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Inbound marketing agency vs internal team, which one to choose?

Hiring a specialized inbound marketing agency  or delegating the various actions that an inbound strategy represents to the internal marketing team is one of the situations that companies face when they decide to work with the inbound methodology.

Managers who seek to have greater “control” of strategy and develop a team with deep knowledge usually choose to seek to carry out the efforts internally.

It is only important to consider whether the size, skills and competencies are adequate, since integrating the inbound methodology involves specialists in SEO, PPC, UX / UI, marketing and business strategy.

As well as the time of the learning curve, since the results can take 50% more time to be achieved and even not achieve the objectives,

Directors looking for faster results and a higher level of execution , opt for an inbound marketing agency, which, in addition to the implementation, contributes much more to the growth strategy, by analyzing your business model, clients and digital assets, to define the growth path of your company.

Another important point is that inbound marketing agencies do not work only for a company, they do it for a wide portfolio of clients and sectors, so they have much more knowledge and experiences acquired. There is a better chance of achieving results and being clear about what is being done well and what is not.

How to decide between delegating the strategy to the internal team or to an agency? We share 3 key considerations that you should take into account before deciding on one or the other option.  

1. The challenges your company is facing, an inbound marketing agency or the internal team?

When you don’t prepare to succeed, you are preparing to fail

What does your company need to grow? . To grow or not to grow depends on multiple factors, what for one company may work for another may not. In this sense, betting on developing an internal team or outsourcing services to an inbound agency will depend on your challenges.

To give you a bigger picture, we list a series of challenges that you will have to face before developing an inbound strategy. Also in the following paragraphs we list the profiles necessary to implement the strategic plan.

Align marketing and sales efforts

In the report prepared by Hubspot on the State of Inbound 2018 in Latin America , it is mentioned that only 21% of companies, globally, work with truly aligned sales and marketing departments. But for those who do work aligned, their trading strategy is 4 times more effective.

  • Do your sales and marketing teams work together? 
  • Do the processes allow your prospects to connect with your company when, where and how they want?
  • Is everyone clear about their responsibilities, who does what, by when?
  • Do they share business goals?

If you have answered no to some of the questions, before implementing inbound, you should work on a Service Level Agreement (SLA), that is, align between marketing and sales .

In this sense, an inbound growth agency can help you develop it based on standardized processes, adapting already proven actions.

Of course, the internal team can develop it , however, having no experience doing it, there is a high probability that they will implement inefficient actions.

Translate marketing efforts into business results

Many marketers often complain that the budget contributed to their departments is always insufficient. However, they do not always have the necessary skills to understand business, investment and financial needs, resulting in ineffective tactics.

An inbound agency must have the ability and experience to recommend investment, strategy, and tactics to achieve growth and return on investment.

Question both the internal team and the agencies how their actions add value to the business results? and you will have in their answers greater clarity of their strategic vision.

Another constant is that the marketing department focuses on tactical results such as followers, engagement and positioning and they are not seen as a muscle for the growth of the company , limiting themselves to communication actions such as “posting images on Facebook” and fear not strategic, such as the constant generation of clients or the increase in the value of the client’s lifetime.

There are different causes that could be affecting results, internal silos, team training, lack of a strategic plan, etc. An inbound growth agency can help you identify where the anchors are that limit the effectiveness and efficiency of your marketing and sales department. 

Improve business efficiency

One of the great challenges facing managers and sales leaders is for salespeople to achieve more with less.

In this sense, marketing and sales efforts should be focused on improving business efficiency, making salespeople focus their time with the most qualified prospects prepared to buy.

If the internal team is to design and execute the inbound strategy, it must have a strong commercial and analytical orientation to define, improve and / or automate stages of the commercial process and help grow sales.

Now, there are also many digital marketing and inbound marketing agencies that sales are not their specialization and they only deliver leads .

At motherlandgroups, we believe that to achieve business growth objectives, we must have the inbound marketing and inbound sales strategy covered , so we typically work on both guidelines, implementing strategies and tactics to attract prospects, build a relationship of value and improve the management of the sales process.

