October 11, 2023

The Value of Creative Being Performed by an Outsourced vs Insourced Team

Michelle Park
Engagement Director
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Marketing, creative and advertising leaders often face a dilemma when deciding how to deliver their creative. The age-old debate between outsourcing vs insourcing has never been a hotter topic, and with good reason—there are worthwhile applications for both. While the traditional advertising agency model still holds a valuable place in the market, several companies are moving towards alternative solutions like the in-house studio model. 

What works for a large company might not work for a startup, and what works for one project might not work for another. Creative requirements will differ based on a number of factors. However, one thing is true no matter your industry or the size of your organization—a holistic approach to sales and marketing is what will set you apart from the competition. 

It’s important to maintain your individuality as a brand while staying relevant in your industry, and this balance can be difficult to master without the expertise of a creative team. As you navigate the planning phase for future projects, you should always be thinking about your deliverables, consistency of workload, and of course, your budget. 

Deliverables For Insourced & Outsourced Teams

The best place to start is with your deliverables and associated creative branding needs. If you’re just starting out and need help with ideation, conceptualization, and defining your brand’s identity, a Creative agency will be an invaluable resource. They can help you establish your overall identity, look, and feel as it relates to your mission and values.

These key initial phases are essential for setting a solid foundation from which you can build a long-lasting business. Creative agencies can help you set up the brand strategy and framework you need, leaving you in a place where you feel confident to let your team handle the rest.

An advertising agency can also help you with rebranding efforts if you’re looking to bring a fresh perspective to your company or transition your business focus in some way. Branding is arguably the most important thing about a business, especially in today’s digital-centric world. 

If you feel secure in your brand and aren’t looking for change but rather production or rollout support, an in-house creative team is a great solution. Not only are they personally invested in your brand, but they’re also available to you on a day-to-day basis and cost you less money over time. Your in-house staff will focus on things like social media content creation, website management, emails, digital ads, and other activities that you rely on regular output. When you have a dedicated team at your disposal, you can manage customer inquiries and maintain a consistent content schedule without worrying about falling behind. 

Consistent content is crucial if you want to be competitive in your niche, so having a dedicated team that always has a hand in your projects is a streamlined way to scale your marketing efforts. While an advertising agency can help you formulate well-researched ideas and help pioneer game-changing marketing campaigns, an in-house team will help you take action, churn out valuable content, and keep up with your audience. 

Consistency of Workload

Another important factor to consider is the consistency of your workload. If you have a constant flow of projects that will keep an in-house team busy, it’s always beneficial to have people around who can handle urgent requests from sales, product, brand, and marketing teams at a moment’s notice. Typically things go wrong at the worst possible moment, so having a built-in team you can rely on is invaluable and will save you time and stress in the long run.

If you’re gearing up for any type of business launch that needs to be promoted, it’s also beneficial to have a team in-house to handle outreach and monitor promotional efforts. While you might think you can ask current employees to help with these types of things, it really makes a difference when you have dedicated staff for certain business processes. It also benefits the dynamic of your workplace to be consistent with your staff and have known expectations of individual staff members.

In-house teams benefit from the use of ticketing systems within their organizational portals. This concept of a ticketing system is a great productivity and problem-solving model where teams can internally submit requests through the company portal. This way, requests are documented, monitored, and resolved in a timely fashion, so respective teams can keep up productivity and focus on what matters most. 

These systems also integrate project timelines and deliverables to make sure everyone is on the same page. If someone is dealing with a bottleneck of some sort within a project, that request will be pinned to its respective project, providing a centralized channel for communication, allowing leaders to keep up with staff in real-time and get answers without asking any questions.

If you don’t have a consistent stream of work to give to a team on a regular basis, but instead have more project-based needs, consider a creative agency to handle your requests. They can help you set up different campaigns and set the framework for different marketing efforts, while your in-house team will help maintain the flow of content and audience reception.

Budgeting For Insourced vs Outsourced Teams

As with any major business decision, your budget will also be a major factor when it comes to choosing between a top advertising agency and an intimate in-house creative team. A professional advertising agency can come with a hefty cost. On the other hand, when you have an internal team doing your marketing, you have more leniency when it comes to pricing. 

If your organization has a substantial budget and frequently deploys sophisticated advertising campaigns, then you should consult with an advertising agency on any upcoming projects. It’s always a benefit to tap into their knowledge, even if it’s on a small scale. A simple conversation could lead you to gaining valuable insights about how to position your company in the current market. 

When you work with a team in-house, you have much more financial control. If you’re working with a more limited budget, an in-house team can help keep your costs contained, while still offering you the creative resources you need to keep your brand relevant. With that in mind, it’s useful to point out that more intimate marketing approaches are becoming more popular by the day.

Social media and UGC have changed the playing field when it comes to marketing, and your team can knock it out of the park without any sophisticated equipment or elevated filming/editing skillset. When it comes to this style of content, an in-house team will actually be preferable, since they have a deeper understanding of the brand, and can more easily make content that resonates with your audience. 

Benefits of Outsourcing & Insourcing

Ultimately, there are good reasons to utilize each approach, so when you evaluate your current needs, keep in mind that you don’t need to decide between one or the other. Rather, you can decide how you can apply each one to your business. Lots of successful organizations use a combination of outsourcing and insourcing for different needs.

When you work with a creative agency, you’ll have access to cutting-edge ideas and a team of seasoned professionals who live and breathe trends, ideation, and brand strategy. Whether you’re just launching a business or considering a revamp, traditional agencies have the tools, resources, and industry know-how to get you off the ground and lead you through a transformation. 

When you work with an in-house creative team, you’re working with people who have intimate knowledge of your brand, and who are personally invested in your success. As your brand grows, so does the potential for your team, so it’s important to foster those working relationships so both parties can evolve and succeed. When your staff has a clear sense of the possible opportunities of working with you, it’s much easier to build that sense of trust and loyalty that is so valuable to have as part of your company culture.

Avoid The "One-Size-Fits-All" Solution

When it comes to deciding between outsourcing vs insourcing work, think about your creative output, overall workload, and budgetary restrictions. However, don’t be afraid to use both solutions as your needs change. An in-house team can help you with your day-to-day marketing efforts and production requests while an ad agency can bring invaluable expertise for  ideation and special projects.

To ensure you’re optimizing your budget, you need to have a realistic view of where your business currently stands and have a grasp on where you need support. Since there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution, you have the freedom to apply these resources as they fit your needs, and you can always re-evaluate and make changes if you aren’t getting the results you desire. 

The most important thing is that you’re being intentional with where you invest your money and efforts, and that is what will set you apart.