At a party last week, I met a gentleman handling one of the leading real estate businesses in the city. According to him, the company’s in-house team was enough to manage everything, right from campaign strategies to brand positioning and PR.
Nevertheless, advertising career has taught me otherwise-the benefits of hiring an agency greatly outweighs the approach of in-house branding.
In our tête-à-tête on creative agency vs in-house branding, I went on to give him the much-needed Gyanon the benefits of agency branding. And here’s why I thought I wanted to change his mind.
An agency infuses fresh and inspirational approach
One of the most plain-sailing explanations for choosing a creative agency is that it brings a fresh perspective to the business, generating persuasive ideas for a systematic brand campaign.
At some point of time, no matter how ingenious your in-house team may be; its creativity starts stagnating. This makes fresh ideas and inspiration harder to infuse.
The in-house team completes much of the innovatory work within the company bubble. This restricts visibility into what the competitors are doing. At times, the internal company leadership also plays a dominant role in wielding decisions and doesn’t give the creative team the space to try out new things and take risks.
Alternatively, a good agency thrives with the much-needed dose of fresh ideas. Since it also works with several other companies in the industry, an agency is mindful about what’s going to work with the TG and what will go down in a dump.
You can gain from the depth of its experience
If not anything else, a good old agency can give you the benefit of experience. It’s always a good idea to look-see some well-known names and then pin down one agency that matches your needs.
A creative agency has an experience of working with similar companies like yours. So it fairly knows the do’s and don’ts and can predict the effectiveness of your brand campaigns.
With experience, an agency will also be able to tell you where you are going wrong and what parameters you need to keep in check. It’s worth remembering: When you opt for agency branding, you get access to its expansive experience and established practice experts who can guide you to a different approach for your business strategies and position you as a brand.
There is an access to a broader skillset
Suppose you only have the budget to hire 3 people for your internal creative team then who will you pick? Even if you hired a designer, a marketing manager and a copywriter, you will still need to figure out how to cover skills like brand strategy and positioning, video/animation, SEO, web development, etc.
This isn’t the case when you have an agency by your side because you will have access to a broader skillset and their work will be far more coordinated than if you were to contract assignments to freelancers.
You get a scope for budget flexibility
One of the key benefits of working with an agency is getting greater flexibility for managing the company budget. With an internal team, if there is a downtick in your company’s financial equations, or if budgets need to be cut-shot, it can lead to difficult decisions about letting people go. This not only impacts the people who are losing their jobs, but in the long run jolts the morale of the entire team.
Comparatively, it’s easier to scale an engagement up or down with an agency from time to time. Say if you have a big launch, you can scale up the agency work to support it. And later reduce your agency investment and spend that money where needed.
Even if the agency’s price-per hour cost can be more expensive than hiring internally, you benefit from the flexibility in terms of the length and depth of your investment.
You get the benefit of speed
In comparison to an in-house team where there are often other priorities to attend, agencies can complete projects faster. Because an agency has the benefit of separating itself from the company’s day-to-day chores, it can often bring focus and throw additional resources at a project to complete it quickly.
In a nutshell, whether your company does its branding work in-house or hires an external agency is one of the most important strategic decisions a marketing leader makes. At times, it’s also a good idea for many companies to not default to one extreme or another. If need be, you can choose a blended approach that gives you some of the benefits of working with an agency as well as having a full-time creative team.