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Marketing Agency Vs In-House Marketer

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Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing marketing agencies in the UK, some of which have been around for a very long time which obviously means they are doing something right.

I’ve worked with a loads of marketing agencies over the years, some as an employed member of the team and others providing white label services under their brand, so I’d like to think i’m capable of telling the difference between a great agency and one that’s mediocre.

I don’t see Just Add Treviss as a typical run-of-the-mill marketing agency. I’m not saying marketing agencies are bad – having had the benefit of an agency upbringing I have a lot to thank the industry for and it’s an industry I absolutely love. However, I firmly believe that appointing a Marketing Agency isn’t always the best solution to improve the marketing function inside a business. Let us explain why.

Pros of using a Marketing Agency

Let me start by pointing out some of the advantages of going down the agency route…

1. Amazing talent

Anyone who has worked in a marketing agency will tell you that the learning curve is steep which helps foster teams that really know their stuff. This is especially true with specialist agencies that focus on one particular discipline such as SEO or PPC.

2. Deep industry knowledge

Some agencies will specialise in a particular industry or vertical. Hopefully they will have honed their craft in that field so will know the kind of marketing that works and the kind that doesn’t for that particular sector.

3. Lower commitment compared to employing someone full time.

Depending on the agencies fees, scope of the brief and length of the contract, using an external agency could be considered as a lower commitment when compared to the costs and time associated with hiring an in-house full time employee.

4. Creatively and objective opinions

One of the greatest advantages that collaborating with an marketing agency partner can offer is the creativity and objectivity they bring to the table. In-house marketing teams can sometimes lead to groupthink and tunnel-vision. An external agency isn’t influenced by any internal biases or assumed knowledge, so it’s easier to cut through the mustard and develop a clear message to the target audience.

Cons of using a Marketing Agency

Despite the industry leading talent there are unfortunately downsides to outsourcing some or all of your marketing department to a large agency partner.

1. You’re probably going to be a small fish in a big pond

Despite the promises made that you’ll be looked after by a ‘dedicated account manager’ this is not always the case. Most agencies need a substantial client base to fuel the wage bill of experts, account managers, admin staff and office space.

2. Longer lead times

Agencies need to structure their time effectively to help meet multiple deadlines. This can make agencies slower to respond to reactive tasks or spare of the moment marketing requirements that are time sensitive, sometimes leaving you waiting for the ‘next available slot’ in the studio diary.

3. Outsourced marketing = outsourced knowledge

Whilst outsourcing the entire marketing function might feel like a good decision in the short-term, what happens if you stop using the agency? All of the marketing knowledge stays with the agency and you are effectively starting from scratch.

4. Pressure cookers

And as much as the cosy beanbags, Xbox’s and comfy office attire might look relaxed, agencies can be pressure-cooker like environments to work in, especially when deadlines are looming. This doesn’t always generate the best marketing output and sometimes the focus is on getting things ‘out the door’ rather than doing the best possible job.

Employing an in-house Marketer

In an ideal world every business would have an amazing in-house marketing team that consistently delivered great marketing campaigns.

One could argue that having someone in-house could react quicker to certain requirements which may be true. There is of course a flip side to this where in-house members of staff can easily get bogged down with internal politics and distractions.

However, in our experience not every business needs or can afford to employ a full time member of the team. You might be surprised (or not) to learn that the average salary of a Marketing Manager in Southampton is currently £47,667 (accurate Dec, 2023) which is either a significant investment or not feasible for many businesses.

It’s for this very reason Just Add Treviss was created and precisely why we don’t call ourselves a marketing agency nor are we a full time member of staff for a business.

Marketing support the Just Add Treviss way

“We often use the term ‘part time, full time’ which does a good job of explaining how we deliver our services”

We work ‘Part Time’ for our clients typically providing between two and six days of marketing support per month. We view each relationship with our clients as a full time partnership because they entrust their marketing function to us and we look after it.

You might be thinking 2 days doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but you’ll be amazed at what we can achieve in that time.

As part of the on-boarding process, the amount of marketing support we provide is driven by the requirements of the marketing strategy and not a prepackaged solution you often see in the market. That’s important because every business is different.

Don’t settle for a template driven marketing campaign. We don’t like set marketing packages and we don’t like long-term nasty contracts that tie people in either. For us the relationship comes first, not the calendar.

Our approach is entirely flexible and can be tailored to your needs. We do our best to work around you, you won’t be waiting for the ‘next available’ day in the studio.

You also have a single point of contact who actually also does the work. This is a really important point of difference.

There are no account management or project management fees which you might find with a traditional marketing agency. Our goal is to maximise value for money and we do this by trimming the fat.

So there you have it. A comparison of the types of marketing support you could opt for. You don’t need to employ an expensive marketing agency or take on the burden of employing a full time member of staff to move your marketing forwards. You can solve your marketing problems by speaking to Just Add Treviss.