Budget Planning: Why Hire an Agency Instead of an In-House Team?
When you sit down to plan your dealership’s budget for the next year, the marketing line can cause some stress.
Why are we paying so much for this marketing agency?
This thought kick-starts the conversation every business has at some point: Should we bring marketing in-house or work with an agency?
It’s easy to see the “marketing agency” line item as dispensable — especially when the budget is tight — but in the long run, that agency partner will cost significantly less, and likely perform better, than an in-house team.
That’s not just the marketing agency bias speaking! Here are some things to consider when asking yourself that age-old question (and why an agency often comes out on top).
1. A Team of Digital Marketing Experts
No one marketer is going to be an expert in all things.
Our collective experience provides a knowledge base that would be difficult (and costly — more on that later) to build in-house.
When your agency can test tactics across different locations and platforms, you’re getting strategy based on informed data.
Agency partners also have special access to firsthand information from the major players, like Google and Facebook.
If you run your ads in-house, your marketing budget alone isn’t big enough to justify access to an individual account rep. No shade on your budget, but individual marketers just don’t hit Google’s radar.
An agency, however, has the power of its collective ad spend, which gets us access to personalized reps. Why? If 9 Clouds started to see poor performance on Facebook across all our clients and decided it wasn’t a useful platform, Facebook would lose money from our whole portfolio.
It’s in the best interest of Facebook and Google to provide us access to a rep who can help us deliver the best results for our clients. This manifests as faster support, early access to important information, and account recommendations from inside experts.
Of course, in-house marketers can create and execute an effective strategy. But the risk is an internal team who knows a little about a lot of things, trying to cover every aspect of digital without the time to research industry trends.
2. Lower Cost in the Long Run
Remember when I said we’d come back to the cost of an in-house team?
Let’s dive in.
Hiring a full in-house marketing team to cover every service area you need to stay competitive in your market isn’t cheap. On top of the very basic costs of salary, taxes, and benefits, you need to factor in professional development and the subscriptions and tools needed for digital marketing.
When you hire a marketing agency, you don’t have to carry the overhead of conferences, Adobe InDesign, MacBooks, and Clif Bars.
9 Clouds client Julia Yoder said it best:
“I don’t have the budget to hire 13 people to work for me, so that’s why I work with 9 Clouds. They’ve consistently shown that they’re able to provide me the data and the information that I need, as well as the skill set and expertise, where I don’t have the budget to go out and hire a huge staff of my own.”
A marketing agency can certainly seem more expensive when you’re looking at it as a vendor. But if you consider its partnership as an employee (one with many heads and lots of knowledge), you see a much better ROI with an agency than with an in-house team.
What Can An Agency Do For You?
As you plan for your next year’s budget, take the time to consider what’s best for your marketing budget and how you can maximize the money your dealership has to go around.
If we have convinced you that an agency is the way to go, start here with questions to ask that new agency before you start working together (or to ask your current agency about the work it does for you).