By Hagen Weiss
As a gaming or app company, you may be wondering, “Should I hire in-house or contract out to an agency for our marketing and translation needs?”
Deciding between the two options is not always easy. Not only must you consider cost, but also you’ll need to account for things like expertise, capacity, training requirements, and more.
Let’s explore further some of the pros and cons of hiring in-house vs. an agency for your marketing needs.
Hiring In-House: Pros & Cons
An in-house marketing team refers to hiring internal staff to do your marketing and translation. Depending on your company size, you may have a team of marketers and/or creatives who play specific roles. Overseeing this team could be a leadership group consisting of a chief marketing officer, director of marketing, or marketing manager.
- Consistent company branding: Hiring in-house makes it easier to convey and instill a consistent company brand throughout your team. Getting everyone on the same page in regards to company values can be quicker than an agency setting.
- Ease of communication: An in-house team of marketers can make communications more simple. Impromptu meetings or simply walking over to someone’s desk can help streamline the project.
- Control of vision: Your marketing team has full control of the direction of where you want to go. If a change arises, it is able to adapt and change courses more easily.
- Cost: Hiring internal staff can be costly. Not only do you need to factor in salaries, but you also need to account for benefits, taxes, insurance, etc. Factor in additional costs for actually recruiting internal staff, and you can see that the expenses are starting to add up.
- Lack of expertise: Compared to the array of expertise you get at an agency, in-house hires can be limited in their capabilities. Your marketing team will likely be much smaller than that of an agency. Moreover, it’s improbable that a full-time staff member will have all the skills required for a large project. You may even need to hire two or three staff members to cover your project’s requirements, which, obviously, can be costly.
- Limited resources: As a gaming app company, your primary focus is not on marketing. You only have a limited amount of resources you can invest in on marketing your game. It takes a significant investment to keep up-to-date with the latest technologies, tools, marketing practices, etc. – all things an agency specializes in.
Hiring an Agency: Pros & Cons
Hiring an agency is when you outsource your marketing or translation needs to a third-party company. A marketing agency can offer a full suite of services, including customer service management, social media, translation services, and more. Agencies typically work off a monthly retainer fee. Coordination between an in-house marketing representative and an agency project manager is a common arrangement with an agency.
- Access to a diversity of experts: Marketing agencies will have a team of experts on hand to ensure your project is a success. They will also typically have deep connections in the industry, helping alleviate the stress of recruiting qualified talent.
- Latest marketing practices: Best marketing practices in the digital age are constantly evolving. Keeping up with news on reputation management, social media practices, App Search Optimization (ASO), and more can be overwhelming. A quality agency will always be on top of the latest trends and practices in the industry.
- Can be more affordable: While the upfront cost may seem higher, an agency can often be more affordable than in-house hires. With an agency, you only pay for the services you need. With the services, you get access to all that an agency offers – a team of experts, cutting edge technology, customer support, and more. All of these services could cost much more if you were to replicate it with a team by hiring in house.
- 100% dedication: A marketing agency has one job – to market your products. This is not only what they specialize in, but also what they do 100% of their time. As a result, your team can focus on other aspects of your business, rather than splitting time doing the marketing yourself.
- Less control: Because you are relying on the agency, control over marketing strategies or content is limited. However, working with a reputable marketing and translation agency still allows you to offer your input and voice to the process.
- Multiple clients: Generally, agencies will be working with multiple clients. This can be an issue with poor quality agencies that don’t manage their schedules effectively. Make sure to establish clear timelines and expectations with a prospective agency before outsourcing your marketing.
- Longer to onboard: Naturally, it takes longer to onboard an agency regarding project requirements, company values, and company branding. Ensure the agency is responsive and has open lines of communication when choosing an agency.
How to Decide?
Now that we understand some of the pros and cons of both options, what are some factors to consider when deciding to hire in-house vs. an agency?
Here we’ll give you some tips to consider.
1. Size of your company
In-house marketing hires can make sense for medium to large companies with:
- Mature marketing strategy
- Sizeable marketing budget
In this case, you’ll have a team of in-house talent capable of taking on your project’s marketing activities.
Agencies can be ideal for both small and large-sized companies. Smaller companies can take advantage of an agency to help scale and expand their reach much more quickly. Likewise, a larger company can also decide to outsource marketing services to help them focus on growing other aspects of their business.
2. Project requirements
Assess your project requirements. Does your project require a wide range of skillsets? If so, an agency might be the better choice. Not only will you have access to a variety of experts, but you’ll also gain access to tools and platforms required for your project. Access to these services can make your project go much more smoothly than if you were to go at it in-house.
3. Hiring in house capabilities
Companies often think, “Fred from accounting knows English and Chinese, let’s get him to translate.” Or, maybe just get the receptionist to do our social media and customer service.
While it may be tempting to utilize in-house talent, think twice. Remember, experts – whether translators or marketing specialists – have been trained to do their jobs at an extremely high level. Poor marketing practices or sloppy translation can cause more rework and headaches on your project.
Even if your company has qualified personnel to do the job, assess whether it is worth their time doing the marketing or not. If their time could be better spent developing your game, for example, an agency would be money well spent to further your company’s objectives.
iGlobe: Marketing & Translation Agency
iGlobe is a marketing and translation agency in the gaming industry. We offer gaming companies professional marketing services to help your project succeed in your target market.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your next project!
Tel：+1 604 355 3023