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Pros and Cons: Marketing Agency vs In-house Marketing Team

As staffing agencies evolve, it’s natural to see infrastructure development that aligns with the growth of the organization. This includes exploring how to best leverage marketing. In this video, Allied Insight Founder and CEO Jeff Pelliccio discusses the pros and cons of enlisting the help of a marketing agency and building an in-house marketing team as well as how to choose the best route for your staffing agency to take.   

One of the most evident advantages of working with a marketing agency is affordability. Meeting your marketing budget is imperative in scaling your business no matter the scale at which your staffing agency operates. On top of that, full-service marketing agencies have an extensive arsenal of marketing expertise and tools that can outline deliverables well, which makes keeping track of the entire funnel from the top all the way down to conversion and revenue easier.  

The downside of having a marketing team outside of your 4 walls is having limited real-time reactionary measures in place. This should be at the top of your probing questions list at the early stages of enlisting their help alongside asking about their ability to make adjustments, timeframes, and the entire delivery model.  

As for in-house teams, you get the benefits of having full-time marketing support that is exposed to your brand and your entire process. This helps solidify communication and branding efforts to effectively be in sync with your value propositions and culture. However, building an in-house team from scratch can be more expensive and is prone to create more gaps in skills and delivery. You can also team up with a marketing agency to build the best in-house team.  

Hybrid marketing models are also one of the options you may consider to get the best of both worlds. In choosing the best route to take, consider your brand, your bottom line, and your budget.  

Connect with us for coaching or additional information on what marketing model you want to implement at your staffing agency.  

 

Hey everybody, Jeff Pelliccio, founder of Allied Insight, back again with another bite sized segment, providing you some morsels that you could take back to your team and, and provide some actionable things that you could do in order to progress the ball and move the needle a little bit further. Today, we are going to be talking about the pros and cons as it pertains to hiring an outside marketing agency versus having an in house team marketing team.

I wanted to sort of bring this segment up, you know, as an agency, we actually do facilitate, obviously, the marketing deliverables for staffing agencies, but we also do provide coaching to in house teams. So I thought it would be like a great area where we can kind of talk about, you know, kind of the benefits the pros and cons to both, and understand maybe how you can utilize these solutions and outside resources, whether it be from Allied insight or any other company for that matter. But how you can sort of utilize those, you know, in, in an isolation like on their own, or even in conjunction with in house teams in order to really get you a bit further down the road than where you were. Yeah.

So before we could really get into the pros and cons of like, which what each one has, we do also need to sort of start with more of the details around your staffing agency. So as we look at your staffing agency, look, we would all love to be able to have millions of dollars per year that we can allocate a marketing budget with a huge team that’s robust, that provides consistent driven elements to promote our brand and our message and our tone, and capture leads and all those things. Obviously, we all want that, right. But unfortunately, that doesn’t fit the budget, it also may not fit the model for each of our companies.

And so with that, we really want to identify like who and who we are. And when we are as to determine what the best mode of transportation is, at that point, what I typically find, you know, obviously, if you’re in the first like year or so, if you’re a startup, then you likely won’t have the budget or the resources in order to be able to really press on doing marketing. And so with that said, you’re probably doing things in house, there might be people on your team that have certain skill sets or capabilities, or maybe a friend or someone that you know, can kind of help kind of get the ball rolling and get the get the the marketing identity, at least the brand identity off the ground. And that’s usually a great place to start.

As staffing agencies tend to generate roughly, let’s say, three, four or 5 million during that window, that’s generally speaking, when they’ll start to look at like, you know, building some additional resources that can give them greater consistency and take some of those tasks off of the plates of the individuals within their firm. Generally speaking, you know, as they start to encroach around like 25 to 30 million, that’s generally where you’ll start to see companies bringing in, you know, specialists in their teams that can then help facilitate certain components of marketing. Sometimes they hire generalist, you know, try to get a jack of all trades that can really help you bring about greater value to your staffing agency, or, you know, they might find that they have like a fundamental deficit, like they’re trying to build more content, or more visual elements or whatever, where they’ll bring in either a writer or a designer or something like that.

