Agency vs. In-House Marketing – Pros and Cons to Help You Decide

Should you hire an agency or create an in-house marketing team to handle your digital marketing, before I talk about the pros and cons of hiring an in-house marketing team or partnering with an agency. I should mention that I work for what affects a full service digital marketing agency. There’s definitely a lot to think about when you’re ready to make this decision. Each choice has pros and cons. You might even land somewhere in the middle. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty after this intro.

So first, I’ll talk about the pros and cons of hiring an in-house marketing team. Brand familiarity, I can definitely say in-house marketing team knows your brand inside and out. After all, they work with it every single day. Good agencies will get to know your brand, too. But establishing this relationship can take time. Speaking of time and in-house marketing team will likely take less time to contacts. And they’re right there if everyone’s in the office. You can just get up and have an impromptu conversation at someone’s desk with an agency. You’ll likely communicate over email or by phone. And there may be a delay in communication, especially if you’re in different time zones. Good agencies will likely have ways to handle time differences and will do their best to communicate well. But the emphasis is on good agencies, focus good agencies, probably work with a lot of clients, so you might not get the level of focus you want from your account manager. Some agencies, however, treat every client like they’re the only client working with a lot of clients can prove to be a benefit, which I’ll elaborate on later in this lesson. Now onto the cons of hiring an in-house marketing team. Talent management. Having an in-house marketing team means you have to find, hire and train new team members on your own. On top of that, the cost of your team can be a lot more expensive than partnering with an agency. The ever changing digital marketing landscape requires a lot of different skill sets, so it’s not likely you can hire one person to do everything. Seriously, there’s a SEO, PPC, webdesign, social media, video marketing, web development and a lot more. You can even break down each of those into smaller categories and specializations. Each team member needs a salary, benefits and technology to help them do their job. Oh, that reminds me the next topic is technology. Some free tools like Google Analytics exist to help with your digital marketing, but you’re likely going to need more data to make decisions. A dress and Rush are two of many paid tools that really help fill in any data gaps. But they cost money. Agencies already use these tools so you don’t have to shell out extra cash. Plus, gathering data from different tools can be like finding a needle in a haystack. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, growth potential, you can hire the best and the brightest internal marketers, but everyone has their limits. Someone might be an expert in content marketing, but they don’t have a ton of advanced technical knowledge or vice versa. You might find yourself relying on freelancers to supplement your team, which can get expensive if used often. If you want to scale your digital marketing efforts, you might also overload your team. Any agency has multiple people that can handle larger projects while you’re in-house, team might already be overwhelmed by its normal day to day to do list. So those are the pros and cons of an in-house marketing team.

Let’s move on to the pros and cons of partnering with an agency for your marketing pros experience. Earlier, I mentioned that good agencies work with a lot of clients. While you can argue this is a disadvantage of hiring an agency, I’d argue it makes them better at making decisions for your marketing strategy, for working with different clients and in different industries. It’s highly likely your account manager has seen what works and what doesn’t work for a business like yours. Good account managers will focus on continually staying up to date in their fields so they can be confident in all their strategy decisions. They might go after several industry certifications so they can prove that they know what they’re doing. Plus, having a large team means other marketers with different areas of expertize can help shape your campaigns for success. So if you start that and decide you want to add webdesign to your strategy, you can do that without having to spend months hiring or training someone. If you’re worried about hiring an overworked agency with slow response times read their reviews on social media, Google and review sites like Klutch end up city tools. As I said earlier, you need reliable tools to make informed decisions about your marketing. Tools can be expensive, but agencies typically use them on a larger scale. So you don’t have to worry about having every tool under the sun. Cost hiring, training and keeping an internal marketing team takes away time and money from your business. The costs of partnering with an agency depends on your needs, but you can end up saving hundreds of thousands of dollars every year by choosing to hire an agency. You might want to handle some of the work yourself and pass the US off to an agency leading to even greater cost savings. A good marketing agency will help you determine your business needs and go from there. As much as I wish there weren’t any cons to partnering with a digital marketing agency, I’ll name a few. Location and agency is not an in-house marketing team. They’re not going to be immediately available and it can be far away if you partner with an agency that isn’t local. Like I said earlier, it can be tough to choose meeting times if you’re in different time zones or locations. And there may be a delay in communication, but a good agency has processes in place to make any time differences work. Multiple clients. I can’t say this enough. A good agency will make you feel like you’re their only client. Not every agency puts an emphasis on maintaining client relationships as we do. And I didn’t mean to brag if you’re currently working with an agency that isn’t focused on your business, it might be time to find a new one. Control agencies tend to work best with some level of freedom. Not to say that you won’t have any input on your strategy, but you should trust your marketing agency to make informed decisions for you on a daily basis. You’ll usually be required to prove strategies and some other campaign decisions, but your partnership with an agency gives them the freedom to make choices for your business based on everything they learn from their research and in conversations with you.

If you want complete control over your daily marketing activities, you might find an in-house marketing team works better for you. But a responsible agency won’t just make decisions and leave you in the dark. They’ll have thorough reporting processes to keep you informed and keep themselves accountable. Some agencies might even have their own data reporting platforms with real time data for their clients. So while I won’t tell you whether to hire an in-house marketing team or an agency, I will tell you to do your research before picking a side. And the agency for in-house marketing team to be a good option in the middle might be to have someone in-house experienced enough to do some of the work and coordinate with an agency.

If you do decide to partner with an agency, don’t hesitate to contact our experts. We offer a full range of digital marketing services to meet your every business needs.

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