B2B Marketing Resources & Staffing: In-House, Outsource – or Both?
One of the biggest dilemmas facing b2b sales and marketing executives is whether to staff an in-house marketing department or outsource to a marketing firm. There is no singular right answer, and much depends on the organization, its priorities, core competencies, and attitude toward marketing in general.
We thought it would be helpful to summarize the advantages and disadvantages of each model.
1. Staffing an In-House Marketing Department
2. Outsourced Marketing (Agency)
Although an In-House Marketing Department provides convenience and accessibility, an Outsourced Agency offers other equally compelling advantages. To be honest, it’s rare for an internal department to have (and maintain) expertise in every marketing discipline. And remaining highly creative within the confines of a corporate organization is challenging. The outside perspective and experience that agencies provide often yields more innovative, revenue-producing solutions.
Still, some organizations prefer to keep some marketing functions internally. This can best be achieved through a third option that combines the best of both models.
3. The Hybrid Marketing Model
Hybrid Marketing is a viable solution for organizations that want an active role in marketing without overinvesting time and resources into a large, internal department. A small, focused in-house team partners with an outsourced agency to develop new and creative ideas that support the organization’s marketing goals and objectives. The internal team drives decision-making and maintains oversight; the outsourced agency uses its creativity and resources to bring the company’s vision to life. A small or mid-sized in-house department would be challenged to match the collective experience, knowledge and creativity delivered by a hybrid team.
The hybrid model can also help an established in-house marketing department return to its creative roots. Over time, an internal team can become stale, stifled by organizational norms and expectations. Conceiving and initiating new strategies to reach customers becomes an increasing challenge. An agency is free from these constraints, bringing expertise, objectivity, and originality to the creative process of winning and keeping business.
For Hybrid Marketing to succeed, the in-house team must recognize the agency as a true partner and asset rather than a threat. The agency is not a replacement for the in-house department, but rather an essential component of the marketing effort that enhances customer perception, drives sales, and elevates the brand.