It’s important that your business find a trusted partner to outsource marketing to. Get referrals from trusted associates and research your options. When you completely trust the marketing company you hire, any anxiety about losing message control is allayed.
A trusted partner can also provide valuable, impartial feedback about your ideas with your best interests at heart.
On the other hand, a third party has other clients, and your needs may take a temporary backseat at times. Make sure the marketing company you choose has a track record of quality customer service and meeting deadlines.
If you are at the point where your business needs an infusion of marketing talent, first of all, congratulations! You are doing something right. And you now have an important decision to make. Consider both hiring and outsourcing options as they relate to these key aspects of your marketing needs.
Thanks for reading,
Breezy Hill Marketing is a Vermont web design company specializing in marketing strategy, social media marketing, and building beautiful, optimized, and mobile responsive websites. We work with clients in Vermont and throughout the United States.