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Countless companies are struggling with a dilemma: Should we build/maintain an in-house marketing team or outsource those services to a full-service agency?
Whether your company already has an in-house team and is struggling to maintain that expense, or you’re growing (YAY!) and considering hiring your own team, this is a big topic right now. We’ve broken it down into 5 considerations before making this critical decision.

1. Hiring, Training, and Benefits

Let’s discuss this first, as it’s often the most significant  consideration due to the financial implications. Creating and maintaining an in-house team comes with great expense. The costs (in both time and money) of hiring and training team members and providing benefits can be unmanageable for many businesses.

Larger companies may be able to rationalize the costs with money already budgeted. Still, the other often overlooked issue is the expense of paying your internal team even if there’s nothing for them to do. Ouch.

On the flip side, when you work with an outside agency, you only pay when you’re in need of their services. When you finish up one initiative, you can build in pauses as needed and move on to the next project at the right time–and NOT have to pay your own team during that downtime.

2. Brand Knowledge and Vision

This one can go either way, and the correct  answer 100% depends on the agency you hire.

You want a partner agency that will essentially feel like an arm of your company. To do the job well, this extension of your team needs to learn and understand your brand – and we’re talking about Deep Brand Knowledge:

  • Understanding and supporting your vision – and contributing to that vision.
  • Handling overflow, especially if you have a small internal team that can’t do everything.
  • Willingness to put in the work of getting acclimated to your business, your audience, and your clients – so they can jump in whenever needed without having to start from ground zero.
  • The ability to grow WITH you as needed.

At TFG, we pride ourselves on all of the above. Our partnerships require deep learning about each client’s business and vision, and we want you to know us in the same way. That’s what a partnership is, after all, right? This is part of the investment in working with us, and here are some ways to minimize that investment.

 3. Creativity and Out-of-the-Box Thinking

Sometimes you need to look outside your organization for the best new ideas and perspectives. It’s not always a reflection of your own internal team – often everyone is too immersed and close to the brand and problems you’re trying to solve to bring in new ideas and perspectives. (Remember the old adage “You can’t see the forest for the trees”?)

This is especially true when your company works primarily with businesses in the same industry. The result can be stale content. A B2B marketing agency has that fresh outlook, informed by the other brands they’ve worked with, to bring new vision, ideas, and bigger-picture thinking to the table, which is often exactly what you need!

 4. Performance

It’s a common assumption that your in-house team will always work harder for you than a full-service creative agency. This may often be the case, but the best full-service agencies out there (including TFG) would beg to differ. They (we) know full well that you have a choice of whether you want to work with us. And to maintain the relationship, it’s essential for us to perform well and to WOW our clients on a regular basis.

This applies to effective communication as well – It’s a misnomer that in-house communication will be better. A great external partner knows you can choose  whether to work with them or someone else. This should translate to swift, efficient, and detailed responsiveness  as necessary.

 5. Transparency

Trust is earned in different ways. The best outsourced agency will understand this. At TFG, the companies we partner with see us not just as their strategic marketing team, event production team, or video crew but as advocates, a sounding board, idea generators, and an unbiased ear for venting and problem-solving. Which is ultimately what a partner should be, right?

We hope these suggestions are helpful and resonate with you. We’d love to hear your comments, and please reach out to us with any questions.

Stay tuned for more posts digging into the ins and outs of hiring a full-service marketing agency and more specifics of different types of creative services you can outsource and what to expect.