Agency vs In House: Who Should You Hire for Digital Marketing

Should you hire in-house or hire an agency? When it comes to digital marketing, the decision can be critical.

 

It is a huge decision which must align with budgets, timelines, and long-term business strategy. Let’s not beat around the bush, we are an agency, so of course we will be slightly biased. But there is a reason that there are a huge number of successful agencies in existence, because they are a sensible business addition. Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why.

Skill Diversification

In general, digital marketers tend to have very specific skill sets. You have paid search specialists, social media masters, web content / developers, graphic designers, conversion rate rulers…and the list goes on.

 

But the thing is, digital marketing is too complex for one person to be an expert at everything. So, if you hire a paid search specialist in-house, you can expect them to do a great job at paid search. But what if paid search isn’t panning out? Or what if the competition is driving great results with an ever-evolving website?

 

What do you do then? Obviously, you could just hire a web developer and content marketer, but that may not necessarily be in the budget or you may not be completely sold on the idea yet. What should you do?

Diversifying Your Marketing

Companies that hire in-house often struggle to diversify their digital marketing efforts and completely align their branding with online materials and print materials for a cohesive and effective strategy. After all, investing in a new marketing channel is a risk. If you hire someone and it doesn’t work out, you’ve just created a very difficult situation for yourself.

 

As a result, these companies often end up stuck in one marketing channel. And, often, that channel isn’t even working that well. For example, if you’ve got a great landing page designer but terrible ads that are driving the wrong traffic to your site, you may have trouble getting good results from your campaigns.

 

Is that your designer’s fault? Of course not! But, if you’re restricting your marketing resources like this, you probably won’t end up getting the results from digital marketing that you’re hoping for.On the other hand, with a good agency, you have access to a wide range of skills and experience.

 

For example, at Orbital, we have a team that put their skills together to create successful websites and campaigns. Individually, each team member is good at what they do, but collectively, they provide much more value than any single person could. And, as an added bonus, since each team member is actively working with a number of accounts, they have a depth and breadth of experience that gives them insights they can apply to new campaigns and situations. We have the added bonus of also offering services like enVision and print marketing and design which will align all aspects of your marketing under one roof. Tempting, right?

What's the damage?

As a result, our clients don’t end up with account managers who have tunnel vision or who lose creativity over time. Instead, our clients get 6 sets of eyes on their account on a regular basis.

 

So, when it comes to skill diversification, should you go with an agency or hire in-house?

 

Really, when you get right down to it, this is a question of resources. For larger companies, it may be worth the investment to hire someone in-house to diversify their marketing efforts, although, when it comes to hiring Orbital, you get the best of a digital marketing agency, with 3D render and other exciting futuristic benefits on top.

 

After all, if your marketing needs are significant enough that they justify hiring a dedicated expert, you may get the best results from hiring someone to work on a channel full-time. However, for most businesses, agencies are a great option for diversification. Most companies don’t need (or can’t yet afford) to hire a full team of dedicated marketers, so working with an agency can be a great way to widen your marketing net without significantly increasing your overhead.

Conclusion

There are a lot of reasons why people pick an agency or simply decide to keep things in-house. Both are completely viable ways to grow your business. However, agencies offer a lot in the way of skill diversification, breadth of experience and value for money, which is why many businesses find that going with an agency is the best way to grow their business.

 

If this article has made you wonder if you are really getting the best from your digital marketing, and you think Orbital may be able to help you grow, get in touch with us today for a discussion on where we could take you.


3 Reasons Why Product Photography is a Thing of The Past

Photoshoots may seem a necessary spend for furniture manufacturers and retailers, but they are quickly becoming a thing of the past. And here are three reasons why.

Faster turnaround on the creation of marketing materials

  • If are on a tight deadline and need beautiful images fast, you may not have the time and resources to curate an impressive catalogue of images for your new range or product, which is the main component to furniture marketing and sales.

 

  • The process behind furniture photography is a lengthy one. A prototype is the first thing that needs to be made and transported to a set. The photoshoot itself and manpower needed is costly and time consuming, and then comes post-production. And if you need any alterations? You’ll likely need to reshoot the whole thing.

 

  • There are plenty of organisational issues involved with a photo shoot, creating plenty of room for errors. Delayed shipments, below par photographers, and a poor studio are all potential issues you can run into.

 

  • When it comes to creating that same photograph as a 3D render, the process is streamlined in every way. The only two things you need to consider are writing up the details of the project and the final approval stage.