2. The implementation of the Inbound methodology in specific actions

To implement the inbound methodology you have two options: the experience and know-how of an agency or develop an Inbound Marketing department . It all depends on the growth plan of your business.

To generate business results, motherlandgroups Agency has professionals of different profiles:

  • Strategists and Consultants who understand the current situation of the organization and understand the interactions and intentions of the different buyer profiles. Able to create plans to raise indicators such as LTV, CAC, ROI and conversion rates.
  • Inbound implementers who know the multiple tools and technology necessary to make the plan come true. They are experts in automation, segmentation, optimization and data analysis.
  • Content team: Content is one of the pillars of inbound, which is why agencies have high-quality content creators. They are the ones who produce the contents and carry out community management tasks to spread them on social networks. Also, they should know about SEO and PPC techniques.
  • Graphic designer: These professionals have experience in UX, UI and editorial design. 
  • Developer: The website is fundamental to the strategy, therefore, inbound agencies have experts in software development, capable of integrating multiple platforms, maintaining optimal websites, etc.
  • Specialists: According to the scope of the project, an inbound strategy involves specialists in video, PPC and SEO. In addition, a sales consultant who ties marketing with sales and empowers the team of advisers is essential.

An inbound agency has effective, defined and documented processes through the experiences acquired, less execution time and specialized professionals who are constantly learning.

So, if you are thinking of developing an inbound in house strategy , you should have some of these profiles on your team:

A strategist who will act as the leader of the inbound marketing department , in charge of designing and supervising the guidelines of the area. You must be an expert in communication, be familiar with online media and have a strong technological and business profile.

At least have a writer with the ability not only to create relevant content, but also to manage the project. A graphic designer who materializes ideas in highly engaging visual pieces. Also, a programmer to help maintain the website. And, depending on your needs, specialists who support the strategy .

Being an internal inbound team , the knowledge gained will be a long-term investment . Hiring and / or training staff with the skills you require, for example, an expert writer in a specific area, will give you greater control of execution times and deeper content.

In this sense, continuous training will be essential for staff to be able to implement actions and thereby reduce the margin of error.

However, the business objectives that companies seek to achieve often cannot afford the time required by professionals in the new department to acquire the necessary knowledge to plan and execute an inbound strategy.

3. The amount and return on investment

How much does an inbound marketing strategy cost? It depends, the previous points have the objective of making clearer the processes involved in the inbound methodology and how each of these contributes to the sustainable growth of your B2B companies.

Internal or external? Which option is more expensive? Which is more profitable? What will be the term of the return on your investment?

The contracting of external services usually generate a lower cost to companies, since they only pay for the services acquired. The results are in the hands of experts with the ability to react and optimize the strategy in less time. In addition, the investment in training and tools remains in the hands of the agency.

While, on the internal development side of the department , labor costs, team training, investment in materials, equipment, infrastructure and technological tools will be the responsibility of the company.

Although there is always the possibility of hiring professionals who work as freelancers to reduce operating costs . 

Our recommendation, opt for mixed efforts

Although any of these options are equally valid, in our experience, developing an effective strategy requires the integration of a team of digital experts, in this case an inbound marketing agency and business experts, the internal team.

The ideal is to initially trust a specialized agency, while appointing a person from the internal team who will be the link or bridge with the agency. With sufficient skills and knowledge to participate in the co-creation of the plan and follow up on the results, as well as the requirements of the agency.

In this sense, the agency and the person acting as liaison must share the following values: trust, communication, empathy, results orientation and transparency, in order to guarantee the fulfillment of the objectives.

In addition, during this process, the internal team will have acquired new knowledge, improved internal processes and best practices. Therefore, it will be able to give way to the internalization of the strategy .

This does not imply that the agency disappears completely, it may act as a specialist consultant in certain areas or focus efforts on more complex tactics, raising the level of strategy.

Add your efforts and multiply your sales

At motherlandgroups, we believe that coordinating efforts between our team and our clients’ internal teams is decisive for improving business results .

Since it is a process of transformation of the company and this begins with people, we integrate our clients into an immersed learning process.

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