Again, as you continue to grow, you’ll continue to build out that team, the goal here at the end of the day, is to be as self sufficient as possible, right. So if you can handle everything inside your four walls, or in the four, multiple four walls of the different offices, you have, then you win, right, you don’t have to go elsewhere. And you can provide like really good cohesive messaging and branding across the board. So now that we’ve sort of like laid out, like, what the scheme is, as you start to sort of assess where you are in the space, and what it is that maybe you should be targeting for, we can now sort of talk about like the marketing piece, and honestly, marketing equals competitive advantage.

So whether it be a matter of like, being able to position yourself better, or provide a greater amplification of your value propositions to audiences that need your services in order to advance their own either career path, or to grow their teams and be able to facilitate all the projects that they have their company, you’re looking for marketing, to be able to provide that positioning that you need, in order to drive in whatever the deficit is. So today, much of that deficit is regarding the candidate pool and the fact that there’s not a lot of talent out there. And so much of the conversation is around recruitment marketing, but I’m sure you know, as we continue to go down, you know, as we continue to go through the years, you know, that likely will have an ebb and flow and shift to being a little bit more of a candidate centric, I’m sorry, employer centric, versus candidate centric market. It typically goes through rounds and cycles.

So we understand who you are, we understand the importance of marketing. Now let’s get to the purpose of why we all jumped on this call, which is to discuss the benefits In the gaps of each, so when it comes to agencies when you’re working with an outside agency, look, the benefits are pretty clear, it’s typically affordable, right? So it can meet your budget, the deliverables are pretty well outlined. And you can really sort of like line that task to the dollar that’s being spent. And also, there’s KPIs that you can have attached to literally everything that that agency is doing. So if they are a full suite agency, meaning that they’re addressing all of your needs, between creating content, marketing, communications, you know, supporting website, changes in development, form fills, automation, lead, capture all of those things, if you have a full service agency that’s providing all those services for you, then you should be able to count everything from the top of the funnel all the way down until it hits conversion, and eventually revenue.

If you’re working with an agency, or you’re working on a project basis with someone who is simply building out certain components, then obviously, you’ll have gaps in that in that data, and your visibility will be less, you know. But from an agency perspective, you do get those benefits of visibility, transparency, execution, consistent execution, you can also improve your, you can improve sort of the positioning of your brand, you can kind of accelerate your process, you can create and develop sales enablement, tools and resources. The one caveat is that all of this has to be planned. So the idea of having like a group that you can work with, and then also performing a reactionary measure, where you’re not scheduling things out 30-60-90 days is really, really hard to find, or it’ll be grossly expensive. So the main gap that you have when working with an outside vendor and pulling them in for marketing resources, is that you won’t be able to necessarily have like an immediate response to something that you’re reacting to in the market. At least not without a cost. So, you know, while when you’re looking or if you’re looking for outside marketing agencies, I would recommend highly like asking some of these probing questions, understanding what the delivery model looks like.

And also trying to I would also sort of inquire with regards to the ability to make changes or adjustments and what tempo that might occur on. Generally speaking, you should have agencies that are willing to, you know, make accommodations for you, and on a case by case basis, but also be helping you to leverage changes that occur throughout the year. Typically speaking, at your quarterly marks, you should be able to do 90 Day assessments or 90 day look backs, understand exactly what was performed, what that performance impact was, and then also make adjustments in order to, in order to accommodate any changes to any corporate initiatives that are happening within your organization. So you do get an awful lot of lift at a decent price. But you do that does come at an additional cost of flexibility. Sometimes Yeah.

As we start to look at in house teams, you know, the benefit is that you have someone that’s there 40-hours or more, that means that they get exposed to your brand, your messaging your process. And with that the marketing that they provide the communication, the articles, the thought leadership, all of that should resonate stronger with your brand. And when I say brand, I don’t mean brand identity, I mean brand in terms of like brand value. So so having the in house person or the in house team really does help to solidify the communication, and be much more of a provide a much more direct connection to what you offer, what your services are, what your value propositions are, and even what maybe some of your branded components are, yeah. The gaps? Oh, well, let’s just continue going on benefits, I apologize. So to continue going down benefits, you know, having them in house means that you could also reprioritize pretty quickly, you know, they can, they can pivot as needed. It doesn’t mean that that is an efficient model to manage. But it does mean that they can do that.

