Talk to the best digital marketing expert on planet and he’ll tell you this,
“I’ve worked with quite a few large companies over the years, and my experience is that those companies can’t ever bring their digital marketing completely in house.”
A senior digital marketing professional at Webryze, Toronto Social Media Agency says, “Even if you had the best business on planet, you can’t really decide whether you should go for in-house digital marketing or not. No matter how you start off, every time you’ll end up hiring a digital marketing agency.”
Another senior strategist at Conversean says, “I know that my opinion might be suspicious, because I am a senior strategist at Converseon, a digital agency, so you might expect that I have every motivation to advise you to work with consultants. But I actually learned this lesson when running parts of IBM’s digital marketing in house. I found that it wasn’t possible for me to bring everything in house”
Now, you might be wondering why IBM’s relying on outsiders. After all, it’s IBM for God’s sake. Can’t IBM do anything? No, even IBM couldn’t do everything. Not because IBM isn’t capable, but for more practical reasons that permeate every kind of digital marketing.
If you keep reading this post, you’ll have a better idea of why we claim digital marketing agencies are better than in-house digital marketing department.
3 Stages of Digital Marketing
Here’s what happens when any component of digital marketing takes off. It goes through different stages.
A company is started by a group of dreamers who only believe that it’s going to be a hit. Well, every company has one or two people thinking that way, but average marketer don’t care that much. Initially, you’ll get a few projects, in order to convince others.
Dreamers may have the belief, but they don’t know how to successfully pilot something. That’s where they’re going to need an agency to do a couple of projects for them.
At this stage, people tend to believe they can do literally everything in house. And that’s why this is the most dangerous stage. This is the stage where they have tasted the blood (have a few successes under their belts). They know what to do.
At the same time, they don’t know how to manage ups and downs of the company. They cannot size up the staff. They tend to overstaff at times, and sometimes, the workforce is not well-versed.
Some months they are swamped and don’t have enough people. Other months, budgets get cut across the company and projects are canceled and your team has too many people. Big companies can’t easily expand and contract resources with fluctuating volume.
Now it seems as though finally everything can be brought in house. The volume is relatively stable and so are the skills. But there’s another problem. Every time you get someone up to speed, they get a better offer from an agency. There’s no career path inside the organization for such specialists.
So what is an in-house marketer to do? Choose your agency carefully. Don’t look for people who want to be your experts. Look for people who want to make you the experts. It’s the attitude that makes the difference. With an agency like that, you’ll be able to bring as much in-house as possible and you’ll have an agency partner that can handle what you should leave outside your walls.