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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The Art of the (virtual) Elevator Speech

An elevator speech at networking events is a key part of managing your message and spreading it to others. While this concept is no less important in the realm of social media, may seem difficult to translate it to such a platform. We’re here to answer your questions to make the process seamless.

 

Q: Where do I put my elevator speech?

  • A: The “About” section

On Twitter, this would be your profile. The About section may be found in different places on each profile (on LinkedIn, it’s under the “Home” section), but it’s typically the first thing potential customers look for.

  • Make sure your about section is visible to everyone. You can change this in your privacy settings. That way, people that don’t already like your page can get the information from a general search.

Q: What needs to be in it?

  • A: What your business does
  • Who it serves
  • How it serves
  • Why it serves
  • Note: This content is different from a sales pitch. You haven’t won that key meeting yet, so this is an opportunity to get someone interested in hearing your pitch.

Q: How long does it need to be?

  • A: Relatively short (I recommend 6-7 sentences)
    Sum up the previous 3 questions succinctly and with a concrete example or two. These sentences can be divided into short paragraphs for emphasis, if that’s your writing style. Similar to resume writing, you must get the point across quickly because you don’t have a lot of time to impress the reader. Give them enough to get them interested, but don’t waste time and energy giving everything away; peak their interest and they will come to you.

Q: How do I end it?

  • A: Tell the reader to contact your company today for more information, or lead them to your website.
  • Note: Make sure you leave all contact information. If someone has read this far, you would normally give them your business card; this essentially emulates that act.

 

Pressed for time? LJF Marketing does all of this in house, so contact us for more information. Until then, we hope this helps!

A Lesson in Collateral Consistency in the Digital Age

We are excited to bring you the first entry on our blog! We hope you will find this to be an awesome resource for all of your questions about business on the web, so, today, we’re kicking things off with some ideas to help you improve your web collateral.

While you may understand the importance of collateral (brochures, promotional items, etc.) in spreading your business’s name, you might need some help developing that when it comes to the web. The real challenge in this case lies within using different media to communicate. Here are a few collateral ideas that will spread your message in a less conventional manner than the standard logo-infused brochure.

Infographics

Infographics are a way of visualizing information and statistics in a condensed format. What makes them great is that they appeal to many different types of learners; Some people are visual learners, whereas some learn by reading. They can also be shared by users on outlets like Pinterest, Tumblr, and BuzzFeed, so you don’t have to hand it to someone in person for your message to be heard. No matter where it is shared, it will always be branded with your logo, so viewers will be directed back to your company.
Exhibit A: This Honda Accord Infographic

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Kickstarter

Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative initiatives. Essentially, it is a social way of getting people involved with your new project. The way it works is that you set a deadline for when you want to raise a certain amount of money. Then, you try to get people to back you, for some kind of reward in return (a service you will provide, etc.). If you do not meet your monetary goal, none of your backers are charged. There are certain specifications to which types of projects qualify, but if you are trying to get your business off of the ground, this is a great avenue to display what your brand is all about. With Kickstarter, customers actually get to see the quality of your work.

Instagram

Instagram is a useful tool for sharing pictures of what you actually do with your company. Contrary to what some may think, you don’t have to be artsy or a professional photographer for it to be effective. It can be useful just to post pictures of you and some co-workers at a company-sponsored event to Facebook and Twitter all at once. For that reason, Instagram is a great idea to help make your brand more consistent, without having to deal with the logistics of creating a new banner (Instagram profiles are not customizable).

Have you ever tried other unconventional media that were successful?