So you have that immediate access there as well. And and I think that like from a culture perspective, I think you can also probably press culture into your brand messaging a bit more. So again, because that person, you know, is living, breathing, eating and sleeping your brand, they’re there all the time, creating that connection, that soft component between the two should be pretty direct with regards to the gaps. So one, it’s obviously an expensive proposition. So if you want to build out an in house team, the likelihood that you’re going to find like a small group of unicorns to be able to execute on everything you need, is probably not realistic. So Um, instead of, you know, looking for unicorns to do everything, you might want to find some individuals that are specialists in a given category, but also maybe have interest or experience sort of flexing slightly outside of that category.

So an example of that would be maybe someone who can do long form copy, which was basically like blog articles and white papers and things like that. But also has some, some experience with copywriting, which that would be short form copy or things like, you know, sections on your website, social media posts, things like that. Even better yet, like maybe they have a little bit of background in SEO, and they understand the importance of keywords, how to place keywords, maybe even how to sort of record the the performance of keywords. So that would be sort of like one of those ideas where you bring in someone who’s a writer, in order to perform a certain function, but maybe there’s a couple of things in the perimeter or in the peripheral, that they can also do to help establish a greater a greater value to your staffing agency.

You know, if let’s say you’re bringing in a designer, maybe that person is in fact, a web designer, as a special, special focus. But they can also do some print design, they can also do, you know, maybe even a little bit of HTML, right. So not only can they necessarily deliver on what it is that you need, from a design perspective for your website, but they can also help to facilitate any of the printed elements that you’re creating, they can also help to work on like landing pages that could work on handouts, and ebooks and all that kind of stuff. So you kind of get double duty out of it. But these are some strategies to sort of help you orchestrate that team, or again, if you if you’re much further along, you’ve got the budget, you want to build out an in house team, obviously, like, you know, creative direction needs to come from someone, either a manager level director level or what have you. And then underneath them, you should have specialists in each category. So someone who could do your development, your design your content, you know, if you’re an event space, obviously building all that out, but all of that costs money. So um, so those are some of the some of the issues that you could run into and trying to build an in house team versus using external resources.

So you do get that flexibility, you can cater to a little bit more community management, because they’re there, they can sort of deal with the on call changes. But you also run into gaps in skill set, because unless you’re going to be hiring a full team right out of the gate, you you likely will have gaps. So there will be that that ramp up period. You know, in the end, what you’re really looking to do is you’re really looking to create sort of a custom fit. So you know, there is this capability to be able to utilize both. So as you’re developing an in house team, it would be really beneficial for you to seek out a marketing agency partner, that can actually help you work and grow within what it is that you’re doing. So if you have one or two people in house, they’re delivering on certain things, whether that be, you know, helping with presentations, or sales enablement, RFPs. You know, whatever it happens to be events. So if you happen to have someone or a couple of people in house that are handling some stuff, and you identified some gaps, that may be a really good opportunity to partner with a marketing agency that can sort of help you deliver on those other elements that you’re missing, while you go out and start searching for that additional talent. So you know, there is, you know, a hybrid model that you can create, that allows you to kind of like get the best of both worlds, while still sort of like making sure that you’re, you know, covering your gaps.

Again, it all comes down to budget, it all comes down to deliverability. But if you’re measuring those KPIs, then you should at least be able to know where your dollars spent, and how it impacted your your bottom line. Again, these are just meant to be like really, really brief sessions, things that you can take down in a bite sized chunk, bring back to your organization, have a conversation and figure out sort of what the next steps are that you want to do there. If you’re trying to figure out whether or not you should do an in house team or hire an agency if you’re if you’re starting to look for agencies, if you’re looking to do a hybrid model. If you’re looking for coaching, if you’re looking to sort of like kind of get through this process, and you just need someone to be able to bounce ideas off of or sort of talk through what you’re thinking what the ideology is or what you know, you’re kind of want as a an output or an expectation at the end and need any help. Feel free to go to our website, you can come over to allied insight comm connect with me, I’ll be happy to jump on a call and see what we could do to really help you manage getting through this process so that that way you’re propped up and leveraged properly and ready to go throughout the rest of this year and also staging for successful 2023. I hope you found this helpful. We will be back again next week with another bite sized chunk. So stay tuned. And we’ll also be putting up our schedule for April very shortly.

 

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