How effective is internalising your marketing?
With the world economy in flux, big banks needing bail-outs and large brands closing branches and reducing their human resources I have seen a trend in businesses to drop their agencies in favour of doing their own marketing.
The immediate advantages are:
You can save yourself often a large monthly retainer with an agency
This can afford your business to keep key staff that you may otherwise have to let go
Allow you to employ expertise in your business that will allocate 100% of their time
Have more budget available to spend on developing new business
Allocate all marketing budget to channels where you see the best ROI
Now the above may sound like a no-brainer and does work for some businesses, but from my experience big brands that have tried this go back on this strategy. You will often see a RFP go out 6 to 18 months later when their sales fall even further and the internal marketing team cannot show a significant return on their activity.
The reason this happens is agencies have many clients which so:
They must stay on top of new technologies to remain competitive and relevant
Agencies know are in tune with regards to new and effective platforms & channels
Often, they have more media buying power, making them more cost effective
They have a more comprehensive and multi-skilled team working on your business
Their team offers niche highly skilled individuals who they can afford to employ full time
If a brand is unhappy with their agency, an in-depth investigation needs to be done. Their media channels should be audited against sales and rates checked. This information should be shared with them and offer them an opportunity to resolve any problems. If the agency simply does not perform look at putting them on a reasonable % share model. As a last resort put out an RFP and look at multiple agencies to take over the account.
It is my opinion, it is very difficult to employ enough highly skilled people to manage the marketing of a brand and do a better job than a good marketing agency.