If you’re a large company with a full in-house marketing team, you probably have most marketing disciplines covered.
But if you don’t have the luxury of a full in-house team of marketing experts, you probably outsource some of your marketing needs such as creative design, social media, content creation, web development, email marketing or even marketing strategy and management to others.
That’s a lot of skills. And, if you use multiple freelancers or agencies, a lot of relationships to manage, made more complex by the fact that all these different areas of expertise must be integrated carefully to deliver marketing projects or campaigns with tangible results.
Inevitably, the question arises: is it better to use a “Jack of all trades” or a “One trick pony”?
Should we go with a single integrated marketing agency, or use multiple freelancers and contractors?
Here we take a look at some of the benefits of working with a single, integrated marketing agency who can deliver all your marketing under one roof, and why managing multiple contractors or single discipline agencies can be problematic, as well as time-consuming and expensive.
1. Working with a single marketing supplier is easier
At the heart of the argument is the simple fact that getting everything done by the same team under one roof is easier than dealing with umpteen different people or agencies.
Hiring multiple specialists (designer, developer, SEO specialist, etc) for every task or to collaborate on a single project means more conversations, more emails, more time, more potential for confusion, more possible points of failure and, potentially, higher costs.
In summary, if you got plenty of time to manage and co-ordinate lots of different supplier relationships, along with the extra overhead of having to pay and reconcile invoices from multiple suppliers, fair enough.
But to minimise the management process overhead, it’s better to consolidate and focus on a productive relationship with a single, skilled agency.
2. Simplified communications
Anything we can do to streamline and rationalise communications is always a welcome bonus.
But working with separate experts means managing multiple conversations with teams in different places and a higher communication overhead overall.
When different agencies work on the same project, project management issues can develop because different agencies rarely communicate effectively with each other in the client’s interest to get the job done.
When you use an integrated agency team, things get easier because your project or account manager will act as a single point of contact, pulling together all the resources together and ensuring they’re on the same page. There is a lot less room for misinterpretation.
3. Time savings
There’s always a learning curve in a new client-agency relationship as people get used to working with each other.
If your product or service solution has complexities, then as the business owner or marketer it’s going to be your responsibility to educate your marketing team so that they understand your proposition, USPs and competitive positioning. Without that understanding, they won’t be able to work with you to full strength.
By cutting down on unnecessary communication, you can increase efficiency in your own business or marketing department, get more done and win back more time to focus on what you do best.
4. Everyone on the same page
When you hire one team that does everything, it’s easier for everyone to agree on the end goal or objective, strategy and tactics, methodology and single overall mission.
In effect, everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet, rather than (and we may be extending this analogy a little far here) playing their own tune that’s out of line with everyone else.
The point is, with a single agency team, the chances are that you’ll use a single project management tool, use the same working methods and principles and share a similar team ethic.
There’s a stronger likelihood that nothing will get missed, there’ll be less wasted time fixing mistakes caused my miscommunication and the project or monthly activities will be smoother because everyone shares a single understanding of the objectives.
5. Cost savings
Sometimes it’s tempting to work with separate individual freelancers or agencies because they offer lower pricing. But it rarely works out cheaper in the long run for various reasons.
Firstly, time is money, and you’ll save time by working with a single agency. Second, you usually ‘get what you pay for’ in terms of value from a more experienced agency that has the superior experience and skills to charge more for its professional services. Thirdly projects are likely to run on time and require less reworking – meaning that more can actually be generated in a shorter time.
But when you start outsourcing your marketing, design, SEO and content, you can end up facing some of the issues with learning curve, project management and costs outlined above.
6. Clear accountability
You’ve probably been a victim of two or more suppliers blaming each other for something that’s gone wrong at some point.
In some cases, there are genuine reasons for it, but in many cases it takes time and effort to diagnose where responsibility lies for an issue, as it isn’t clearly ‘someone’s fault.
The typical outcome is that neither party is willing to assume responsibility because they don’t want to be held accountable – with the result that the client routinely loses out and is inconvenienced.
With a single agency, there’s only one place for the buck to stop. And that’s right here.
7. Increased trust
By focusing on a single agency service, you’ll typically build up a solid trust-based relationship which – while remaining on a highly professional level – will potentially expand into other areas.
Of course, performance must be continually be monitored to ensure that standards don’t slip and complacency doesn’t creep in (as is, sadly, often the case).
By agreeing ‘ground rules’ from day one and ensuring that the agency knows clearly what is expected from it, these issues can be ruled out.
8. Greater focus and more attention from the agency
Finally, the greater the value of the relationship your agency has with you, the more carefully they will look after it. It often follows therefore that because you’re more ‘special’, you’ll get more attention because there’s more to lose if the relationship goes wrong.
It also means that the agency will invest more into the relationship, often being willing to stretch the extra mile to ensure delivery and continued performance.
By the way, it doesn’t follow that ‘smaller value’ contracts are less important. It’s about mutual understanding and benefits that ensure both parties work together to achieve mutually shared goals. The closer the alignment, the more likely the relationship will be successful, enduring and profitable for all concerned.
Could you benefit from an all-in-one, integrated digital marketing agency relationship?
At C4B Media we provide the expertise you need under one roof. All our staff are skilled specialists, headed by marketing professionals who have worked in real business marketing teams at senior level.
We have experts in design, content, SEO, social media and development as well as marketing strategy and planning, all of whom are ready to work together to fulfil your specific marketing goals.
Our goal is to make your marketing successful in as convenient and congenial a way as we can. And we’re a nice bunch of people to work with too!
For a free snapshot assessment of your current marketing performance, give us a call on 01763 877110 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know if we can help with any aspect of marketing or ask us about an all-inclusive outsourced marketing contract.