How to adopt a hybrid marketing strategy, by Proven’s Leandra Meintjes

By Leandra Meintjes, Head of Marketing at Proven

Today, businesses have two choices in an ever-changing world – either learn and adapt or be left behind chasing their competitors. This includes the decision to agency up your marketing department or keeping it all internal. Looking at variables such as skills, capacity, a fresh pair of eyes, and access to the latest gadgets and marketing tools, it is not surprising that more and more marketing HOD’s buy into the idea of adding an agency to the marketing mix.

Building a one-stop-shop in-house team takes perseverance and dedication, and even then, ticking all the boxes is not always feasible. Each team member has unique strengths and weaknesses, along with settling in and learning the ins and outs of the company. There is no quick fix or easy recipe for building the perfect internal marketing team at warp speed. Hence, the only way forward is to step up your game and adjust your strategy.

A popular strategy to adapt, and one that offers sure success, is the hybrid model. And no, we are not talking about a new hybrid electric vehicle but rather about adapting a model that allows your internal marketing team to tap into an agency to up their competitive edge. Big players such as Spotify are doing it, then what is stopping SMEs from jumping on the bandwagon?

If you can find a content creator, designer, digital marketer, and social media specialist all rolled into one perfect employee, hold on to them, as they are a dime in a dozen. Even with the strongest member in your team, you cannot rely on them 24/7. Yes, we know we all have that one team member who stands out; however, overworking and causing burnout is a real issue, and it is getting bigger by the minute. Ok, but let’s stay on track. To tap into a larger skills pool, agencies offer you just what you need, at that time, with fixed ROI and tangible results. In and out, they bring their expertise, add value, and move on.

Along with skills, a marketing agency brings tools and applications that might be too expensive or extravagant for an SME to set up independently. Remember, tools that were once popular can quickly lose their effectiveness in a volatile digital world. Agencies are forced to stay abreast of these changes and updates for their own survival. This allows them to build on that competitive edge and acquire leads that were out of reach before.

An archaic way of thinking is that your oldest employee knows the company the best. It is proven that they are too set in their ways to think outside the box and lack that sense of luster that a modern-skilled team can bring to the table. Now, we are not asking to hand out walking papers, but instead, call on a marketing agency who will offer that fresh set of eyes to help you get out of the rut.

If your business is in a hurry for those lead conversions, there should be no qualms in hiring that digital army to get the job done. When competitors breathe down your neck, you need to act fast, and getting the experts on it quickly can save your company valuable revenue. Marketing agencies flourish under pressure. They jump in, pull out all the stops to acquire resources, and ultimately work as your emergency resource. They get that pressure is the keyword of the day and will put in the hours to get it done.

In the end, what often works for me, is to find an agency that you can trust, understands your brand, and represents your company’s ethics. This will ensure your hybrid model is set to survive and drive results. Remember, one size does not necessarily fit all; find a mix that works for you, your team, and your superiors. Channel your and the team’s energy into what works best for the overall goals, and for the rest, call in the cavalry. If I may predict, the marketing hybrid model is here to stay, just like the new normal and everything else that goes with it. The key takeaway from the pandemic has been that we function better together, irrespective of geographical boundaries.