In-house vs agency marketing: 8 most important things to consider
Here are answers to the question, “In-House vs. Agency Marketing: Which do you recommend? and why?”
- Choose an Agency that Feels Like An Extension of Your Team
- Control your own marketing strategy
- Agency Marketing for Its Expertise
- First One, Then the Other
- Agencies can be expensive
- Agencies can be just as cost-effective
- Expertise, Scalability, and Resources
- In-house marketers aren’t experts in everything
Choose an Agency that Feels Like an Extension of Your Team
I’ve worked in-house and agency-side, and in my mind, unless your company has extensive resources and staff, agency is the way forward for your employees’ well-being as well as for your ROI. Increasingly, there is “job creep” happening in-house, where employers expect their handful of marketers to be in full mastery of all aspects of marketing as well as fully available to attend meeting after meeting to align internally on goals and plans.
It is not realistic to expect one or even two people to be SEO specialists, social media experts, long-form content writers, strategists, and however many other hats they are required to have. With an agency, they can access all this and more while focusing on the essentials. Of course, for this to work, you need an agency that is fully embedded into your team and understands your company’s needs and voice as well as you do.
Claire Trevien, Account Director, Isoline Communications
Control your own marketing strategy
In-house marketing is an excellent option for companies that want to invest in the growth of their business by creating and controlling their own marketing strategy. In-house marketers are able to establish a brand voice and create engaging content that resonates with their target audience. However, hiring an in-house team does come with its own challenges. In-house marketers may not have the same level of expertise as an agency when it comes to understanding how different channels and platforms work together.
Additionally, there may be a lack of expertise or knowledge about specific industry verticals. Agency marketing provides clients with access to agencies’ deep knowledge about digital marketing and a team of specialists who have been trained on best practices for each channel. This allows them to provide clients with more strategic insight into how campaigns can be developed based on their business goals rather than just focusing on optimizing performance metrics.
Laura Martinez, Consultant and Content Writer, PersonalityMax
Agency Marketing for Its Expertise
Agency marketing can be a better choice, as its significant advantage is specialized expertise. Agencies typically have a larger pool of talent and a more comprehensive knowledge, which is beneficial for businesses that need technical skills or help with a particular aspect of their marketing. When hiring an agency, you get support from a team of experts in SEO, PPC, social media, email marketing, and more.
For an in-house marketing department, employing so many specialists is practically impossible, while one or two employees can only be proficient in some of these areas. With agency expertise also goes more advanced technology and tools they use. Agencies have access to the most advanced solutions, which help businesses stay ahead of the curve in digital marketing and data analysis. They also invest in technology that provides services beyond the reach of an in-house team.
With all this in mind, I always recommend agency marketing to clients expecting quick and tangible results.
Nina Paczka, Community Manager, Resume Now
First One, Then the Other
Building an in-house marketing team that can compete with a fairly reasonably priced marketing boutique is tricky business, one that many businesses tend to fail at for a long, long time. My recommendation is to hire an agency to help you set the groundwork and give you a much better feel for the type of profiles you would need to hire, the ways of working they would need to get used to, and the best way they can mesh in with the rest of the organization.
Working with an agency guarantees you a certain degree of leniency when it comes to building your own marketing arm, and you can downsize the agency presence little by little as you upskill.
Kate Kandefer, CEO, SEOwind
Agencies can be expensive
For a new business, an agency can be expensive. Business owners and staff can establish a marketing foundation and test what works and what doesn’t themselves to get started. As a company grows, the owner will have less time for marketing, but likely lacks the budget to hire in-house marketers. Even if you hire a marketer, they won’t have the time, resources, or skills to manage everything. By working with an agency, you gain access to the time and talents of a staff of specialized experts. Agencies can also afford marketing software and tools that are often too pricey for a business to justify. Once a company reaches a more significant size, it may make sense to start hiring in-house marketers. They know your business inside and out, and they also are solely devoted to your business as opposed to multiple clients. Let your staff handle the areas that they specialize in and produce the best results for, while outsourcing any gaps to an agency that can better handle them.
Lauren Walter, Search and Content Director, Online Optimism
Agencies can be just as cost-effective
A trusted agency marketing team will be specifically focused on getting you the best for your money. While this might seem like the more expensive route at a glance, especially to smaller companies, going with agencies can be just as cost-effective as building your own in-house team.
Once hiring costs, salaries, and potential training costs are factored in, it really becomes a matter of how extensively and how often you want your marketing efforts curated. For many businesses, agencies are going to be the go-to option when you don’t have the need for the frequent upkeep an in-house team will provide. Financially and logistically, hiring an agency will be majorly less stressful for businesses.
Max Ade, CEO, Pickleheads
Expertise, Scalability, and Resources
Agency marketing offers a unique set of skills and expertise. With agency teams dedicated to marketing, they are able to bring specialized knowledge and experience to the table that you may not find within your own in-house team. The second major benefit of agency marketing is scalability. Because agency teams are typically larger than in-house teams, they are better prepared to handle larger marketing campaigns and initiatives.
With the right agency on your team, you can scale up or down depending on your needs, ensuring that your marketing efforts remain optimized. Finally, agency marketing provides access to a larger variety of resources and tools. This is especially helpful for businesses who are looking to stay on top of the latest trends and developments in the digital marketing space. With an agency on your side, you will have the support of a knowledgeable and experienced team that can help you stay ahead of the curve.
Jaya Iyer, Marketing Assistant, Teranga Digital Marketing
In-house marketers aren’t experts in everything
An in-house marketer who is proficient in all facets of digital marketing is uncommon. And if they are, it might be too much for one individual or a small number of individuals to handle. If you talk about agencies, even if you select one with a solid reputation in your market, you will still need to familiarize yourself with your brand or company.
To locate an agency that best fits your timetable and goals, you must conduct research and make a pitch. What is superior? Everything hinges on your line of work. In my opinion, an in-house marketing team would be the best option if you have enough work to support all of the employees you can afford to hire with varied skill sets. A single internal person can be hired if you just need one aspect managed. An agency may be more sensible if you’re wanting to create a comprehensive, top-to-bottom marketing strategy.
Inga Broerman, VP of Marketing, BluLogix
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