If you’re a SaaS company founder, CEO, or executive, you know the importance of having a solid marketing strategy in place. There’s a great deal at stake. Typically, SaaS companies invest 80-120% of their revenue in marketing and sales in the first five years of existence. The question of whether to handle marketing in-house or work with a SaaS marketing agency can be a challenging one. Both options have their benefits and drawbacks. Making the right decision is crucial to the success of your business. In this blog post, the Bay Leaf Digital team will walk you through the pros and cons of using a marketing agency vs in house teams. We’ll also give you some insights into factors you should consider when making this important decision.
Marketing Agency vs In House Teams for SaaS Companies
In-house marketing is the practice of building and maintaining a marketing team within a SaaS company. The goal is to house all marketing efforts internally. There are benefits to having an in-house team, such as a deeper understanding of the company’s brand and culture, but there are also some drawbacks to consider.
Pros of In-House Marketing Teams
- Better Understanding of the Company’s Brand and Culture: In-house marketing teams have a deep understanding of the company’s brand and culture. This can lead to more effective and consistent messaging across all marketing channels, which in turn can help build and reinforce a stronger brand identity. Additionally, in-house marketers are more likely to have direct access to the company’s leadership team, which can streamline decision-making and help ensure that marketing initiatives align with overall business goals.
- Faster Response to Market Changes: With an in-house marketing team, SaaS companies have the ability to respond quickly to changes in the market. Since the team is already familiar with the company’s products, services, and target audience, they can adapt marketing strategies and messaging quickly, without the need for lengthy onboarding or communication with external partners.
- Greater Control and Ownership of Marketing Efforts: When a SaaS company has an in-house marketing team, they have greater control and ownership of their marketing efforts. This can lead to a stronger sense of ownership and accountability and can enable the team to work more collaboratively with other departments to achieve overall business goals.
Cons of In-House Marketing Teams
- High Cost of Hiring and Maintaining a Skilled Team: Recruiting, hiring and maintaining a skilled in-house marketing team can be expensive, particularly for smaller or newer SaaS companies.
- Potential Lack of Diversity in Skills and Perspectives: An in-house marketing team may not be able to offer the wide skill set that a marketing agency can provide. For example, an in-house team may focus more heavily on one aspect of marketing, such as content marketing, and may not have as much experience with other areas, such as SEO or PPC advertising.
- Limited Capacity for Scaling Marketing Efforts: When a SaaS company has an in-house marketing team, they may be limited in their capacity to scale marketing efforts quickly. This can be a challenge when the company is experiencing rapid growth, as it may be difficult to hire and onboard new team members quickly enough to keep up with demand.
Overall, in-house marketing can be a great option for SaaS companies that have the budget and resources to build and maintain a skilled team. However, it’s important to consider potential drawbacks, such as the high cost and potential lack of diversity in skills and perspectives, before committing to this approach.
A SaaS marketing agency not only brings marketing expertise that is specific to the SaaS industry, but it also achieves success at an overall expense far lower than the cost of an equivalent in-house marketing team.
– Abhi Jadhav, Bay Leaf Digital Founder & CEO
Companies have the option of outsourcing their marketing efforts to a B2B SaaS marketing agency. Working with a marketing agency vs in house team is a great option for SaaS companies that want to access a team of experts without having to bring one on board full-time. Let’s explore the topic together so that you are prepared to make an informed decision that aligns with your unique needs and goals.
Pros of an Outside Marketing Agency
- Access to a Team of Expert Specialists with Diverse Skills and Perspectives: One of the primary benefits of working with a B2B SaaS marketing agency vs. an in-house team is access to a team of experienced specialists with a wide range of perspectives and areas of expertise. Marketing agencies typically have staff members who specialize in areas such as SEO, PPC advertising, content marketing, video marketing, and social media, which can provide a SaaS company with a more comprehensive and effective marketing strategy.
- Ability to Scale Marketing Efforts Quickly: When a SaaS company works with a marketing agency, they have the ability to scale marketing efforts quickly to keep up with demand. Agencies have the resources to add more team members or shift priorities as needed, which can be particularly beneficial for companies experiencing rapid growth.
