Make the Right Decision for Your Brand: In-House or Outsourced B2B Marketing?

Hummingbird CreativeAdvertising & Marketing, Branding & Creative, Web Services

It’s no secret that B2B brands need to win at branding and marketing to be successful in a crowded marketplace. If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you understand the importance of a strong brand to differentiate and position your company as a market leader. 

But you may still be wondering what it takes to effectively build your brand and win at B2B marketing. 

Is building up your in-house team the best approach to marketing or would outsourcing to an agency help you reach your goals faster?

It’s a good question…one worth exploring in depth. As you weigh the options, we’d like to give you some points to ponder so you can understand the pros, cons, and costs of both options.  

In-House B2B Marketing — Pros and Cons

Let’s start with in-house B2B marketing. Building up your in-house team could mean hiring one additional person or a team of 10, depending on the size of your business. If you already have a marketing manager but no other team members, you may consider adding a graphic designer, copywriter, and social media manager to the team. 

Pros

The benefits of hiring in house and doing your own marketing mostly relate to control:

  • Your team maintains control of every aspect of the marketing process — communicating your positioning and differentiating your brand across all media outlets.
  • You control your story. Your team is the one responsible to create enduring and meaningful interactions with your target audiences through strategic thought, innovation, engagement, creative storytelling, and design.

Cons

Maintaining full control sounds good, but there are also some downsides to in-house marketing: 

  • Full responsibility lands squarely on your marketing team. If it’s a small team, the weight can become heavy fast.

Sole responsibility for every aspect of branding and marketing includes developing your brand story, communicating it internally throughout the company and externally to current and prospective customers, and consistently engaging with your audience in print collateral and on digital media channels. If your team lacks expertise in one or more of these areas, they’ll need to develop skills and execute the marketing plan at the same time. That’s a lot of juggling! 

  • Your company faces additional costs when hiring full-timers to fill in the gaps in your team. Factor in salaries, health insurance, vacation pay, retirement plans, sick leave, and more, and the cost to hire team members adds up quickly.

As you’re considering whether to continue managing your own marketing, it’s worth thinking through these pros and cons.

Outsourcing B2B Marketing to an Agency — Pros and Cons

Hiring an inbound marketing specialist, a content producer, editor, social media manager, PPC specialist, and graphic designer gets expensive fast. Even if that is out of reach for your smaller business, when you hire a marketing agency, you can still get the benefits of all that experience and all those skills – for about the cost of one employee.”
HubSpot

What about outsourcing to a marketing agency? An agency has a built-in team with expertise and experience in all things marketing. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks and compare the costs of working with an agency for your marketing needs.

Pros

  • Greater efficiency – When you’re paying full-time employees, you pay for the time they’re on the job, even when they’re chatting with colleagues in the office next door. At Hummingbird, we like to call that water-cooler talk. When you work with an agency, you’re billed for efficiency. You only pay for the hours spent on your project and not for employees’ water-cooler talk.

    Agencies also run with new ideas more efficiently. Their dynamic teams are built for fast moving environments, and they produce results quickly. It’s just who they are.
  • More access to diverse skills/resources – Agencies have built their teams to provide all the resources you need for marketing your business. When they bring all those resources to bear for your project, the diverse skills of their team members provide a fresh perspective that strengthens your brand development and strategy. 
  • Lower costs – We’ve already mentioned how expensive hiring additional employees for your marketing team can be. Because an agency is only billing you for the services you need, you can save significantly when you work with one. You also don’t have to be concerned about the overhead costs of benefits expenses that come along with hiring full-time employees. This adds to your savings.

Cons

On the flip side, what are the cons for working with a marketing agency?

  • Lack of control – We mentioned earlier that doing your own marketing means maintaining control of every aspect of the process. Some companies may feel that working with an agency means letting go of control. But that’s part of the purpose of hiring an agency — relieving the leadership team of the need to have their hand in every aspect of the branding process. For the team to feel good about the agency guiding the process, they must build trust between them. They’ll build trust most effectively when they’re committed to communication. 
  • Hidden costs – Hidden costs result when projects take longer than expected or have to be revisited or revamped. Because agencies bill for the actual time spent on a project, additional costs can add up quickly when revisiting a project that’s not going according to plan. The key to keeping hidden costs low is strong communication to keep every project on track and on time. 
  • Quality control issues – When an agency’s team brings diverse strengths to your branding project, your company benefits from the unique perspectives offered. But sometimes having so many hands in a project can impact its consistency. Communication is the solution and will go a long way in keeping team members on the same page so they don’t overlook important aspects of any project. 

A winning branding and marketing strategy is essential for B2B brands. When your company is considering whether to keep marketing in house or outsource to an agency, use the above guide to weigh the pros, cons, and costs of each option, so you can make the decision that’s best for your business.

Considering outsourcing your branding and B2B marketing in 2024? Reach out to the team at Hummingbird Creative Group where your ideas can take flight!