Just because you have a good product, great service, and wonderful employees doesn’t guarantee that potential clients will be lined up outside your door clamoring to do business with you. While those things are essential for a successful business, they’re not enough by themselves. You need to get your business in front of the right people in a way that allows them to see what you have to offer. And then you’ve got to engage potential customers and nurture that relationship until they are ready to buy.
In today’s marketplace, that generally means taking an integrated approach to marketing. You’ll want to use every tool at your disposal in order to get your message out: direct mail, email, web content, blogging, social media, and more.
If you’re busy running your business, you’re probably going to need help with that. So what’s the best way to get the help you need? Should you hire a full-time employee or should you use an agency? Here are a few of the pros and cons of both approaches.
Pros of Hiring an Employee:
- An employee is available anytime you need him or her.
- An employee has an insider’s understanding of your unique value proposition
- Your employee is focused only on your company and your message
- Whether your employee spends 10 hours or 50 hours on a project, the cost is the same
- You can pull an employee off a project and put him or her on a different one.
Cons of Hiring an Employee:
- You pay an employee’s salary whether or not he/she is being productive (and that’s aside from benefits)
- A single employee may not have the range of experience and expertise that a team of experts has
- As an insider, an employee may not be aware of what others in the industry are doing
- Inside employees often adopt “insider language” when describing products and services—language that makes sense to you, but not necessarily to your prospects
- An employee requires some supervision, which can be problematic if you’re not a marketing expert yourself
Pros of Hiring an Agency:
- You only pay an agency when they are actually working for you
- An agency is comprised of a team of marketing experts with a range of expertise
- You are hiring a team of experts for a specific task—that’s the only focus
- An agency is more likely to take an objective view of your messaging—and question things that aren’t clear
- Agencies can bring what they learn from dealing with other clients to bear on your projects
Cons of Hiring an Agency:
- An agency isn’t in house, so you can’t just walk into an office with an idea (but an agency is only a phone call or an email away)
- An agency may not share the same level of passion about your business that an employee does
- An agency’s hourly rate may exceed the hourly rate for an employee (but you’re not paying benefits and you’re only paying when they are actively working on your project)
- You may feel that you don’t have as much control over the process
Which approach is right for your marketing needs? That’s ultimately your decision, but hopefully the pros and cons here will give you some food for thought as your think about how best to meet your marketing needs.