In-house vs outsourcing marketing and design: what’s best for you?

There are pros and cons to outsourcing marketing and design work to a creative agency like Monchü in Oxford, compared to keeping these functions in-house within your business or organisation. Which you choose to do will depend on your priorities and goals, but we’ve put together this short guide to help you make your decision.

In-house marketing and design: the pros and cons

The major pro of having an in-house marketing employee or team is that they have the time to really immerse themselves in your brand, culture and values. As an employee they’ll develop a deep understanding of how the company or organisation works, and what the needs of the customer are.

However, if you’re working at a small organisation or you’re starting a start-up business, then recruitment can be expensive in terms of both time and money. There’s a lot of admin that comes hand-in-hand with hiring, from the recruitment process, to managing employees, to organising sick pay and holiday leave, to ongoing training and professional development. Working with a creative agency and outsourcing marketing and design work will reduce these costs and give you more time to work on what matters.

It’s also unlikely that you’ll be able to hire one employee who is skilled in all of the areas that you’re looking for support in: graphic design, copywriting, and social media management, for instance. By working with an agency you have access to a whole team of experts in different areas.

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Outsourced marketing and design: the pros and cons

There are several reasons that you might choose to outsource marketing and/or design work. The first couple of these are essentially the ‘cons’ from the in-house section: it will likely be more cost effective to work with a creative agency rather than hiring a marketing or design employee, and you’ll have access to the skills and expertise of a team of people working at the agency, rather than one person.

Alongside this, it can also be beneficial to have an outside perspective on your branding and marketing. For employees of a business or organisation, and especially for founders and CEOs, it can be hard to remove yourself from the day-to-day tasks of running a business to take a step back and look at how effective your brand is. When you work with a creative agency you’re essentially hiring a team of consultants as well as design and marketing experts, who can give you a fresh pair of eyes and a different point of view about your brand or your marketing plan. This can be invaluable for your ongoing growth and development as a brand.

If you choose to work with a creative agency on a long-term, retainer basis, then the agency will also be able to develop a deep understanding of your organisation and your brand. They’ll be able to deliver design and marketing work quickly and to a high level, without needing a lengthy brief with lots of detail each time. As well as this, though, they’ll also be able to bring new ideas and experiments to the table. Agency employees have the benefit of working with a range of clients across different sectors and industries, meaning that they gain experience and ideas which you may not have from working within one specific area.

All of this means that you can spend much less time on admin and project management, and focus more on strategy and what matters most for your organisation.

One commonly raised con to working with a creative agency is that they don’t work physically within your business, so you may not always have immediate access to them. However, with self-employment and remote working becoming more and more common, this is becoming less of an issue. There are many project management and communication tools out there which will help the agency maintain a good communication channel with you. Most creative agencies will also suggest a regular face to face meeting to combat this. For more information, read our post on how to work effectively with a creative agency.

So what’s right for you?

Whether you choose to work with a creative agency on your marketing and design, or to keep these functions in-house, will come down to your long-term goals and priorities as an organisation. It might be that you need your in-house employees to be focused on product development and strategy, and that therefore it makes sense to outsource creative functions. Or, you might have an existing in-house marketing or design team who do brilliant work, but you work with a creative agency on larger, strategic projects which need substantial investment in terms of time, and which would benefit from an outside perspective.

The right place to end up on the spectrum of in-house to outsourced will be different for every organisation – but we hope this article has helped you to determine the best approach for you. If you’d like to discuss your specific situation further, please do get in touch, and one of the Monchü team will get back to you.

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