When it comes to your marketing, you generally have to make a decision on how you want to handle the various aspects of your strategy – outsource all of your marketing to an agency, bring everything inhouse or allocate responsibilities between both.
In our recent panel discussion, Diane Young, CEO & Co-Founder of The Drum asked Don Williams, Retail Partner at KPMG, Minter Dial, Global Marketing Specialist and our CEO John Readman on what they think are the advantages and disadvantages of inhousing your marketing.
What are the advantages?
Having served at L’Oréal for 16 years, Minter has experienced both outsourcing and inhousing. He believes that communication with your customer is key and when creating a strong brand voice, he asks an important question: “How can an agency replicate your voice? It’s 24/7 and these are often spontaneous conversations with your customers – you need to be considering this as a real arm of your CRM.”
With his experience in the retail sector, centring on the customer experience, Don’s thoughts coincide with Minter. He believes that inhousing allows brands to own their voice and to fully understand their customer base.
At Modo25, we believe in empowering inhouse teams to enable them to take control of their own success; John addresses how this control can enable you to connect with your audience: “If you genuinely want to put the customer at the heart of your organisation, the ability to communicate as an authentic brand is really important.”
John thinks that this control spans further than your audience and means you have more ruling when it comes to your budgets and metrics. Inhousing your data and a team to track your performance enables transparency and clarity, particularly when putting your trust into a large channel such as Google.
What are the disadvantages of inhousing?
When it comes to the disadvantages, Don worries that you wouldn’t have the depth of expertise and skills inhouse in relation to the cost. He says that creative talents are variable costs to the business and questions whether a traditional company would fare: “How do you build digital capability around your boardroom table to effectively manage an inhouse team and drive it in the right direction?”
Minter follows on from Don and the lack of digital savviness in the boardroom, which can hinder these creative teams. He believes that you need to show personality when executing your voice through communications and that inhouse teams are generally quite dry and simply promote themselves. Minter also addresses the challenge of businesses managing and understanding creative people, which are not usually dealt with in particular industries.
John argues that inhousing boils down to recruitment and how you attract the right talent, particularly against an agency, which has a more laid-back environment. He also addresses the practicalities of a small team and how they can continue to operate when a team member is off sick or on holiday: “An agency has a breadth of people who can do the same thing, so there is definitely a need for some level of back up and support if you are a smaller team trying to inhouse.”