 

  • No photoshoots or shipping involved.

Costs involved in furniture photography skyrocket compared to 3D rendering

  • Furniture photography can be costly, and there isn’t much of a way to get around that. If you’re looking to be as cost-effective as possible, getting a 3D render is usually the better choice.

 

  • With photography, the expenses pile up and eat away at your budget in no time at all.

 

  • Accounting for the cost of shipping a selection of traditional prototypes, you can also count on paying rent for a space to shoot your photos, as well as the cost of photographers and post-production. Even for a single photo shoot, your bill could be hefty. With any reshoots doubling or tripling that initial cost.

 

  • Now, if you’re rendering your product, most of these fees are eliminated. The only thing you have to pay for when it comes to a 3D render is the designer. Everything is created digitally, from the lighting and décor to the set and furniture itself.

Ability to make design changes on the fly

  • With a photograph, there’s a limit to the changes you can make after the fact. Post-production can touch up a photo, making the colour pop and changing the lighting. But no major alterations can be made to a still image.

 

  • If you need a substantial change, you’ll have to reshoot. This can be expensive and push your timeline back significantly.

 

  • With a 3D model, you can make all the changes you want without any extra time or money. Need to change the lightning? No problem. Wish there were a few more flowers in the background? That can be arranged (pun intended).

 

  • And if your product changes, or if you have a selection of fabrics available, all of that can be created and corrected in a 3D model in no time at all.

 

  • Your products can also be altered before they are even created. Manufacturing your prototype traditionally can be expensive. Accounting for colour options and variations, you’ll have to create multiple prototypes. Not to mention any changes you decide on means a whole new prototype needs to be manufactured. With 3D rendering, a product can be created from a mere sketch, and can be altered or redesigned in days. Along with this, if you are creating a whole new range but only have a design for one of your products in the range, leave it down to the graphic designers to create 3D prototypes of the remaining products in the range. From a sketch of a 3-seater sofa, you can have a render of a loveseat, an armchair and an ottoman to match in no time at all.

3D rendering makes sense for companies of all sizes, and let me tell you why. While photorealistic 3D rendering may sound like something out of reach for small companies, it doesn’t have to be. Regardless of how many products you have – even if it’s just one – you could benefit from a 3D render. When your design is going through changes, having a 3D render will allow you to easily manipulate the design, making changes on-the-go. This is important because it’ll allow buyers and designers to visualise the end-product. You can enjoy quick turnarounds for your marketing campaigns, without the extra time having to be put aside, once your prototype is made in 3D, your product launch can begin straight away, for sales to come rolling in.

 

If you need a helping hand or some advice when it comes to making the transition to 3D rendering, get in touch with us today. We are the experts.


Why Virtual Reality Will Soon Be the Only Way to Buy Furniture

Thanks to new technologies like augmented reality, 3D rendering and virtual reality, the furniture industry is finally ready to have its online moment. These are the latest tools designers and retailers are using to give clients a clearer vision of projects and purchases before they commit.

As we see the retail industry move away from brick and mortar we are seeing online only retailers start growing, in some areas overtaking high street shops. This is particularly surprising in the furniture and homewares sector, but we saw it in 2018 as online mattress companies like “Caspar” and “Emma” were topping mattress sales without a single brick and mortar shop. This really opens up a space for virtual reality as we see a gap in the market for endless opportunities to show products to the consumer without having to see a product in real life.

 

Books and music were the first products to really see success online. Without having to touch or feel the products, there was little standing in the way of a consumer clicking on the Buy Now button. Once user reviews were introduced into the mix, the ecommerce virus started taking hold of electronics too. When it came to clothing, it took a little more brain power. With consumers being used to trying on clothes and feeling the quality of fabrics, online apparel had a slow start. But it was nothing that next day delivery and free returns couldn’t fix.

 

Now, it’s furniture’s time to shine online, but the category requires completely new tactics. While user reviews help customers understand the quality and feel of products, they can’t help a buyer see how the piece actually fits in a room, which is the biggest obstacle we’re seeing when consumers consider the risks of buying online.

 

Furniture buying requires consumers to invest significant amounts of time and money choosing an item they will have to live with for many years. Add this to the thought that homeowners will want to see if a furniture piece fits in their space, and matches the current arrangements and products they already have in their home, virtual reality can really kick in.

