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Posted on 6 April 2011 by Ceris Burns

The Benefits of Using a Marketing Agency

Many companies who value PR and marketing will opt to use one or more external agencies to get the job done effectively. Ceris Burns, international marketing specialist for the cleaning industry discusses why using an agency for international PR and marketing can make a lot of sense.

Does your company have professional PR and marketing skills in-house?  Will this resource suffice to get the job done on time? What about industry knowledge and an extensive network of contacts? Do you have a budget and is it important to get an external perspective?  Which country or countries do you wish to market to and will these command local cultural knowledge or language skills? These are just some of the questions you will need to answer when deciding whether to manage your PR and marketing in-house or to outsource.  Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of outsourcing.

Financial – Agencies often use specialist people and tools for a number of clients and as such this can reduce the end cost for the client.  Similarly an agency may be able to get preferential advertising rates and produce creative more cost effectively.  What’s more, the overall cost of producing your project or campaign on an external basis may cost less than paying a full time member of staff – a key consideration in today’s climate.  If you recruit and it doesn’t work out you will incur additional H.R costs.  With an agency you can choose to invest in what you need when you need it and if a relationship doesn’t work it’s easy enough to walk away.

Specialists – The value of agency specialist knowledge shouldn’t be underestimated.  This  might be specialisation in a particular area of PR or marketing, a specific industry, country or even continent. By having a focus area, an agency can bring a whole new level of knowledge and an impressive set of contacts to boot.  A cleaning industry PR agency for example should be well connected with all of the cleaning, FM and relevant vertical market press in order to help you gain valuable coverage in all the right places.  If you are carrying out a multi-country campaign which needs a consistent approach and central control, you may wish to use one international agency capable of supporting you in each country.  On the other hand, using several specialist agencies may provide a more tailored local approach if you don’t mind forfeiting a little control and risking a few communication issues.

Professionalism – Now I’m not saying that PR and marketing can’t be managed professionally in-house (we work with some very good in-house marketers!) but problems can arise when non-marketers think they can take care of the job themselves.  Let’s face it marketing is one of those professions where everyone thinks they can do it.  After all marketing is just common sense isn’t it? If you don’t have a skilled marketing professional in-house your only option should be to outsource. Look for agencies that are CIM or CIPR members.  Members of both institutes work to a professional code of conduct which means that you should receive a service that is based upon honesty, professionalism and the latest insight.

Creativity – By wearing different hats to manage a variety of client campaigns, an agency is often able to bring a higher level of creativity. It also goes that an in-house environment is not always the most conducive to coming up with fresh and creative ideas or a new solution to an existing challenge. An agency can turn the creative process on its head and inject a new lease of life into a campaign.

External Perspective – I’m sure we have all suffered at some point from getting too close to a project.  An agency can of course bring a welcome external view to an existing challenge.  This can be extremely valuable, especially at times of major change or new market entry, when assessing all options is crucial to making the right decision.

The benefits of outsourcing international PR and marketing are numerous and clearly decisions need to be made on an individual company basis.  The key factors to keep in mind are budget, skill availability, the need for specialist knowledge and any specific country requirements.

To discuss whether outsourcing is for you contact Ceris at ceris@cbimarketing.com


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