Question :
Is it worth out-sourcing our advertising to an agency? It’s pretty expensive, will it actually pay off?

Question submitted 19/06/20 @ 09:34am
Industry: Brand & Marketing
  • Up

    Agencies are provenly effective so yes, you will get a better result.
    A few things to consider up-front are:
    1. Getting the right fit for your brand is the key to making sure you get a good ROI. Look at agencies who have achieved good results for brands with similar challenges to yours.
    2. Have a REALLY clear brief going into the conversation. Tell them clearly what the problem or opportunity is. Be clear on the key deliverables in terms of media channels. Who what success measures and KPIs you want and how these will be tracked.
    3. Have a budget in mind, and stick to it.
    4. Understand that you can’t do everything. Stay focused on one things you need to fix. Do you need to create awareness, recognition, understanding, engagement etc – you won’t be able to do it all so what do you want to focus on?
    5. Strike a balance between being prescriptive and leaving room for creativity. You need to give them enough to create direction, while not limiting their creativity.

    Agencies trade time for money, so the clearer you can be before talking to them, the less it’ll cost you.
    They also make money from production, so the fewer touch-points you have the lower the production budget will be.

    Another option is to work with freelance creatives. There’s plenty out there and so that can save you a lot of $$. UglyTwin.co.nz and Ampersandcollective.co.nz are both in this space and might be worth a look.

    Hope that’s helpful


    This is a great question. Advertising is one of those things like building, painting, gardening, cooking – you can do it yourself or you can get an expert to do it for you.

    The question to really ask yourself is what is your skillset? If you are a great promoter then you can do more yourself. But if you are great at the technical side and customer side of your business, maybe you need to get someone else to do the promotion so you can focus on what you are good at.

    The other thing an external partner does is they work with you to really understand what it is that makes your business different and better, then and only then will they start to create the advertising to promote your business. This external perspective can be invaluable.

    On top of that they will have a point of view on what works – what the right mix of brand and promotion you should do – what channels will be right for your audience. And they have the experience of working across a number of clients and seeing what is working and what isn’t.

    Yes it will be expensive – but it will have a much better chance of working than doing it yourself…


    That is a fantastic question. And, there is no right or wrong answer. A lot depends on the unique situation of the company and the company objectives. You need to determine which parts of your business you want to own and which parts you want to rely on experts for their unique IP, skills and value they can add to your business. Within advertising, there is still a wide spectrum of what you could do in-house vs outsource, for example, strategy setting, planning, creative concept development, content execution, media placement. Some you may feel is core to the business to own (like strategy setting) but others may be better to bring in partners, like creative execution.

    And, once you make a decision to bring in a partner, it’s crucial you have a clear picture in advance what you want from the relationship and build the partnership on this basis. Once you are in the relationship, it still is necessary for the client to manage the relationship and ensure the relationship delivers value.

    Best wishes, Leslie

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