Thursday, June 10, 2010

In-house Marketing Challenges

Written by Laura Powers

Companies with in-house marketing departments handle a growing variety of projects these days. At some point, though, the workload often becomes overbearing. So, when is a good time to consider an outside firm to outsource work to?

When corporate budgets are tight, and time and resources are limited – that’s really the perfect time to contract work out. Here's why:

1. MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION PLANS - An agency will help develop sophisticated marketing and communication plans for businesses that define and promote sales and marketing opportunities for the company, increasing ROI. Plans provide reports that map out results. They take into account an important aspect that is most often overlooked in companies -- strategic marketing -- and plan for the implementation and integration of marketing tactics.

2. TARGET AUDIENCE - Agencies can help enhance the definition of a company's target audience because they look at businesses from an outside perspective. While a company may know an audience already through a metric such as sales reports, an agency can go in-depth to research and define not only who they are, but also how better to target them with results that work, creating a higher ROI.

3. NETWORKED IN THE COMMUNITY – Most likely, a local agency will be well-networked in the community, an added benefit for their clients. Agencies should be familiar with local news and media, for public relations and advertising purposes, and know what tactics work best for each part of your communication strategy. They also work with a variety of community vendors, which leads to the next point…

4. PRICING AND RESOURCES - Outside agencies may be able to negotiate better pricing on service and materials (such as stock photos and printing services) than in-house marketing departments. They have established relationships with a wide array of vendors which allows for price shopping and high quality.

5. CREATIVITY can be greater when a company's marketing team works in tandem with an agency. In fact, most companies believe that the quality of work is much better. In-house marketing departments can often get too comfortable with products - losing their creative appeal. Outside agencies will have a fresh outlook and new ideas. They can also act as a catalyst for change by offering a different perspective on a myriad of issues.

6. WORK HIRED UNDER CONTRACT will be accompanied by a legally-binding agreement ensuring that roles and responsibilities are defined, ideas are well-crafted, and costs are calculated in the appropriate areas - which can be difficult for internal departments to determine.

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