With the ongoing demand for more quality sales leads and limited internal resources to achieve that goal, an outsourced marketing agency can be an attractive choice. But is outsourcing really the best option given an in-house team will always be closer to customers, products and markets than any external agency?
Current best B2B marketing practice tends to be based on pull (inbound) rather than the old push (outbound) marketing techniques. Pull marketing is based on attracting potential customers to a business, on their terms, at a point they are ready to engage. The question then is who is best placed to deliver the process.
A inbound marketing process only works if the audience is specifically identified and the content is targeted at the needs of that audience. The delivery method must ensure content has the best chance of reaching its target readers. Measurement and review procedures must be in place to understand what is working well and what is not.
An in house marketing department will always be better placed to know the audience and their needs than any external marketing agency. Sources of existing content and those able to deliver a view of interest and use to potential customers will reside within a business not outside. Any content generated by the business will always have more authenticity than anything delivered by an outsourced marketing team.
However, an experienced external marketing team will often be better placed to research the best content marketing delivery channels and set up delivery via those channels. They may also have superior digital marketing skills. Their strategic skills may deliver value as an outside set of eyes is often best placed to identify the real selling points that distinguish a business from its competition.
Often, in house marketing departments grow up with a business. Although they may have an excellent understanding of the business products and services, the customer base and markets it is difficult for a small marketing department to keep up with the latest marketing thinking. A small in house team will often lack the range of expertise to deliver a wide range of marketing tools and services.
The answer to the question does an in house or outsourced marketing deliver the most value is not easy to assess. Ultimately it depends on the skills of the existing in house team vs the external agency. If an external marketing team is employed, relationships and a clear demarcation of duties is crucial.