Game production and mobile marketing are businesses where it’s difficult to do everything within the agency. Sooner or later, a manager has to decide which tasks to leave in-house and which to outsource. This is just as true for startups as it is for a large developer.
In this article, we will analyze the main aspects that may affect your decision to leave the work of producing creatives within the company, or transfer to outsourcing. Of course, we don’t pretend to be completely objective, seeing as we’re a company which produces creatives for external customers, but we tried to consider all points of view.
Creativity is primarily about ideas. We often say in our cases that it’s the idea that decides, and the technical execution is secondary. If you have 5-6 people in your team who are always ready to generate new and explosive ideas - that's great! If you don't have that kind of creative team, it's worth taking a look at agencies. Agencies design creatives for many companies. Often, the topics of customers overlap, which allows you to see the market and its trends, and to better understand which ideas will work and bring results.
When producing in-house creatives, you have a staff of specialists. That being said, none of them can learn new skills instantly. This situation will not allow you to quickly test a new approach, or bring out a new product that requires specific knowledge. However, you can choose an external team that will solve your problem. As a rule, hiring a new employee is a long process - choosing an agency can be much faster.
The scaling phase is the most common situation when it becomes relevant to contact an external team. You might have a great team that can handle the existing volume. You may even have enough creative ideas, and everything could be going so well that it's time to expand! Then, you can hire one employee, or two, or three, but increasing the production of creatives multiple times over in a short period of time is possible only with the involvement of external specialists. This is where an agency comes in - as skilled workers.
Involvement in the project
No one can be as involved as an internal team. If your project requires full immersion and understanding of the brand philosophy, then an in-house team is the right choice. It’s difficult to argue for an external producer at this point. We love our customers very much, but we can hardly understand their product better than they themselves do.
No one is immune to the burnout effect. If an in-house specialist is loaded with the same type of task flow, sooner or later their efficiency will decrease. In an external agency, there is always the opportunity to switch from one project to another, to look differently at your everyday tasks, to reboot your brain and to enjoy the creative process, instead of getting stressed out by it. For example, our agency has experienced 3D designers who sometimes take on the task of designing 2D creatives - this allows them to unload themselves psychologically without shifting gears away from work completely.
Working with an internal team, from time to time you have to solve personnel issues. In the face of constant deadlines, solving them can be associated not only with stress, but also with financial loss. Computer breakdowns, employee illnesses, absenteeism or sudden dismissals – all of these situations are solvable, but when working with an external agency, you don't need to worry about them at all. There is a technical task, and it gets carried out.
Ease of communication
Prompt communication is very important in marketing, especially in those situations when new introductory notes appear suddenly, there’s an urgent need to make edits or a force majeure has occurred. Here, it is difficult for an external agency to compete with an internal team. You need to set up a call and arrange a meeting instead of just sending a couple of messages to an internal chat or just approaching an employee in the office.
Convenience in project management
This all depends on the specifics of the business processes within the company. It took some of our clients a very long time to integrate working with external producers into their system, but they eventually got around to it. Others initially found it more convenient to interact with an external producers than to manage a team. Thus, interaction with an external team should be a prepared step and organically integrated into the product creation processes.
We have summarized the main points to pay attention to when making an in-house vs external decision. The decision is yours, but the experience of our clients suggests that attracting an external contractor gives a powerful impetus to development, allows you to create more, and perhaps most importantly - earn faster.
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