07 Mar Who Do You Trust With Your Brand?
Being both a service delivery company with brands to maintain, and an agency with talent for hire, we have experience on both sides of the divide, and we’re confident that the key to getting it right is simply about understanding the benefits of in-house work and outsourcing, and tallying that with the strengths, weaknesses and priorities of your business.
The power of in-house production
The benefits of bringing your branding and marketing in-house include:
- Keeping tighter control of your company’s image
- Tapping into your employees’ existing understanding of the business
- Encouraging a stronger connection between your employees, your customers and your brand
- Building and retaining digital assets
A common response is that your staff might not have the necessary expertise to execute all of the necessary marketing and branding tasks your business requires. In some case that may be true, in others it could be more of an opportunity than an obstacle.
If your staff don’t have the skills necessary for specific marketing and branding tasks, whether it’s media buying, social media management or digital marketing, investing in training is an excellent way to ensure that the tasks are completed effectively while boosting your team’s skills.
Sometimes giving your staff space in which to shine can be enough, even without extra training. We found this out recently when our sister company allowed our graphic designer to take creative oversight of the recent Freshers Festival marketing campaign, a task which has seen her already considerable skills evolve into something even more potent.
The power of outside expertise
In-house work has its limits, however, and those limits have different impacts on businesses depending on their size and focus.
On a creative level, many businesses find that the external viewpoint of an agency, uncluttered as it is by the day-to-day running of the client, allows them to pinpoint angles and USPs that in-house staff may miss.
On a business level, hiring the right people means working with experts who are tapped into the latest marketing trends and devices, and capable of delivering clear, measurable reports on their progress.
You may even find people who know your target market better than you do. For example, when Strathmore Foods wanted content to target students while keeping their image of a trusted traditional Scottish brand, they commissioned us to create a campaign which drove brand awareness and purchasing intent but most importantly good-will.
Another factor every business should be considering now is the ever-increasing talent pool of freelance options you can turn to for marketing support. The likes of Fiverr, People Per Hour and elance are packed with writers, marketers, coders and designers available for every budget, and are excellent resources for businesses who have the resource to manage a pool of individual freelancers.
Mixing it up
Now we come to the crux of the matter. How do you decide where the balance lies? Here’s our short guide to prioritising your marketing mix:
SPEND: Building marketing insights and duties into the workload of your employees can save cash, but sometimes the knowledge and talent base of agencies may represent better value for money. If you have time to commit to managing individual contributors and are happy to work on an ad-hoc basis, it’s time to turn to freelancers.
OVERSIGHT: If you have a strong corporate vision or powerful customer insights and the human resource budget to support it, it pays to keep your marketing and branding in-house. If not, or if you’re running a campaign that doesn’t focus on your existing markets, as with Strathmore Foods, or you need fresh ideas, it’s time to consider an outside perspective.
INNOVATION: Outsiders can often deliver insights your in-house team could miss, but could you maximise value and gain added insights by training (or re-training) current staff? It’s worth considering.
ASSETS: Take ownership of your marketing assets and maximise the benefits your receive from everything you spend your budget on. Whether it’s the content you generate, a new piece of software or something else entirely.
Find the right blend and you’ll find that your branding stays fresh without deviating from its core values.
If you require help in connecting with the youth, student or millennial market then we would love to hear from you. Don’t forget to download our Ebook, published in association with Freshers Festival Group on mastering Student Face to Face Marketing here.