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Moving From In-House to Outsourced Media Buying Services?

There are two types of marketers in the world: those that work on in-house teams and those that work for agencies. Both kinds bring something to the table in terms of media strategy and execution. In-house teams have the benefit of brand familiarity from spending countless hours building marketing campaigns for a single company. However, in-house marketers can also be limited in their expertise and risk becoming too comfortable doing the same things again and again. That’s why many businesses outsource at least some of their activities.

In fact, if you’re mulling over outsourcing any part of your marketing efforts, from ad creation to media buying services, you are far from the only one doing it. According to a February 2020 survey from Merckle:

  • 47.6% of data sourcing is outsourced

  • 46.2% of creative development is outsourced

  • 46.2% of analytics is outsourced

  • 45.6% of media planning is outsourced

  • 44.5% of media buying is outsourced

  • 45% of marketing strategy is outsourced

Other activities such as campaign operations, programmatic media, search media and marketing technology are also regularly outsourced.

Why Outsource?

We feel it’s important to note that outsourcing doesn't mean eliminating your in-house operations. Instead, our agency sees ourselves as complementing these activities with more manpower and expertise. When you partner with The Ward Group, we handle media planning and media buying services, and give you the ability to focus on the areas you’ve mastered internally. Having more time on your hands is just one benefit of outsourcing, though.

Access to a Wide Range of Knowledge and Experience

In-house teams know their target audience better than anyone, but that doesn’t mean you have the resources and know-how to adequately reach them. Usually, internal teams are somewhat limited in the areas of expertise. If you want to pursue a media channel that takes you out of your wheelhouse, an agency is an affordable solution.

Agencies, after all, are working with multiple clients simultaneously, and each company wants to do things a little differently. They also work with a number of different industries, meaning they are not only familiar with brand standards for your industry, but they’ll be able to strategically recommend approaches that can take your efforts to the next level.

In terms of knowledge and experience, we would also be remiss not to point out the technological part of this equation. Marketing technology, or MarTech, has been rapidly diversifying in recent years, and it’s tough to keep up for in-house teams. Gartner’s 2020 Marketing Data Analytics Survey showed that marketers used only 58% of their existing technology capabilities. For agencies who work day-in and day-out with such tools, they have the ability to get the most out of these tools, and as a result, their media plans.

Introduction of Fresh Perspectives and Innovative Approaches

Unlike in-house teams who need well-rounded members with a repertoire of marketing skills, agencies are able to invest in specialists such as digital marketers, social media experts, out-of-home media buyers and veteran media planners. By engaging an agency to assist in media buying services, what you’re really paying for are these fresh, expert opinions.

For example, rather than trying to utilize your experience buying radio ad spots to get your new commercial on streaming platforms, hire an agency that actually specializes in OTT/CTV media buying services. Not only are they familiar with the fragmentation of that particular media channel, but they can help you target your audience on the platforms they actually watch.

Media agencies don’t shy away from data-driven marketing approaches, either. Data analysis has been a particular challenge for many in-house teams, and 44% of respondents in Gartner’s survey said they expected their analytics team size to grow over the next two years in an effort to make a bigger impact on business outcomes and support more advanced analytics capabilities. Outsourcing these roles is the most reliable and affordable way to do this.

Ability to Scale Activities and Optimize Media Budgets

No matter what kind of marketer you are, the importance of wisely using the ad dollars you’ve been given is the same. When you partner with an external media agency, one priority of this partnership should be finding the best use for your marketing budget. They should be able to provide you with strategic recommendations for which services your brand can benefit the most from and give your media strategy direction.

Outsourcing to an experienced agency should also cut down the repetitive processes of trial and error for your team, as well. They’ve already figured out what works, especially if they have experience with your industry, and when you have access to this information, you don’t have to waste time reinventing the wheel.

Some activities also take a significant amount of time and energy to do in-house. When you have to spend countless hours managing your social media campaigns, for example, you’re forced to neglect other activities that could offer higher ROI. You’ll never be able to scale your marketing efforts this way.

Then, there’s the cost of MarTech tools to factor in. Gartner reports that technology currently accounts for the largest percentage of marketing budgets at 26.2%. That’s more than media (24.8%), in-house labor (24.5%) and the cost of working with agencies (23.7%). Making these investments eats through marketing team budgets, but for agencies, investing in MarTech makes more sense and costs them less money overall.

Outsource Media Buying Services With The Ward Group

The Ward Group has been doling out media expertise to clients for many, many years. Whether we’re helping with print advertising - probably the least sophisticated in terms of targeting, market research and analytics - or programmatic ad buying, our media stewards always come prepared with unique experience and advice. We are very familiar with the level of detail and planning necessary to achieve success in a variety of advertising formats including print, video, audio, OOH and digital.

As an agency specializing in media buying services, we don’t just negotiate your media buys. We lend you our expertise in the marketplace. We ensure the media channels you choose align well with your objectives and are appropriate for your target audience. With plenty of market research and a little creativity, our media stewards will help you get the most of your budget. Ready to get started? Connect with our media experts today.

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