Hiring a Retail Marketing Agency Vs. Staying In-House

When your retail marketing strategy has the definitive goal of realizing the best ROI possible, the everlasting debate arises: should you pack your team with in-house professionals or outsource the work to a retail marketing agency? 

The pros and cons are quite a bit to chew on, but the impact can be significant. 

Look at it this way: When hiring a retail marketing agency, you lift a significant load off your shoulder, but maybe the agency doesn’t align with the values of your company. When you challenge your in-house professionals to develop an innovative shopper marketing strategy, it may come at a huge cost to your organization thanks to the time & efforts spent ideating, testing and executing. If the account management isn’t being handled like a partnership, an agency may come across as distant or out-of-touch with your needs. In the same way, an in-house team may lack the resources and relationships to run strategic marketing campaigns with diverse tools and partners.

That’s just a glimpse of what both sides of the coin look like, so let’s review why hiring a retail marketing agency vs. staying in-house has advantages that far outweigh any disadvantages. 

The Benefits of Hiring a Retail Marketing Agency

1. Cost of Hiring and Operations

As we mentioned earlier, hiring employees is a long process that includes scheduling interviews, judging core competencies, arranging benefits and getting done with formalities. This is a sound idea only when you are sure of a regular workflow.

When you hire a shopper marketing agency, the work starts immediately and is typically goal-based so you can laser target the initiatives that will grow your brand. The job of finding the experts is already done by the agency. Plus, it leaves you flexible to use only targeted services when you need them. This saves you a lot of money which would have otherwise gone into paying your in-house team.

Quick Fact: As of 2020, a WebFX study revealed that retail marketing can cost anywhere between $30,000- $145,000 per year, while research from Raka Creative shows that an in-house marketing team can cost you around $50,000 per month!

2. Diversity in Expertise

Retail marketing agencies are known to work with a diverse set of people and specialists who implement the latest, unique shopper marketing strategies based on experience doing it for other brands. 

With in-house professionals in this case, you experience a disadvantage. While they are fully invested in your venture, they may not be able to bring the experience and range of solutions that are needed for different types of marketing campaigns. 

Shopper marketing agencies get into your shoppers’ shoes and see solutions from their side, (rather than what the brand wants them to see). While running a company that sells a product or a service, you definitely know your strengths, but your potential customers might not see it so easily. 

Experts at retail marketing agencies develop a well-planned marketing strategy that focuses on shopper engagement and optimizes the buyer journey so you can bring in more & more customers while growing your business at the same time. 

Quick Fact: Staffing costs go far beyond salary. Glassdoor reports that it costs $4000 to find the employee in the first place and then the average onboarding timeline can be three to six months. If they leave within the first year, you’re back to square one. That’s time and money lost to your go-to-market strategy and fuel for competitors to take your market share.

3. Get Work Done FAST!

When it comes to bringing your plan to action, an in-house marketing team is often slower than a retail marketing agency. All the brainstorming, meet-ups, interactive sessions, etc. may look productive, but at the same time, it is slowing the progress.

When you consult a retail marketing agency, they know the peak hours to drive traffic and exactly when to close out projects. They have already researched and experimented with various marketing strategies and know what works and what doesn’t.

Since their prime focus is on marketing and sales (and less on the ins and outs of office politics), they’re often more efficient than an in-house team. 

Quick Fact: According to HubSpot, most marketing agencies generate between 300 and 800 sales opportunities per month.

Finding the Right Solution for Your Brand

In any business endeavor, it’s always wise to hire experts in the field. While you may do so by hiring them as a part of your in-house team, the dynamic nature of a shopper marketing agency will help bring a diverse set of ideas to the table for every shopper marketing campaign.

No wonder retail marketing agencies enjoy an enviable reputation, but the final decision is in your hands. Follow your workflow, your business goals and your timeline – then decide who can best execute and manage the process. 

In the end, achieving your goals is what matters the most. Make a clear and concise choice and things would start falling in place. 

To learn more about the different ways to kickstart a partnership with a retail marketing agency, check out these valuable shopper marketing resources.
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