In-House Marketing vs. Agency: Which One Should You Hire?

Advertising is crucial to any successful business. If you’re looking to scale up your marketing efforts, you’ll need to hire talented people to help execute your marketing strategy. You may be wondering, should I hire an in-house marketing team or work with an agency?

The answer depends on your situation. Larger organizations may already have in-house teams or be looking into hiring more in-house marketers with a combination of hiring an agency for more specialized work. While hiring an outside agency may be more beneficial for a smaller brand. This blog will explore in-house marketing and marketing agencies in the context of a small business. This small business either has no marketers on staff or may have a one-person team.

In a later blog, we will examine how a larger organization with an in-house marketing team in place can work with an agency to further scale their marketing efforts.

Let’s look at some of the reasons to have an in-house marketing team of any size and when to hire a digital marketing agency.

Why Hire a Digital Marketing Agency?

Digital agencies have teams that work on marketing, advertising, brand development, and creative design.  They often specialize in a specific area, such as search engine marketing agencies or programmatic advertising.

When weighing the pros and cons of working with a digital agency, you must know what you need. One person most likely won’t be able to handle SEO, copywriting, and website design. This may be tough as most companies need all creative aspects for their marketing campaigns to succeed.

If you’re thinking of hiring a digital marketing agency in North Carolina, check out our recent blog post: How to Choose Your Digital Advertising Agency.

3 Benefits of Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency

  1. Save Time & Money

    Most businesses are overloaded with work. The costs associated with hiring an in-house marketing team can add up quickly, from recruiting, salary, and benefits to training and pay increases.

    On the other hand, an agency comes with a fixed contract. You get a larger team with diverse talent while keeping costs low. Your relationship with an agency is results-driven. This brings a sense of urgency, high-level creative thinking, and a results-oriented focus to show their worth.

  2. Deeper Expertise

    A digital marketing agency works with multiple companies in similar industries. They have gathered industry and audience data and analytics that they bring with them from the start.

    For instance, if you’re in the technology industry, you may want to hire a digital marketing agency in Durham, North Carolina, where the tech industry is booming. They’ll be able to provide strategic insights and a fresh, outside perspective.

    While an in-house marketing specialist may have a solid understanding of multiple specialties, you get a whole team of experts with an agency. Each has individualized expertise that you can access.

  3. Scalable

    It’s challenging to plan and strategize for scaling a business. You can only anticipate so much. The main challenges are hiring the right talent and getting more customers.

    Marketing agencies have a talent pool, so you don’t have to worry about hiring more people. As your business grows, a digital agency can take care of increasing focus on what is already working. And when you need to shift focus, the agency’s diversity allows them to test new channels.

3 Benefits of Hiring an In-House Marketing Team

What is in-house advertising? In-house means any work done within an organization by an employee instead of an external agency. Building an in-house team makes sense in some situations. Many believe it can provide greater control and a tighter, more focused team.

  1. More Emotional “Buy-in”

    When you hire the right people, your team will believe in your message and products. Employees are fully immersed in your brand, so they are invested at a higher emotional level than an outside marketing agency. And a highly engaged employee can be a powerful tool.

    An in-house team is likely to go above and beyond because of their emotional ties to the business. They’ll solve more immediate problems and promote the brand through social media and word of mouth.

    While building a powerful team organically takes time, you have direct control over cultivating talent.

  2. Brand Familiarity

    While digital agencies will learn your brand voice and tone, this will take some time. But, your internal employees are fully immersed in the brand from the start.

    In-house marketing teams tend to have a deeper understanding of brand awareness and “the why” behind your campaigns. Employees have a realistic understanding of a brand’s marketing and product capabilities. Thus, they’re able to leverage different teams to execute marketing campaigns.

  3. More Control

    With an in-house marketing team, you have more control over executing campaigns. Digital agencies will have their processes and ideas that may not align with your internal processes, which can cause delays and frustration.

    In addition, you’ll most likely have more accessibility with an internal team. You know when your team is “in office.” Most of you will work the same hours and days so you can quickly get in touch with one another. On the other hand, an agency may not be available throughout the day or may be in an entirely different time zone.

    Finally, you have a contract with an outside marketing agency with built-in project scope and fees. If you deviate from that, you will most likely incur additional fees. In-house employees can shift marketing deliverables without additional costs.

When Should I Hire an In-House Marketing Team?

The work environment has shifted as companies offer digital agencies and freelancers more flexibility.  But, there are still a couple of scenarios where you may  want to build an in-house marketing team.

  • Access to Talent – If you’re lucky enough to be located in an area with top-level talent in your industry, this is a prime example of building an in-house talent pool.

On the other hand, if you’re open to hiring remotely, you can poach talent from across the country, focusing on the areas with the most talent in your specific industry. For instance, many digital agencies in Raleigh/Durham, Silicon Valley, Seattle, and Austin specialize in tech. Why not tap into this talent pool yourself?

  • Difficult Market – When you are in a niche or sophisticated market, it’s best to have a specific team working on marketing and advertising strategies. Innovative products sell at the enterprise level, so you’ll most likely need technical people to execute plans. Typically, it is not easy to delegate such nuanced tasks to a marketing agency.

Costs of Hiring In-House Marketing

Many people think hiring a digital marketing agency is more expensive than hiring an in-house marketing team, but that isn’t always the case.

Typical costs associated with hiring in-house talent:

  • Recruitment Costs
  • Training and Onboarding
  • New Software
  • Salaries
  • Retention
  • Legal

Conclusion

Whether you hire an in-house marketing team or a digital marketing agency depends on your situation. You’ll want to consider costs, your industry, the ability to hire the right people, and specific campaign needs.

Keep in mind that the best solution may be a combination of the two. Sometimes an in-house marketer doesn’t have the depth of skill or knowledge in a particular area or doesn’t have the capacity to complete a project. Working with an agency can allow your marketers to focus on their most important tasks while still progressing with other necessary marketing functions. Our next blog will further explore how agencies and in-house marketing teams can work together to scale marketing at larger organizations.

At New Path, we can act as your entire marketing team or work with your in-house team, no matter the size. Either way, we are going to take you to the next level.

Ready to take control of your marketing? Schedule a free consultation today or view Our Services to learn more about our offerings.

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