In House Vs. Agency Marketing – Which one is for you?

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So your business has grown (or you’re just now starting!) and you’re in decision mode: In-House marketing or partnering with an agency/firm?

There are many positive factors to both. In-house marketing involves people who work directly for and exclusively with your company. It may consist of one person, or even a team that your company hires. As for an agency, they have specific expert employees who each usually specialize in different areas – public relations, digital marketing, graphic design, etc.

Both have qualities that can be very beneficial to your business. Here are some criteria that will help you choose which one might work the best for you.

Let’s look at their skillsets.

In-house marketing employees are paid to work for your business only. They understand your brand through and through due to direct training and are handpicked by your company. However, it’s difficult to find an in-house marketing person who is adept at all aspects of marketing.

Agency-wise, first you research and ask for referrals. They then need to be introduced to your business and brand and make sure they are the correct fit. For agencies, there are usually a good amount of multi-skilled employees who have worked in their respective fields, allowing for more diverse skillsets.

If only one marketing aspect needs to be managed, consider an in-house marketing team for your business. But for a company who plans on expanding or growing, marketing in only one aspect is rare so an agency might be a better fit.

Next, let’s look at the two from a creative perspective.

Some consider creativity to be in-house marketing’s downfall. There tends to be less creativity in a team that solely works for you and your brand. However in-house marketers do have a great understanding of how to combat your direct competitors.

As for an agency, they work with multiple clients that could be in very diverse areas. There is a lot of change and diversity creativity-wise that they have to produce. This exposure to different ideas can help generate creative ideas for your business.

Both can be useful for your business. If you find that your in-house team is in a rut, choose an agency. If you feel that you are confident in your in-house team, keep them on the project.

Then, let’s look at cost.

In-house marketing consists of marketing management that you hire. For example, consider the cost of salary when hiring one manager, or multiple marketing specialists full time. The cost of each campaign will depend entirely on your marketing needs. Crunch your numbers before making a decision.

It may seem less expensive to hire a single, on-hand employee for your marketing strategy, but expect a long hiring process, training, and guaranteeing that a person fits properly over a set period of time. Aside from salary, you will be budgeting for office space, benefits, computers, and programs they may need as well as training for those programs.

A marketing agency has a pre-set, and negotiable price in place when it comes to your campaigns. An agency pays for its own software, tools, tech, and training, which cuts any extra costs on your end. It may seem like more up front, but it might be less expensive for your business in the long run.

So which to choose?

Break down your goals and your needs to help you figure out whether to go with in-house marketing or a marketing agency.

If you’re still unsure about which path to take or just have questions about marketing agencies in general, ask us here at LJF Marketing! We have been serving our community for 30 years and are professionals when it comes to PR, Marketing, Advertising, Design, and more.

LJF Marketing is a full-service marketing communications company that is fully equipped since 1989 to help you create and enhance your company image. Through innovative marketing strategies, graphics, web development and advertising campaigns, your company can grow to exceed your ambitions.

 

Allow LJF Marketing to conceptualize IDEAS for your campaign. It’s our business to grow your business and we love what we do!

 

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Trade Show Spotlight

Trade shows and special events can seem daunting when it comes to making your brand stand out on social media; while you want to spark buzz, you also want your audience to be engaged in your message. Here’s a few ideas to help you do both with social media.

Facebook

  • Use Facebook’s events capability.
    Create an event on Facebook for your tradeshow event, and invite people to come to the event. Post the event page on your other social media outlets to reach out to others who aren’t necessarily your Facebook friends. Here, you can post updates and news about the event in one central place.

Twitter

  • Claim a hashtag – and use it – months before the event.
    If you don’t know what a hashtag is, it is a pound sign before a word that you want to tag. Example: LJF marketing is #awesome. – Twitter makes a link out of the word “#awesome” that users can click on. When they click on that link, or tag, Twitter filters all other tweets with the same tag in it, so if you create a hashtag specific to your event and use it, then anyone who is interested can get all of the tweets from your event and see what the buzz is about. For a tutorial on how to use a hashtag, click here. The nice thing about this is that you can send out updates that aren’t limited to an event page or website, and so can other people. Additionally, people can provide some commentary on a presentation – to many, it has become socially acceptable to tweet during a presentation, so leverage that.
  • Have Twitter contests during the event.
    Most likely, there is something you can give away at your event that people will be interested in winning. Use Twitter to start a contest for it… perhaps the most tweets wins, or the best picture wins. The contest can be whatever you want it to be, but the important thing is that it gets people excited about something.
  • Post pictures during the event.
    This is a fun, interactive tool. Post pictures of happenings at the event, before the event, and after. Make sure you use the event hashtag; if you do, people who have come to the event essentially have a photo album of wonderful memories.

LinkedIn

  • Post articles about some of the companies or speakers at the event.
    You can do this for sponsors, or if there are no sponsors, pick a few businesses to highlight a week (if you’re not picking sponsors, make sure you highlight everyone; you wouldn’t want to upset businesses that are paying to be there by not giving them the same amount of publicity.
  • Post industry-related articles.
    Maybe there’s an online journal you are subscribed to and you see an interesting piece. Post it for others to see on your Linkedin if it relates to the event. This will provide a humanistic touch and boost your credibility as an event.

Foursquare

  • Make your booth into a location and give a special offer when people check in.
    This can be a percentage off your service, or even a free consultation. Just provide an incentive for event-goers to visit your booth rather than others.