We are seeing AR and VR crop up in certain home décor apps, even if it is still early and some are stilted. Take Dulux for example, although not perfect, their app allows you to take a photo of your room and place their paint colours on any wall, so you can preview the finished look without spending any time or money. Now imagine the success if this was available to interior designers and general homeowners in the realm of furniture. Superimposing that sofa you’ve been lusting after, into your current living room space – to scale – and in your chosen fabric. It’s important to envision the whole room, including pieces you own and pieces you’re considering purchasing. We don’t think that this new retail revolution is far off. But you know what they say – the early bird catches the worm. It is usually the businesses who nail these new approaches first that get the long-term results.

 

The future can be exciting, if maybe a little daunting. Orbital are working on their own Virtual Reality products to help retailers and manufacturers sell their products – keep your eyes peeled for updates!


Thank You from Orbital

After an incredible year of growth for Orbital in 2018, we kicked off 2019 in style with an incredibly successful January Furniture Show.

On 20thJanuary this year, we were all set up to see how a creative agency would fare in the UK’s biggest furniture show. With over 500 exhibitors and a record number of attendees, there was a real sense of optimism in the air. In a climate where there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding business decisions, the success of the January Furniture Show was a welcome triumph. And we at Orbital were no different.

 

With our whole team upheaved to Birmingham, it was business as usual. What better way to show you what we do, than show you what we do! Our team was busy building furniture in 3d and wrapping them in various fabrics whilst simultaneously creating room-sets to showcase the furniture. They were also demonstrating our product builder which allows users to select a piece of furniture and custom wrap the product, cushions, piping and more, in any number of fabrics and textures.

 

Amongst the thousands of attendees over the four days that followed, we had a huge number of visitors to our stand. Whether we can blame that on the fun we were having with our virtual reality headset, the constant supply of Haribo and coffee, or our designs, we will never know. Either way, we do know it was watching the team at work that secured an impressive number of new and potential clients and would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came to say hello. We are lucky enough to now be working on projects for the likes of Graham and Green, Sofa Sofa, Warwick Fabrics and so many more.

 

As well as those of you that we got to meet, and the interest you took in what we can do to grow businesses in the furniture industry, we also got to hear who the long-awaited winners of the Furniture News awards. The lucky five that were awarded for stand out products are in for a free room set build from us. As promised, after the winners were announced on the first day of the show, we started capturing images of the winners’ products before starting the 3D build on our enVision platform to create an invaluable marketing tool for the winning companies.

 

Make sure you keep an eye out for our progress updates and the finished products for the winners Parker Knoll, Sealy UK, Wiemann, Hartman UK and ALF. Maybe we’ll even have a game of spot the difference between the photographs and our renders, just to show what we really mean when we say you can’t tell the difference.

 

Have a sneaky peak at what we could do to grow your business here


Danish Delights at London Design Fair

Danish Delights - London Design Fair 2018

It was great to see the pavilion stand representing a variety of Danish brands at Design Week.

 

Showcasing products from Georg Jensen, Republic of Fritz Hansen, Warm Nordic, Junckers, Tom Rossae, Berhart and BoConcept, there was plenty for the eye to admire.

We loved the simple shaping, unfussy detail, the curved Danish form of low slung upholstery and the modern take of a dining chair that looked inspired, by the Hans J Wegner classic Wishbone.

 

Paper type hanging lanterns, that are reminiscent of paper planes crafted as a kid and authentic wood cubes (multi use, side tables or a footstool), with the detail of the grain. The white origami inspired hanging lanterns, which suggested movement were graceful and elegant, making a great focal statement piece for a room.

 

Lovely to see the classic Danish ‘butterfly’ type dining chair, upholstered for a change! In a gorgeous deep claret.


Watch your fabrics come to life with enVision

Working with Linwood Fabrics is a real delight. A wonderful family business, sourcing original high quality fabrics for use in the upholstery and interiors markets. We have built them new 3D roomsets and animated their collections to lift them out of the swatches and bring them to life.

 

Their products can be purchased from a wide network of interior designers and retailers throughout the UK and worldwide, and to see the assets that we have created being used on their website fills us with pleasure.

 

With our enVision service, the possibilities are endless with the ultimate flexibility to create the perfect, photo-quality scene for your next promotional product. Design your dream setting, add your chosen 3D rendered products, choose your fabrics and decorations then publish it.

 

Being able to update with ease gives you the freedom of testing a new fabric, testing new colour combinations and testing the market before you set out and build your product. We're giving you all the tools to save you going back to a location to reshoot.

 

Linwood Fabrics are the perfect example of how we can enhance your range. After all, the sky really is the limit.