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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How to Use Social Media to Target Your Market

“Target your market” is a topic discussed quite often… but many business owners still do not understand what that actually means. To level the playing field, targeting your market is crucial to your business’ ability to turn interactions into profits.

Here are some examples of common misconceptions of what qualifies as a target market:
“Everyone who will buy my product”
“Men”
“Women”
“Soccer moms”

The problem with all of these perceived “target markets” is that they aren’t specific enough; you can’t target everyone. The gist of targeting is to be intentional with your efforts and understand where those efforts are being effective. Realistically, not everyone is going to want your product or service, so you are wasting time and money trying to cater to everyone.

Please note that just because someone is interested in your product or service and is outside of your target market doesn’t mean they can’t buy your product – it just means they are a statistical outlier, which is completely normal. Don’t let yourself falter from hitting the target because you fear alienating potential customers.

Now that we have a firm foundation on what not to do, we can discuss how to target your market by researching the market you already have. It’s surprisingly simple to do with fee tools like Facebook and Twitter.
Look at your customers’ interests.

  • Do most of your customers share a common interest and live in your area? That’s probably a good indication that you should try advertising to them. You’ll be likely to get more customers because people with those interests already like you. Look at your “likes” and “followers” – you can tell a lot from them about the support you have.

Look at demographics.

  • Predominant gender, age, socioeconomic status, cultural background, etc. can also tell you a lot about your customers. It allows you to see what may be important to them, since cultural backgrounds likely influence the person they are today. Look at these things to cater to what your current clients’ convictions are, and which will likely catch the attention of their friends through word of mouth.
  • For example: if you sell artisanal salad dressing, you might notice that most of your biggest fans are “foodies”. After doing some market research, you could probably tell that many foodies crave exceptional taste and often look for healthy as possible products, so if there are foodies that love your flavors, they may also love the fact that they can stay healthy using the product on a salad and as a marinade. Since one product satisfies both the need for health and the need for taste, sharing recipes that demonstrate these characteristics add an increased value to the brand and satisfy the demographic.

While these things may seem simple, they are effective, and free!

Are there any tips you have for finding the most loyal customers?

Source:
Inc.com