Whether you’re an edtech start-up or an established company, marketing is a key factor in your company’s growth and success. As the use of marketing tactics and public relations strategies continues to rise exponentially, edtech companies are now struggling with whether it is better to bring on an outside agency or to build up marketing capabilities in-house. Here are three things to think about to help you decide what’s right for your enterprise:
Need a variety of skill sets?
Marketing isn’t as simple as hiring a blog writer and someone to send out your email newsletter. It takes a range of skill sets that can be difficult to find in just 1 or 2 in-house team members. Most agencies have a team with a variety of specialties in different aspects of marketing, meaning that they can ramp up your marketing efforts faster and more efficiently. Need copywriters? They have those on board. Need social media specialists? Check. Need video content creators? Yep! On the other hand, an internal team can develop a more intimate knowledge of the ins and outs of your product or service.
Can you stay on top of the trends?
Marketing and PR agencies are laser-focused on their industry and their niche. Seasoned agencies have probably done just about everything during their work with a variety of clients on a wide spectrum of projects. Plus, the very best agencies spend time and resources to make sure that they are always ahead of the curve.
The truth is, working in an agency keeps people at the top of their game. They see what works and what doesn’t across a number of clients. Your internal team might notice a dip in your Facebook engagement but not know exactly why. In contrast, agency team members who’ve managed numerous social media accounts have learned to expect changes in algorithms and know how to quickly adapt.
Plus, an inside tip: agencies sometimes get perks like access to beta programs, specialized account reps at adtech and martech companies, and faster support
Which is more cost-effective?
The cost of creating an in-house team is a sizable investment with a substantial increase in overhead expenses. Base salaries, benefits, training, office space, etc. all add up quickly. Not to mention the hours you’ll spend recruiting, interviewing, and managing new staff members. Agencies help save you time and money because they’ve done a lot of this already. They advantage of a larger talent pool and can bring in the right person for the right amount of time. For example, working with an agency frees you from having to bring on a full time, permanent person to run your seasonal Facebook campaigns.
On the other hand, having someone with you on the inside day to day gives you better access to them and gives them an opportunity to become ingrained in the company culture. Savvy agency team members, though, also understand their responsibility in representing you and your company values.
In the end...
Whether an agency or in-house team is right for you, one thing’s for sure - the digital marketing space is becoming more and more important today and will continue to expand in the future. When considering between agency support or going in-house, it’s about finding the right balance of investment value, cost, and the best avenue for establishing your brand and company culture. This is a unique assessment that differs with each company based on how much and how fast you want to grow in this rapidly evolving and highly competitive edtech space.