One important question that every business needs to address is whether to bring marketing in-house, or let an agency handle it. Company size and budget are important factors, among several others that deserve your attention. If you find yourself wondering which is best for you, read on and discover the pros and cons of each.
Let’s start by defining our terms. In-house marketers are employees that you hire and pay that work solely for you. An agency, on the other hand, manages marketing initiatives for different companies and often specializes in a certain marketing niche. While many people believe agencies are out of reach financially, they may in fact be more affordable for your business.
What are the advantages of in-house marketing? When you bring a marketer on your team, you can feel confident in your judgement rather than trusting an external source that you don’t know everything about. They have brand familiarity and should also be very familiar with your industry. However, it is unreasonable to expect them to know and handle everything since they are just one person (or in some cases, a small team).
One advantage that agencies hold over in-house marketers is the number of highly skilled individuals they have on board, which can be a powerful resource for clients. However, it may be difficult to get them up to speed. A major challenge to consider is that you have to spend a great deal of time explaining to them your company’s background and the goals you want to achieve. In addition, there may be conflicts of interest where you and the agency don’t agree on fundamental strategies.
So how do you know which to choose? Well, if you’re a small or mid-sized company, it probably makes most sense to hire a single person or small team of people to do your in-house marketing. If you have a large company, an agency may be extremely valuable in building a bulletproof marketing strategy designed by people with several years of niched experience. Remember that when you outsource your marketing, you lose some control over the process. If you are uncomfortable with this, an agency might not be the best fit.
How do these two buckets of marketers embody the qualities you’re looking for? In-house marketers have experience with siloed projects, so they may not have as much imagination. Agencies on the other hand, work on multiple projects at a time and have a portfolio of diverse experiences. When it comes to competition, there is a unique dichotomy here. In-house marketers know your competition, whereas an agency might work with your competition.
When we discuss competition, we also want to ask ourselves about how to scale our business in order to compete with our direct competitors. Which marketing team option do you think is best when it comes to scalability? If you guessed an agency, you’re correct. Agencies have more resources which means if you want to grow your paid search campaign, for example, they can make that happen with a phone call. With in-house marketing, you may be forced to consider reallocating resources or bringing another employee on board. There is also the danger that in-house marketers you hire could contribute towards employee turnover, making scalability even more difficult.
At this point, you may be wondering about timeliness. How urgent are your marketing needs? In-house marketers are often available to you right away since you work in close quarters. Agencies, on the other hand, could lag in getting back to you because they have obligations with other companies using their service. You should have a representative from your company handle communication with the agency, and pick one that will be responsive when you need them.
Our final, and one of the most important considerations is cost. Consider the cost of your campaigns and other marketing-related needs, and of course, what it costs to hire an in-house marketing team versus agency.
A marketing manager on average makes a little more than $60,000 per year, and you may also decide to hire specialists. Your employee(s) will also need benefits, office space and other provisions.
Here are some salary examples from webfx.com.
Digital Marketing Manager: $65,000
Digital Marketing Specialist; $49,000
SEO Specialist: $48,000
Social Media Marketing Specialist: $48,000
When it comes to figuring the cost of hiring an agency, that’s between you, them and the negotiation table. Since the overall price depends on your ad spend and how much of the work the agency is doing for you, prices will vary depending on these variables.
Importantly, several cost items such as training and software are absorbed by the agency. In fact, surprisingly, hiring an agency is often more cost-effective than having an in-house team.
Be sure to note that you don’t have to choose either agency or in-house marketing, you can also integrate both. Trapica offers campaign management tools that add value to your in-house marketing efforts by automating your campaigns using AI.
We have laid out all the major considerations that you’ll want to look at when deciding which resources to use for your marketing efforts. Look at the advantages and disadvantages, do a cost-benefit analysis and analyze your budget to ensure the choice your making is informed and makes the most sense for your business.