Marketing Agency vs. In-House Team: Which is Right For You?

The decision’s been made that it’s time to get serious about your digital marketing efforts. Now the big question becomes, should you hire an external digital marketing agency? Or should you keep it all in-house with your own internal team? There are pros and cons to each, so taking the time to carefully consider all aspects will help you make the right choice for your business and future goals.

Decision-Making Considerations

There are many factors to consider when determining whether to hire a marketing agency or set up an in-house team. These factors include expertise, perspective, capacity, cost, relevance, stability, and results. Below, we’ll take a closer look at each of these elements as they relate to an in-house agency and digital marketing agencies to help you make a more informed decision.

In-House Agency

  • Expertise: If you’re looking to create an in-house agency, chances are you don’t already have individuals on your team who are experts in some of these in-depth marketing practices, such as search engine optimization (SEO), website design, UX/UI design, social media marketing, and so forth. It honestly is virtually impossible to assemble an in-house team with all the skills to effectively implement your digital marketing campaign without spending a much more substantial budget than what you’d pay an external agency.
  • Perspective: Working in-house provides an introspective view of your business and customer needs, but sometimes that closer perspective can have you missing new opportunities. By welcoming an outside perspective that can challenge the status quo, you’re opening up your marketing plan to generate more leads in new ways, as well as improve upon existing good ideas.
  • Capacity: In today’s business environment, many individuals are tasked with wearing multiple hats and meeting ever-shrinking deadlines. Attempting to create an in-house team would require team members who are truly dedicated to these specific agency-related tasks. Otherwise, getting everything done will be a real challenge.
  • Cost: Although it may seem that using an in-house agency will save money, the truth is, it’s actually going to cost you more than what you’d pay an outside agency. Consider the fact that you have to most likely hire new employees to create the new in-house team, or bring in new people to fill any shifting roles. With in-house, you may be looking to spend upwards of $250,000 per year, whereas a marketing agency will only charge for the products and services you actually utilize.
  • Relevance: An in-house team is going to have to continually remain up-to-speed on the quickly evolving world of digital marketing. Someone will need to have the in-depth industry knowledge and will need to have the capacity to keep up with new challenges.
  • Stability: We don’t like to think of employees leaving the company, but it happens. Even if you build out a great team of experts for an in-house agency, what happens if an employee leaves? If your SEO expert, for instance, accepts a position with another company, that knowledge and expertise leave, too. Do you have the capacity to continue that work without that individual? Would you need to hire someone immediately to fill in the gaps? What kind of delay would there be with onboarding? External marketing agencies have teams of these professionals that, should one leave, it will not affect your marketing efforts.
  • Results: The point of revamping your marketing is to drive results, but what happens if you’re not getting what you want? If your in-house agency isn’t performing, do you invest in more training? Delay your efforts and focus on restructuring the team internally? Outside marketing agencies can show proof of results with current and previous clients, helping you feel confident in your decision before signing a contract. And if you happen to hire a company that isn’t a great fit, your options are open to look elsewhere.

Marketing Agency

  • Expertise: As stated previously, there are so many digital marketing tactics available to choose from. Hiring an agency gives your business access to a team of skilled, knowledgeable digital marketing experts that can assist with any and every aspect of your marketing, from email and pay-per-click campaigns to digital strategy, data analytics, SEO, and more.
  • Perspective: A good digital marketing partner will bring a new and necessary additional set of eyes to your marketing plan. The agency you work with should enhance and elevate your good ideas and not be afraid to challenge your not-so-good ideas.
  • Capacity: Don’t take any capacity away from your current team or add extra work to already busy employees. Hiring an agency to spearhead your digital marketing efforts frees up your team to focus on what they do best.
  • Cost: At first glance, hiring a marketing agency might seem expensive. However, it’s important to remember that you’re not just paying for the service. Outside agencies will provide you with a breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise that could take you years to develop in-house.
  • Relevance: An agency partner is equipped and prepared to keep track of all of the frequent, continual digital marketing changes to ensure your business meets current industry standards. Your employees can focus on your business instead of trying to keep up with evolving platforms and methods of communication.
  • Stability: With an agency relationship, you gain access to multiple team members who are well-versed in the various aspects of digital marketing, so your campaign never misses a beat, even if an employee leaves the agency.
  • Results: Too often overlooked, your marketing agency should be highly motivated to provide and report on results. After all, the best way to build and maintain a long-term partnership is to demonstrate value and provide a positive return on investment for your marketing dollars.

Hire a Marketing Agency You Can Trust

Choosing whether to hire a digital marketing agency or to handle things in-house is a large and important decision. A great first step in determining which option is right for your business is to have a conversation about your goals. Contact the Timmermann Group team to learn more about how we can help your business succeed.