The conversation around internal creative teams vs. outside agencies is one that’s been an ever present theme in our world for years now.

While some might say that in-house marketing is making the agency obsolete, and others say that the management stress and potential stagnation of internal teams outweighs the benefits, the reality (as with most situations) lies somewhere in the middle.

At RSW/AgencySearch, we’re in the unique spot of seeing both sides of the table – in-house marketing and external agencies.

Because the foreseeable future of creative will often require elements from both sources, some degree of coexistence has become a crucial factor in a smooth advertising machine.

Let’s face it, the marketing world is home to plenty of big egos, but handled well, the collaboration of in-house and agency is an immediate boost to your marketing efforts.

The first type of mistake we see made is cutting the in-house team out of the process entirely.

Whether it’s an email campaign or a print push, excluding the internal team from discussions is a fast track toward a negative, even hostile situation in which not only does your team feel left out in the cold, but also creates an uphill climb for your agency as they look for any opportunity for asset exchange or collaboration.

We’ve seen it happen too often, and it leaves a cloud over the project that, unfortunately, usually comes through on the finished product.

So the answer, of course, is to fully integrate the in-house team into the process, from initial pitch to completion, right?

Well…not so fast. The purpose of bringing in outside perspective is just that – bringing a fresh pair of eyes to the challenge.

The more you allow the in-house team to drive things like the pitch and early concepting, the more likely it is that you’ll end up with a result that looks much like previous efforts.

Not always a bad thing, but again: usually not the reason you bring an agency in.

So what’s a marketer to do?

The key is in communicating with your internal team, and finding a balance that works for all parties.

Be transparent about the process; let the internal team know when and why an agency is being brought in on a project, and set a standard for the level of collaboration. Is it a project that would benefit from a faster turnaround?

You may want the internal team driving the initiative, leveraging their experience with the brand to streamline the pipeline.

For work in an unfamiliar channel, a specialized agency is uniquely equipped to drive results, with support provided by the brand team.

It’s a balancing act based on project, brand, and most importantly, the teams involved. You know your team; and we can help you find an agency that offers the kind collaboration that drives results.

Give us a call and we can tell you how – at no cost to you.