In the business world, "Performance marketing" might be (one of) the only constants to sustain through the roller-coaster of a ride that this past year has been. Not just that, it successfully remains to be one of the most powerful business upscaling strategies in 2021. Moreover, it is only anticipated to grow among both local and global businesses in the future.
According to a Gartner survey, 65% of business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing executives worldwide intend to spend more on performance (affiliate and channel) marketing in 2021.
What is Performance Marketing?
Performance marketing is a comprehensive term that refers to online marketing and advertising programs “dedicated to” and “driven by” a specific action. It essentially concentrates on the performance, outcome, or result of a marketing campaign.
In simpler terms, performance marketing is a combined form of paid advertising and brand marketing that only pays when the desired action is completed. This action can be a sale, a lead, or a click.
Performance marketing was first introduced as a strategy to cut down costs per acquisition and increase ROI subsequently. With its benefits i.e; scaling reach, engagement, and conversion of new buyers at lower costs, lower risks, and higher ROI, its popularity has grown extensively compared to other marketing channels at scale. Today, performance marketing continues to enable companies to measure everything right from brand reach, to conversion rate, down to a single ad.
To meet the needs of a business’s primary performance marketing channels (Native advertising, Sponsored advertising, Affiliate marketing, Social media advertising, and Search engine marketing), players such as advertisers, publishers, affiliates, OPMs, external agencies, and solution providers cater to the desired results.
Among these, the two most popular players are
- In-house marketers, and
- Performance marketing agency
Naturally, the question of "whether to outsource performance marketing or keep it in-house" arises here. Therefore, here is what needs to be considered to make a sound decision
To outsource performance marketing or keep it In-house: A discussion
The money factor
According to Deloitte’s statistics graphs, cost reduction (70%) is the top reason for outsourcing while the second is flexibility (40%).
While hiring an in-house performance marketing team, a set budget is followed keeping the company’s digital marketing needs in mind. Usually, to move the company forward at the earliest, only a small time frame is dedicated to this process. This, eventually, results in a bloated workforce and diminished profit margins due to the poor research initiatives invested in finding an ideal candidate.
On the other hand, with a performance marketing agency, businesses wait till the end of the onboarding process before discussing commercials. This is a conscious practice that allows the two organizations to get adept with their requirements and come to agreeable remuneration accordingly. Agencies end up helping save a big chunk by only costing about ⅓ of what a team of 5 in-house members would have cost the company.
Level of expertise and industry best practices
Performance marketing is a dynamic space where technologies and tactics change at a lightning pace. Here, if you are not keeping up with the latest trends or experimenting constantly, you are bound to find yourself in a pickle.
Fortunately, performance marketing agencies earn their bread through these trends. Therefore they invest thousands on subscription plans of the industry’s latest must-have technologies, tools, and personnel. Meaning, with a performance marketing agency, your performance marketing program can scale more efficiently and with a faster higher ROI.
“24% of small businesses outsource to increase the efficiency of their business another 18% do so to get expert assistance.” - Small Business Outsourcing Statistics, Clutch
On the contrary, in-house performance marketing teams are usually equipped with entry-level marketers. This is because many organizations fail to afford the top talent. With less expertise and knowledge, many key trends and tricks are unidentified.
Team management and communication
Following an open and efficient communication channel is vital for any business’s marketing plan to run smoothly.
With an in-house performance marketing team, this process becomes relatively easier and more effective. As part of an intimate team, regular brainstorming sessions, meetings, content approvals, etc can be conducted or scheduled as and when the need arises. Moreover for urgent discussion, informal channels such as Whatsapp, direct calls, etc; are also welcomed in such settings. However, this does sometimes shift to micromanagement and a constant chain of feedback leading to lesser self-drive initiatives.
Performance marketing agencies, on the other hand, meet with the minutest of your marketing needs. Leaving ample time for the C-suite executive to focus on other KRAs. Although not as easily accessible when it comes to immediate communications or daily follow-up sequences, the agencies make a weekly or monthly meeting routine to discuss plans, results, projects, etc. They also stick to emails or communication tools like Slack to update their clients.
Company culture and flexibility
Working in synergy towards the same goal can create the biggest impact on your marketing campaign results. Therefore, it only makes sense to prefer working with a team that aligns with your organization’s culture, vision, and values.
Needless to say, a full-time employee would invest much closely in a company’s success and growth within all their capacities. Further, an in-house team would also be ready to go beyond the strict “deliverables” that usually bide an agency contract.
In the case of an external performance marketing agency, with the added responsibilities of numerous clients, completely diving into a company’s values and day-to-day culture becomes difficult. The same responsibility might also propose.
Having an experienced Marketing agency by your side can make all the difference to your campaign results. Not only do the agencies help you improve efficiency, but they also cut down on costs while significantly improving your marketing results and delivering high ROI.
Nonetheless, since every business is different and so are their needs, an in-depth analysis of the marketing situation can sequences whether things are perfect just the way they are or help could be used.
If you are looking for a reliable match for your performance marketing needs, book a call with our expert consultant at Ayogyi here and strategize the best growth plan for you and your business!