Marketing is an Investment
In today’s economic environment it is more important than ever to make sure you get the most out of every dollar you invest in your business. If managed wisely, one of the most important, and potentially most lucrative, investments is the money you spend on marketing.
When looking to reduce costs, manager’s first reactions are usually to bring more business functions in-house in order to eliminate the premiums charged by marketing agencies and other vendors.
However, when it comes to getting the most for your limited marketing dollars, in terms of return-on-investment and overall quality of work, increasing your in-house capabilities is likely not the most cost-effective or efficient use of your money.
As quoted in a 2008 Harvard study by Horsky, Michael and Silk, “An in-house agency sacrifices size-related economies realized by an independent agency serving numerous clients. Use of an outside agency is less costly than operating an in-house agency.”
Analyze Your Situation
Think for a moment about your current marketing department—their roles, responsibilities, expertise and limitations.
Consider the total cost of recruiting, hiring, training and retaining a single new marketing professional for your organization and calculate the combined cost of the marketing team that handled your last project. How long did it take them to complete the project? Did they have a budget beyond their personal compensation packages? Was the team able to handle every aspect of the project, from conception to creative development, graphic design, website maintenance and coordinated implementation—or, did they still have to coordinate with other departments or contract an outside agency for some of these services?
Add It Up
The numbers below are the average salaries of various positions in a typical corporate marketing department. A small company may not have a need for all of these positions, but a larger company likely needs more than one individual for a few of them. When you include the cost of training, benefits, technology resources and general overhead, the total cost to maintain the department is much higher.
Average Base Salaries in U.S.:
Creative Director – $88,690 Copywriter- $41,776
Account Executive- $42,987 Marketing Data Architect- $50,366
Advertising Supervisor- $69,406 Corporate Strategist- $250,000
Project Coordinator- $30,553 Production Manager- $49,330
Graphic Designer- $37,417 Public Relations Strategist- $62,767
Art Director- $79,600 Media Buyer- $56,438
Web Developer- $51,898
Depending on the extent of your marketing needs, it is likely that for the cost of just one or two of these salaries you could have a more experienced, dedicated, and flexible team of marketing professionals at your fingertips—capable of turning around your projects in days instead of weeks.
Beyond the Numbers
In addition to financial savings, ad agencies provide an objective opinion of your industry and your position within it. They are more inclined to push back and challenge corporate ideas as to the best way to implement your marketing strategy.
Agencies employ some of the best creative and strategic minds in the business—they are ahead of the curve regarding best practices and have years of experience to draw from. They are not only on top of the latest marketing trends, but it is likely they have successfully developed and implemented similar campaigns in the last few months, and therefore know, first-hand, which strategies have proven to be most effective.
Next time you face a marketing project that is beyond the capabilities of your current team, make sure you consider all of the benefits a marketing agency has to offer before deciding to invest in new staff or technology.
Working with an experienced agency will likely allow your company to save money, receive better quality work and, more importantly, focus more time and effort towards the core business functions that drive your profitability.
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