The real secrets of why companies with in-house marketing and
communications teams partner with agencies
Most small to mid-size businesses work with marketing and communications (a.k.a. marcomms) agencies on everything from sales campaigns to brand building.
Increasingly, large corporations are pursuing this alliance even though they
may have internal teams skilled in these matters. With the ability to have a robust in-house team in place, why, you may wonder, would a large company spend a portion of their budget on an outside agency?
Increasing Marketing ROI without Increasing Head Count
Ever met someone on the in-house marketing team for a large company who wished they had more work to do? Yeah, neither have we. With finely tuned task division and razor-sharp job descriptions governing operations, marcomms teams almost never have spare time to take on new projects or propel existing initiatives to the next level, much as they aspire to do so.
Agencies are a great resource for sharing the load. Typically, several portions of a company’s marketing plan can be succinctly carved out and taken on by an agency, in close cooperation with the in-house team, who have ownership over the final product. This allows a large company to scale up their marcomms activities without the added expense of increased headcount, and the associated costs of more personnel. The additional marketing support from an agency contributes to greater outcomes, and often increased revenue. This is most commonly seen in sales enablement campaigns. An additional benefit is the boost in morale for the in-house team who understand they have allies, as well as assistance, on some of the important projects that would otherwise linger on their timelines like a dark cloud.
An Acute Need
Large companies engaging in mergers and acquisitions or rebranding often hire an agency to shepherd that process from beginning to end. The degree of intricacy related to change management projects make them highly suitable for the specialized attention an agency can give them, and with a distinct beginning and end, it’s a tough case to make for the company to staff up internally for its execution. This is also true with website design and optimization, since such endeavors can consume the entire marcomms team for several months (and a slice of the I.T. team as well). Engaging an agency for this work is a much more desirable alternative and allows for the ongoing attention needed to ensure a successful outcome.
Testing the Waters
New Marketing and Communications initiatives are a good fit for agencies because though the concept may be unknown to a large company, the chances are strong that an agency has worked on it in some form or another since their inception. Tasking an agency with new or unproven projects is a cost-effective way for large organizations to dip a toe in the pond with relatively little risk. Leaning on the agency’s experience in facilitating a new marketing initiative delivers a customized approach for implementation. Far from being an entirely experimental experience had the company gone it alone, partnering with an agency provides valuable insight into how the new initiative can become scalable over time.
Bigger Bandwidth, Smaller Spend
Because agencies work with multiple platforms and strategies to serve all of their clients, a large company can use this to their advantage. Fifth Ring uses software for inbound marketing, social listening, media relations, content development, and many other components of a robust marcomms solution. Our clients don’t have to buy five to ten different pieces of technology to execute on a plan when we can handle that for them. While availing themselves of these platforms doesn’t happen for free, large companies still spend significantly less than they would by purchasing each of these tools individually.
New markets require local knowledge
Opening a new office in Malaysia when the majority of your operations have been in the U.S. and Europe for more than 20 years? That’s an ideal time to enlist a marcomms agency with deep ties that span culture, language and geography. Fifth Ring has staff available 24-hours a day with offices in the U.S., U.K., Singapore and partner agencies in the United Arab Emirates and Brazil. We also hold ownership stake in BBN, an international organization of over 43 agencies in 29 countries. BBN was named the #1 B2B agency in 2019 by US B2B Agencies Benchmarking Report.