Should Your Interior Design or Architectural Firm Outsource Marketing?

 Think Small? Think Again.

Think Small? Think Again.

With so many options in "easy to use" website and blogging tools, why would anyone bother to outsource marketing and web design?

Well, it's more common than you might think.  In fact, according to the Harvard Business School, the majority of businesses are now looking to outsource marketing and other web-related outreach.  Despite how many free marketing apps and tools are out there, many firms find they still save money -and see better ROI- by hiring professionals who are experienced, online marketers.  

If you're looking to find more clients and get more exposure for your architecture and interior design firm, outsourcing could easily be a wise investment.  Largely, it's going to depend on what talents you have in-house and how much time you're willing to invest in marketing ventures.

Is There Enough In-House Talent To Do The Job?

Having a design firm gives you a leg up on many other businesses - the web is becoming more visual and designers understand image marketing and brand.  For many businesses, graphic design can be a major stumbling block on its own.  However, there are other skills needed for successful online marketing:

Writing

The bread and butter of content marketing is blogging, whitepapers, and other written materials.  Creating good copy that attracts attention online is an art, especially keyword-rich copywriting that seeks better Google page rank through Search Engine Optimization. 

Website Design

Pre-built templates using a CMS like WordPress frequently results in a website that looks like thousands of other businesses and they are prone to malware and hacking. Creating a website that's truly unique generally requires a flexible website building platform like Squarespace or investing in extensive custom coding.

Somewhat Big Data

Modern marketing, especially online, involves heavy use of data and analytics to get best results.  Is there anyone in your organization who's experienced with pulling audience insights out of raw numbers?

Social Media Outreach

With social media sites like Houzz, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn so vital to networking, managing social accounts can easily be a full-time job by itself.

Those five skills are all fundamentals of online content marketing.  A marketing plan that lacks even one of them is going to be hindered, which is one of the biggest reasons companies turn to outsource marketing agencies.

Do You Have The Time To Properly Commit To Your Marketing?

In days past, it was easier for companies to do their own marketing because the advertising cycle was much slower:  A poster here, a newspaper advert there, perhaps a TV spot or two.  Once created, materials could be used and reused for weeks, months or even years. Think about it, the Doyle Dane Bernbach's (DDB) Volkswagen Beetle campaign ran from 1959 till the early 1970's. 

Online marketing, however, is much more high-speed.  The constant demand from users for more content, more often, means that marketing is now a daily routine.  For example, SEO experts HubSpot have found that a company which publishes at least 16 blogs per month receives 4.5 times as many leads as one which only blogs a couple times a month.  That is nearly one blog per business day. Moreover, Google estimates at least 30 interactions with your brand online before a person makes contact with a company representative.

And that's just blogs.  A good content marketing plan involves multiple content types: infographics, slideshows, videos, podcasts, etc.  Plus social media, data collection/analysis, and website updates. This all requires a lot of man-hours, and many businesses simply don't have the time to spare when they have clients to serve.

Should My Interior Design Firm Outsource Marketing?  

Basically, in-house marketing makes sense if:

A) You are happy with the number of qualified leads and the quality of the clients you already get, or 

B) You're willing to pay for an in-house marketing team despite the shortcomings of having to use a jack of all trades, for the sake of the extra control and oversight it grants you.

If this isn't the case, outsource marketing agencies make a lot of sense.  They are affordable, they are experts in their field, and they'll have the time to commit to building your business.


About Michael Conway

I'm the owner and strategist at Means-of-Production. My firm builds Squarespace websites, Houzz profiles, and content marketing and advertising solutions for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. Our all-in-one marketing tactics attract the right clients with exceptional architectural photography and brand messaging that sets you apart from the competition.