- Reduced Overhead Costs: Working with a marketing agency is often more cost-effective than maintaining an in-house marketing team, particularly for smaller or newer SaaS companies. Bay Leaf Digital Founder & CEO Abhi Jadhav says, “There are numerous facets to a marketing program – creative, copywriting, campaign design, campaign execution, nurture, analytics, and marketing strategy. Sourcing all these skills internally requires a SaaS company to spend more than is needed to drive results.” Agencies typically charge a flat fee or a retainer, which can be more affordable than hiring a full-time marketing team. While a full-time employee needs to work full-time to be a cost-effective investment, an agency can be flexible and responsive to increasing or decreasing levels of need.
Cons of an Outside Marketing Agency
- Learning Curve Around the Company’s Brand and Culture: When a SaaS company works with a marketing agency, it can take time for the agency staff to understand the company’s brand and culture fully. This can lead to an initial learning curve in which messaging that does not align with the company’s values or goals has to be revised but it shouldn’t last long or have any real negative impact.
- Communication Challenges: Working with an external partner in a different time zone or with a different work culture can lead to communication challenges. It can be difficult to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals at the same pace. Again, a skilled agency will be prepared to address these issues quickly and professionally.
Business grows when the best people put their experience and expertise to work for you. While admittedly biased, the Bay Leaf Digital team believes that the many advantages of hiring a marketing agency make it the best choice for most companies.
Choosing the Right Marketing Agency for Your SaaS Company
It can be hard to know what to look for when hiring a saas marketing agency. When interviewing agencies, SaaS companies must consider many factors to ensure they choose the right partner. While finding an agency with the right skill set and industry experience is important, it’s just as critical to consider how the agency will fit within your company’s culture and goals. Jadhav recommends looking for one that has experience not only generating leads but also driving demos. He says, “An ideal agency is one that has expertise not just in digital channel execution, but also in marketing strategies that work in specific stages of SaaS company growth. The other two key attributes to look for are culture fit and expertise in lifecycle marketing.” By taking these factors into account, you’ll be able to choose an agency that will be a good fit for your company and will help you achieve your marketing goals effectively.
- Industry Experience: Look for an agency that has experience working with SaaS companies, and preferably, companies in the same industry as your own. An agency with this kind of experience will understand unique SaaS marketing challenges and opportunities and will be better equipped to develop effective strategies and tactics.
- Results-Oriented, Collaborative Approach: A good marketing agency should be results-oriented, with a focus on achieving the company’s marketing goals. Look for an agency that can provide case studies and references that demonstrate their ability to drive results for their clients, that is willing to work closely with your company’s internal team, and that values input from all stakeholders.
- Data-Driven Decision Making: A good marketing agency should use data to inform their decision-making. Look for an agency that uses analytics and other data sources to measure the success of marketing efforts and make data-driven decisions. Make sure that any company you choose has a plan to measure the success of their efforts.
- Transparent Communication: Communication is key when working with a marketing agency. Look for an agency that is transparent and open in their communication, and that provides regular updates on progress and results. The agency should also be responsive to the company’s needs and concerns.
- Company Culture: Look for an agency that seems to mirror your company’s values and culture. For example, if your company is very conservative, a more seasoned agency might be a better fit for you than a new agency with a very young, hip vibe.
- Budget: How much does it cost to hire a marketing agency? The answer varies. A better question is: Can the agency you’re considering create and deliver a SaaS marketing plan that you can afford?
By considering these factors, SaaS companies can make an informed decision about whether to handle marketing in-house or work with a marketing agency. Ultimately, the decision should be based on the company’s unique needs and goals.
The decision to handle marketing in-house or work with a marketing agency is a critical one that can impact the success of a SaaS company’s marketing strategy. While there are benefits and drawbacks to both options, SaaS companies can make an informed decision by carefully considering factors such as budget, goals, company culture, capacity for scaling, and skills and expertise. Whether you decide to go with an in-house team or a marketing agency, it’s important to find a partner that aligns with your unique needs and goals. By weighing the options carefully and considering all of the relevant factors, you can ensure that you’re making the best decision for your SaaS company’s marketing strategy.
Is your SaaS business considering partnering with a SaaS marketing agency to clarify your message and tell your story? The Bay Leaf Digital team is ready to lend a hand. Begin a conversation with us today.