Marketing Operations: In-house, Agency, or Hybrid?

When it comes to building or scaling a MOps team, you have options: build internally, outsource to a marketing operations agency, or utilize a hybrid model to meet your company’s unique needs. While each option has its benefits, it’s often hard to choose a path. 

In this blog, we review the benefits, and some of the drawbacks, of each option:

Internal Marketing Operations

When you build internally, you have immediate access to the MOps team. That means MOps blends seamlessly within your business. A company can experience faster reactions to the ever-changing marketing landscape. You may also have an easier time maintaining brand identity and scaling.

Reaction Time

An internal team allows your company to quickly respond to changes in the market or customer base. According to a recent survey, 37% of marketers say their internal MOps team is quick to respond to new market trends. 

Brand Identity

Brand identity can be a deciding factor for many customers. Building internally helps maintain identity throughout your marketing efforts, which is essential for a growing business. Consistent brand-presentation can increase revenue up to 33%. 

Scalability

Of course, the effect isn’t just seen on the bottom line—your whole team will feel the difference. An internal MOps department helps the entire team understand the importance of marketing throughout everything your business does. And that assists with scaling. 

As the Marketo blog states, a centralized, internal approach to MOps “allows you to add in new business units, new business acquisitions, new regions, and it guards you against turnover because there’s a standardized way the whole process is dealt with.” This helps improve employee retention, build morale, and earn employee loyalty. 

Ultimately, building an internal team will help define your company’s marketing operations in a holistic way, so your business can grow naturally and efficiently. 

Outsourced Marketing Operations

On the other hand, building internally means a larger upfront cost. That can cause hesitancy for some business leaders, as they don’t feel they have the skills or experience necessary to maximize the investment. Thankfully, there’s another option: an outside marketing operations agency. MOps specialists are available to provide experience, resources, and capabilities that your business may lack.

Experience & Efficiency

When it comes to marketing operations, experience is extremely valuable. MOps is a complex subject with plenty of nuance involved, so working with someone that boasts a proven understanding will help smooth out many of the issues companies face. As many as 81% of businesses without a dedicated MOps leader feel they can’t fully maximize the impact of their initiatives while maintaining efficiency. A MOps agency helps your company stay efficient while getting the most out of operations. 

Resources

An agency’s experience goes hand-in-hand with its available resources. That is to say, they have a lot more resources available to them than your business might. According to McKinsey, “Marketing technologists, in particular, have a critical role in navigating the ecosystem of more than 2,000 marketing-technology providers to create solutions that deliver the most effective customer experiences.”

Capabilities

Having access to martech and knowing how to use it are among the main benefits of engaging an agency. And an effective marketing partner won’t lack capabilities.

– Shreyansh Surana, Microsoft

Scalability

Moreover, agency expertise is centralized, meaning there’s a single place for all of your MOps needs. That can boost efficiency, minimize overhead, and even help with scalability. According to Marketo, “Centralizing access to data and personalization based on shared data points can be a huge time-savings to the marketing team. This is also a great way to eliminate the number of mistakes that can be made while setting up messaging audiences.”

And the cost of all these resources? You may be surprised to learn that an outside agency is often cheaper than building an internal team. Eliminate the costs of recruitment and training, and only hire the agency for the projects you need. 

Hybrid Marketing Operations

A third option is to take on the best of both worlds. A hybrid team, one that consists of both internal staff and outsourced MOps, can cost less while providing expertise and maintaining brand identity. 

Hybrid teams typically consist of a small team of internal MOps specialists who interface directly with an outside agency. This usually results in lower costs because your team can work with experts in specific channels to achieve the best results. 

Your team will also have more flexibility in scaling. Scale up as needed, from project to project, and take on difficult tasks your business wouldn’t be able to handle on its own. Increased bandwidth, specialized expertise, and more resources are available to your team without major time or money investment. 

And along with more flexibility comes increased employee satisfaction and a reduction in turnover. Internal team members are not burdened by the excess work that MOps demands.

Of course, you may be hesitant to work with such a seemingly disorganized approach. Though hybrid teams have their management challenges, it’s important to understand that the good often outweighs the bad—especially when you have your eye on the future. Harvard Business Review says, “As difficult as they are to manage, however, hybrid marketing systems can offer substantial rewards. A company that can capture the benefits of a hybrid system—increased coverage, lower costs, and customized approaches—will enjoy a significant competitive advantage over rivals that cling to traditional ways.”

While outsourcing may offer many benefits that in-house marketing lacks, the best approach is often hybrid. Gain the expertise of outside specialists but maintain a high level of control, ensure customer data remains secure, and be quick to respond to the changing demands of marketing.

Book cover with the ebook title, "In-House vs. Agency Marketing Operations: Pros, Cons, & Cost"

For a deeper dive into the pros, cons, and costs of a marketing operations agency, download our latest ebook.

Have more questions about marketing operations, technology, or how to set up your team? Drop us a line here

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At Digital Pi, we use technology to connect revenue to marketing efforts. We fuse marketing strategies, processes, data and applications to make marketing technology solutions work for clients' businesses.

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