Marketing is an extremely important part of your service-based business, however, putting together the right Marketing team to meet your needs is not as easy as it sounds. With a few different options to choose from, it can often be difficult to decide which is best for your business.

Traditionally, the most common method of putting together a Marketing team has been to hire in-house staff, however, this option has decreased in popularity in recent years as the rise of agencies and freelance models has begun to provide a cheaper and more flexible solution.

The problem with this, however, is that cheaper and more flexible is not always the right option for some businesses – which only makes the decision more confusing than ever before.

So, how do you determine which model is best for you?

Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to help you with today.

In this article, I’m going to run through the pros and cons of both Internal and External marketing resources to help you weigh things up and gain a better understanding of each option.

I’m also going to introduce a third option that has recently become available and explain why it may well be a much more practical solution for your business going forward.

Let’s get started.

The Internal model: hiring in-house marketing staff

As mentioned, this has long been the traditional means of putting together a Marketing team. It involves hiring part or full-time staff members with various marketing skills to help you carry out your digital strategy in your business.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of this internal marketing team model:

The pros:

  • Internal staff have a closer connection with your business.
  • They better understand the inner workings and context of the work that they are doing day-in and day-out.
  • They have a better sense of team with fewer barriers to working together with other staff.
  • They are more likely to work outside of their traditional scope if required.
  • You get total say over their schedule and their salary.

The cons:

  • Internal staff are typically more expensive than external team members as they are on a salary and incur greater initial and long-term costs.
  • It can be extremely difficult and time consuming to find a good internal resource. According to the ABS, the number of job vacancies in May 2022 was 111.1% higher than pre-pandemic numbers in Feb 2020, meaning that it truly is a candidate’s market right now, giving job seekers the upper hand over employers. Not to mention, all the best marketers these days seem to land at the likes of Atlassian or Canva.
  • Internal staff incur recruitment and onboarding costs.
  • Most internal resources have more general skills, rather than specialising in certain areas, and while there is typically an expectation that this person will be a Marketing Unicorn (meaning they can do everything under the Marketing umbrella) this is simply not the case.
  • Internal staff need to be managed by someone who understands Marketing as well – ideally the same person that developed your digital marketing strategy.
  • Hiring internal staff requires a greater commitment from your business with resources, equipment, ongoing benefits and more.
  • Internal staff often require additional and ongoing training.

The External model – hiring a marketing agency or marketing freelancer

The External model involves seeking the services of an independent digital marketing agency or a marketing freelancer who can do contract work for your business as required. While they are not strictly part of your team, they can work together with your in-house staff to help execute your marketing strategy.

Let’s consider the pros and cons of hiring an external marketing resource:

The pros:

  • An external resource generally offers more bang for your buck. For the similar cost of one full-time internal team member, you can tap into the skillset of an entire team of marketing specialists.
  • They can be more specialised, focusing solely on areas such as advertising, content creation, branding or graphic design.
  • They provide an external view of your situation and strategy, often leading to fresh ideas and helpful suggestions.
  • They only work when you need them to. This is particularly helpful if you don’t have enough work to warrant a full-time staff member.
  • They are much easier to find and manage.
  • They require less onboarding and training than an internal resource.

The cons:

  • Connecting an external resource to your business requires far more technology, although it must be said that this has become much easier in the wake of COVID-19 and working from home.
  • External resources are often self-managed, requiring a greater deal of trust that they will do a good job for your business. Realistically, you still have to manage them.
  • Typically, they do not work within your office or team, potentially making communication and working together more difficult or disjointed.
  • Their hourly rates can be quite high, potentially limiting the amount of work that you hand off to them.

While both options are viable, it can be hard to weigh up what option is right for your business. So, what about a blend to get the best of both worlds?

The THIRD option: Hire an Ask Marketer!

One of the most frequently asked questions we get here at Ask Marketing is “Can you execute our digital marketing strategy for us?”
Finally, the answer is now ‘Yes, we can!”

With our brand-new Hire An Ask Marketer service, we now not only help to develop your digital marketing strategy, but we can also support and manage the rollout of your strategy’s priority activities as well.

For two days a week, you’ll get your own dedicated internal Ask Marketer in your business, giving you all of the pros of the internal model by providing you with the capabilities, the time and the resources to execute your digital marketing effectively. However, they also have all the pros of an external model as they are managed by the marketing experts at Ask Marketing.

Additional benefits of our new Hire an Ask Marketer service include:

  • We have the Marketers you cannot find! We vet, hire and train the best digital marketers before they start with you to provide you with a quality marketing professional that you simply cannot find in the market today.
  • We provide ongoing support, guidance, training and strategic alignment to both you and your Ask Marketer on a regular basis.
  • We manage your Ask Marketer so you don’t have to, saving you hours of time and energy every week.

For more, check out our recent blog where we discuss our new Hire An Ask Marketer service here.

Do you need help with strategic digital marketing for your business?

All you have to do is Ask!

At Ask Digital Marketing, we combine decisive digital strategy and managed marketing execution to help B2B service-based businesses build demand, establish thought leadership and own their industry through digital business marketing.

Stop waiting. Start building. Experience success.

Just get in touch with us and we can discuss your business to help you navigate the digital marketing landscape towards success.

Let’s harness the power of digital marketing today!

For more great marketing content, connect with our company leaders, Alexandra King and Stephanie King, or follow our Ask Marketing LinkedIn page.

Alexandra King

Ali has a proven track record of aligning with commercial business objectives and translating research into key insights that result in exceptional marketing strategies, online user experiences and positive financial results.