The challenging question: Hire an outside advertising agency,
or use/hire an internal team?
The question brings with it matters related to budget, internal skills and organizational structure. Making this choice is an important area with which many organizations struggle.
I was reminded of this conundrum during a recent outing with my two young daughters. While driving, we caught site of a beautiful rainbow in the distance. Both of my girls were asking me if we could get closer to the rainbow, not realizing that the light of a rainbow can only be seen from a certain distance. It was at this point that I had to explain that the closer you get to a rainbow, the less you are able to see the vivid colors, and if you get you too close, you might not see the beauty of it at all.
I quickly realized how this rainbow metaphor could be applied quite accurately to what marketing agencies like ours, do. Being too close to your business can often restrict your ability to progress because you get mired in the day-to-day details of running the business. At Esparza, we take pride in offering our clients an objective outsider’s point-of-view and here are a few of the ways in which we have found this idea to be reflected in our work.
Being able to work with objectivity.
Large companies with equally large budgets often create internal groups to drive innovation and alignment between their goals and their marketing efforts. Unfortunately, many others don’t have the budgets to do this, and those that do, often suffer from the same problem. That is, the internal teams have to deal with the same cultural biases as the rest of the company. Sometimes when you are at the heart of a business, it’s just too difficult to completely remove yourself from internal noise and see an issue from the eyes of a customer.
Company politics stifling the team’s creativity.
While internal teams can be effective in fueling innovation, more often than not, there are some limits to their creativity because of their awareness of company culture. They may be stepping on eggshells, and are slow to suggest ideas that may ruffle feathers, even if they believe the idea is a great one.
Ambiguity in regards to the roles of the staff.
Many internal marketing professionals may find that they do not have a defined role within the firm and are forced to wear many hats. For example: they may now be stretched to employ newer techniques like social media, though this is not his or her original area of expertise. Also, tighter budgets can cause them to be pulled in different directions and not give adequate time to each role that they need to fulfill.
Maintaining congruity with the company purpose.
A good external marketing agency is adept at quickly identifying the internal workings and values of a company, and can often see the true culture and trajectory of a business more clearly than someone on the inside.
The truth is many people within your business are unable to agree on one purpose. Executives may see profit as the end goal, while others may see innovation or long-term growth. The primary aim of a business should always be to meet customer needs, but pressure from shareholders may redirect the focus from immediate profit to longer-term value (and vice-versa). As a result, short-sighted decisions are made. An external agency doesn’t feel this same pressure from investors and therefore, can more clearly see the whole picture.
Ultimately, as a strategic advertising agency, Esparza is experienced at looking at businesses through an external lens. This allows us to see your company from a distance, work with you on goal-alignment and truly see your “rainbow” in all its colorful glory in order to bring your brand to life for customers.