Hiring a marketer in-house versus a marketing agency is a conundrum that almost every managed service provider (MSP) faces at some point.
Many business owners may not realize that in-house marketers are not 100 percent necessary in every industry.
MSPs may fall into this group.
Let me put this into perspective.
I run Tech Pro Marketing, a dedicated MSP marketing agency. We know the MSP marketing industry like the backs of our hands. Like SmarterMSP’s content, we’re focused solely on providing the best value for MSPs – and MSPs only.
We’re not the only agency that does this, either.
Most businesses do not have access to specialized industry marketers like MSPs.
For example, I have a friend who runs a commercial sewage company. To my knowledge, no marketing agencies specialize in commercial sewage. In this situation, hiring someone in-house may be necessary to understand the marketing nuances and challenges fully – but it’s a stretch even then.
MSPs are extremely fortunate to have such a specialized marketing infrastructure in the agency community – and they don’t have to break the bank to hire them.
Marketing agency versus an in-house marketer
Internal marketers are great – I don’t want to take anything away from these professionals.
They are smart and creative, but they come at a cost.
On average, hiring an expert in-house can double or triple your marketing budget.
Meanwhile, an experienced marketing agency may or may not your double marketing budgets, however, they can cover a lot of grounds such as website design, content marketing, SEO, social media, email marketing, and so on, whereas one in-house marketer may not be able to achieve as efficiently.
Hiring a new resource is a commitment. You need to invest in the individual and nurture them to achieve success. MSP marketing agencies, on the other hand, don’t lock you into long commitments. You pay an agreed-upon monthly rate and can cancel at any time: no severance pay, offboarding, or hard feelings.
What MSPs should do instead
All MSPs need a team of marketers working for them, but most don’t need to hire this team in-house.
Small to mid-sized MSPs – even some of the larger ones – are much better off hiring a salesperson to be the point of contact with their MSP marketing agency. The marketing agency will build a strategy to generate leads and execute the necessary tasks to make it happen.
The salesperson’s role is to focus on nurturing/closing the leads the marketing agency delivers.
Additionally, your in-house employees can focus on providing excellent support to businesses, customer service, and taking the MSP to the next level.
If you’re a growing MSP with a limited budget, leave the marketing to the agency experts. Trust me, you’ll save a lot of time, money, and resources.
When it does make sense to hire an in-house marketer
I won’t say that MSPs should never consider hiring an in-house marketer. That’s not what this post is about.
Hiring a marketer in-house makes sense if your MSP is generating more than $5 million in revenue per year.
However, you’ll still need support from the agency.
Your in-house marketer will act more like a project manager at this stage – working directly with the MSP marketing agency.
Your in-house marketer will also be involved in the road mapping and oversee the agency’s deliverables. They will be the liaison between the agency, the sales team, executives, etc.
As time goes on and revenue continues to climb, you can gradually build out your in-house marketing team.
The bottom line
Hiring an in-house marketer for your MSP is a big decision – and you don’t have to make it lightly.
MSP marketing agencies live and breathe IT-related marketing all day, every day. They are fully equipped to plan, manage, and execute every task needed to win more leads and grow your company.
Now, every MSP is a little bit different. Knowing whether to hire an in-house marketer or an agency is not always crystal clear. I get it.
I’ll put this bluntly.
If you’re currently working with a marketing agency, generating less than $5 million in revenue, and wondering whether you should hire in-house – you’re probably not getting the support you need.
At Tech Pro Marketing, our motto is to “overwhelm with value.”
This means the results you’re getting should be so positive and apparent that there isn’t a shred of doubt that you’re getting exceptional support from your marketing agency.
If you’re pondering hiring a marketer in-house, I’m happy to provide some guidance. We can talk about your MSP’s operations, whether an in-house marketer is necessary, and their role. Feel free to DM me on LinkedIn.
Photo: My Life Graphic / Shutterstock