The Alternative You Never Knew to Hiring a Marketing Agency


The Alternative You Never Knew to Hiring a Marketing Agency

September 23, 2019

By Siew Mee Yong, Managing Director and Chief People Officer

As a marketing leader deciding whether you should hire a marketing agency or grow your in-house team, you might come across articles that talk about the pros and cons. For example, hiring an agency may be a good move if you are seeking:

1. Specialist-level knowledge and experience

Agencies have expertise and experience that you can tap into immediately. This increases your chances of accomplishing what you need without too much guesswork or uncertainty. If you are a marketing leader who needs to justify budget and outcome, leveraging an agency with a strong track record would be an easier sell with much less risk.

2. Time and cost savings on recruitment

As managers, we hardly talk about the time and effort spent on recruitment and training, but every manager knows this takes up a large chunk of energy, and there is only a 50 percent chance the person you hire works out. Another great thing is you don’t have to manage staff turnover.

3. A wider range of creative solutions

Agencies are more able to provide a wider range of creative solutions since they work with many other clients across the same industry or adjacent ones. This exposure and wider view of a problem can provide out-of-the-box thinking.

Conversely, there are also good reasons why in-house teams are better, including:

1. Alignment with business values, culture, and mission

Your in-house team lives and breathes this stuff (or should), and having a deep level of dedication is a key difference in whether a team works well together.

2. Dedicated resources that understand the inner workings of your specific organization

As you know, marketing doesn’t work in a silo, and having teams working closely together across years allows you to build trust and relationship with sales, product, and R&D teams.

3. The ability for continuous improvement to generate more impact from the same budget

When the marketing budget remains stagnant, the impact from an in-house marketing team has the ability to help business grow 10-30 percent.

The new alternative: Marketing as a service provides the best of both worlds

Often, it’s a trade-off that marketing leaders must make when confronted with these options.
But wouldn’t it be great if you could hire a marketing agency that has all the upsides of an in-house team, too?

The great news is you can with a marketing-as-a-service (MaaS) agency. MaaS is a new kind of marketing agency that provides the best of both worlds, with the following differentiators:

1. Dedicated marketing resources that function as part of the client’s team

Employing dedicated resources allows the MaaS agency to develop a deeper understanding of a client’s industry, business needs, technology, processes, and know-how. This counters to the common practice of non-MaaS agencies that swap out resources frequently or have the same team service multiple clients at the same time. This practice has the potential downside that impacts quality and productivity delivered to the client, who might end up paying for services that have no consistency or depth.

2. A model backed by established Centers of Excellence (COE)

Centers of Excellence are pillars that drive continuous improvements and innovation by taking the best ideas and learnings from various client engagements and distilling them into best practices. This cross pollination of ideas and know-how in operations is vital in moving a great idea from mere theory to actual implementation that benefits clients.

3. Major investment in training

MaaS agencies invest heavily in training their resources so that they are equipped for assignments, ultimately bringing down the cost for clients. This is particularly important when producing B2B marketers, as there are specific frameworks and heavy usage of a wide range of martech. B2B marketing is also far more domain-specific due to its emphasis on pain-based and audience-based marketing requirements.

4. Establishment of a long-term partnership

MaaS agencies sees themselves as long-term partners to their clients. They are both consultants providing insights on marketing strategy and trends, as well as advisors to marketing leaders in navigating politics in the board room (anything from securing a budget to defending a new initiative).

So hiring a marketing agency need not be a practice of trade-offs. 2X is the pioneer MaaS agency that comes with a unique cost proposition that enables marketing leaders and organizations to have their cake and eat it, too. If you are a marketing leader thinking about hiring a marketing agency with the full benefits of an in-house team,drop us a note.

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Siew Mee Yong

Siew Mee Yong

Siew Mee Yong is 2X's versatile Managing Director and Chief People Officer whose open-mindedness has shaped a diverse career path. Beginning as a researcher in computer networks, Siew Mee transitioned to designing digital user experiences for BT, having a track record of managing large teams with a below 2% attrition rate. Prior to 2X, she was the VP of Global Marketing at Quintiq—now Dassault Systèmes—where she oversaw 30% year-over-year growth and developed an off-shore marketing services function supporting 16 independent global business units.