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7 Advantages of working with a Higher Education Marketing Agency vs. hiring in-house.

Higher Education Marketing Agency Team

In the ever-evolving landscape of education marketing, schools and universities often find themselves faced with a crucial decision: should they hire an in-house marketing team or work with an agency? After over 15 years of higher education marketing experience, we have seen the pros and cons of both firsthand. There is no perfect solution for every school or institution, but while both options have their pros and cons, partnering with a marketing agency offers a range of benefits that can help schools and universities scale their marketing efforts effectively. In this article, we will explore seven key advantages of collaborating with a marketing agency.

1. Cost-Effectiveness

Contrary to popular belief, working with a marketing agency is often more cost-effective than maintaining an in-house team. By partnering with an agency, schools and universities can save on recruiter fees, training expenses, software costs, and salary expenditures. Additionally, agencies provide the flexibility to scale their involvement based on specific project requirements. For instance, if a institution has a one-time marketing project, hiring an agency for that particular endeavor incurs a one-time cost, ensuring that schools and universities pay only for the services they need. Also, typically an agency has significant resources and the ability to bring additional resources to a project quickly and effectively.

2. Diverse Skill Set

A comprehensive digital marketing plan requires a multitude of skill sets, including budgeting, copywriting, social media management, creative design, and expertise in various platforms such as Google and Facebook. Building an in-house team with all these talents can be a time-consuming process. On the other hand, partnering with a marketing agency grants access to a pre-packaged team of highly trained experts who possess the right combination of skills. Especially an industry focused marketing team. These professionals are well-equipped to jump in quickly and get marketing programs up and running without the complexities of hiring and salary costs.

3. Fresh Perspective on Branding

A huge advantage of partnering with a marketing agency is gaining access to fresh ideas and opinions. Agencies stay abreast of industry trends and competition, providing schools and universities with an external perspective that can be invaluable. Think of them as a Big 4 consulting firm and digital marketing agency combined. A great agency will provide additional insights and strategic direction on market conditions and competitors and an external viewpoint that can bring new insights and creative solutions to enhance branding strategies.

4. Enhanced Return on Investment

Marketing agencies are driven by results. Their reputation and success depend on keeping their clients satisfied and maximizing their return on investment (ROI). While some schools and universities may hesitate to spend money on agency fees, it is essential to consider the monetary savings achieved through agency expertise. An in-house marketer might have a general understanding of various marketing techniques, such as SEO, Facebook Ads, social media, and email marketing. However, to achieve desired results and scale specific areas, schools and universities need deeper knowledge and expertise. Marketing agencies possess the tools and techniques necessary to drive optimal results and maximize ROI. The challenge is when the marketing agency lacks the relevant experience and/or they rotate team members and never truly understand the brand.

5. Access to Latest Technologies and Best Practices

Agencies invest in continuous training and education for their staff to stay updated on industry best practices and the latest technological developments. They come equipped not only with expertise and knowledge but also with established partnerships, must-have industry technologies, and best-in-class tools. Some of their team members have direct interaction with many other professionals across multiple industries which is a huge plus for new opportunities for campaign testing. This access to advanced resources may be beyond the means of smaller in-house teams, making agencies a valuable asset for schools and universities looking to stay ahead of the competition.

6. Streamlined Project Management

While collaboration may be faster with an in-house team, it does not always guarantee efficiency. In-house employees may become disorganized or get distracted by other priorities, leading to delays and suboptimal results. Many organizations have silos and multiple processes to execute on the simplest tasks. In contrast, marketing agencies prioritize efficient project management. They follow a clear structure, from planning to delivery, ensuring projects are completed within the designated timeframe and budget. This commitment to streamlined project management ultimately contributes to the success of schools and universities that partner with agencies.

7. Years of Experience and Success Stories

Reputable marketing agencies boast years of experience working with diverse schools and universities and organizations. For instance, at Adclyk, we have helped numerous schools and universities build personas, map student journeys, build funnels, set KPIs, and we supported numerous colleges in surpassing enrollment goals. By collaborating with an agency, schools and universities can tap into this wealth of experience and leverage the agency's 15 years of higher education and strategic expertise to achieve their own success stories.

The decision to outsource marketing or maintain an in-house team depends on each business's unique circumstances. While advancements in marketing technology have made it easier to create and track campaigns within smaller in-house teams, leveraging the expertise of a marketing agency can make a significant difference in overall performance. For many schools and universities, a hybrid approach that combines in-house expertise with agency support proves to be the most effective solution. By seeking external assistance in areas where in-house expertise may be lacking, schools and universities can achieve balance and optimize their marketing efforts. If you'd like to explore how our digital marketing experts can assist your business, book a call with us today.

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