It’s the age-old business question, should I hire a marketing agency or in-house team?
Should you hire a marketing agency or in-house marketing team?
With so much at stake for you and your business, we are comparing both in terms of manpower and money.
Hiring in house
Whether hiring a marketing agency or in-house team, you, or someone on your team, will need to put in the work of finding the right marketing positions your business needs to scale.
Finding the right people to fit those positions, training those individuals on your company, values, mission, KPIs, and trusting that this marketing team you created will exceed your expectations isn’t so easy.
You’ll need a top executive from your current team to oversee this department, taking up a lot of time and energy out of his or her day that could be spent elsewhere.
You’ll also need to keep in mind that each member of this department will need to make a decent salary/ on par with the current marketplace. In-house marketing teams cost overhead on average: $84,000/mo.
Although it is time and money consuming, there are some key benefits to hiring your marketing team in-house over a marketing agency. Let’s take a look at both the benefits and cons:
The benefits of hiring in house:
- Having the marketing team under your own roof to contribute to company culture and more comradery amongst company departments.
- A team that is solely focused on your mission and vision.
- Full control of marketing efforts.
The cons of hiring in house:
- Time and resources of finding, hiring, and training the right candidates to make your in-house marketing team.
- Overhead of salaries, office space, benefits, etc.
- Time and resources for internal management.
- Not a diverse set of marketing skills/ candidates. Are not continuously learning unless you have a system in place.
- Team members can quit, causing a scramble to rehire and train.
Outsourcing to an agency
The other route that most small, to mid-sized businesses take when looking to scale, is hiring an outside agency.
Larger companies also use agencies to supplement their in house-marketing team or use them for specific projects.
They also may use an agency if they feel their in-house marketing team does not fulfill a skill needed on an upcoming campaign, product announcement, or event.
The services agencies offer can range from managing a single social media channel, to Clickfunnels, to full integrated marketing campaigns with tracking and analytics. They also have a diverse team with defined expertise to meet all of the marketing needs from clients.
Let’s dive in to the main benefits and cons of hiring a marketing agency over an in-house team:
The benefits of hiring a marketing agency:
- Cheaper / overhead and office space needed.
- A vetted team of marketing experts on a range of skills and services who also likely have access to continued education options.
- The right agency can save you anywhere from 10% – 30% of your allocated marketing budget.
- An outside perspective. Someone who is not too close to your company who can see the bigger picture and knows what will work and what doesn’t according to market trends.
- The option for premium services/ partner integration.
- Have everything they need to make an immediate impact and take on fast moving projects
- Access to the latest tools and marketing softwares
The cons of hiring a marketing agency:
- The agency is not as familiar and close to your company mission and vision.
- Your company may not seem like a top priority, which we know is completely unacceptable.
So, which route should your business go with? Marketing agency or in-house team?
There are some key factors to look at when making this decision. It is important to take the time to carefully answer:
- What are your marketing objectives, organization structure, and culture?
- What do you want the short-term/ long-term impacts on your business to be?
- What is your realistic budget?
Have your answers? Now let’s go through the key factors to look at against your answers to those questions.
Trends, tools, and in-the-know
Agencies are known as industry-leading innovators for campaigns, product launches, and ideation. Agencies must stay in-the-know on all of the latest marketing techniques, trends, SEO hot topics, and services. They also have used them for other companies and can carefully navigate which ones to use for your specific campaign based on experience, rather than time-consuming research. With an in-house marketing team, someone on your team will usually research the best marketing tools for said project, call those tech services, and likely go with whichever one has the best sales pitch/price. An agency already vetted all of the top marketing services, will set you up with the best one for you, and know how to use the tech to it’s full potential.
Another note is that if you need marketing software, your in-house team will need to pay for it directly from the marketing budget. With an agency, it is more than likely they have partnerships with these services and using them means no additional cost to you.
When it comes to ideation and new campaigns, it is unlikely that the in-house marketing team you built will always have all of the skills needed in order to successfully launch and hit your KPIs. This means hiring additional freelancers for copywriting, graphic design, funnel tracking, email marketing, social media marketing, you name it. An agency on the other hand, ensures that all marketing skills and positions needed are covered. You have a vetted team of marketing experts that have the skills, and knowledge to successfully plan, execute, and analyze your marketing campaigns.
Although upfront agency fees can feel pricey in the moment, you need to compare them against marketing positions you would need to hire in house and the average salary for those positions. Also keep in mind that the lower end of salaries means less industry experience.
Picking and choosing the right positions your company needs can, a lot of the time, be trial and error. This means paying close attention to how often you use freelancers for specific needs, analyzing the current positions, and constantly being aware of the resources the marketing team needs.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Ultimately, your decision will likely be heavily swayed by the short and long-term ROI. Bringing on an in-house marketing team means higher costs and unpredictability. However, on the flip you will know they are dedicated to your company and closely connected to your company’s mission. Hiring an agency means you get a diverse marketing skill set for a fraction of the cost along with analytics and comfort that they know what they are doing due to case studies, clientele, and reputation. The one downside is that this particular route might seem a bit more impersonal. If that is the case, you know that maybe, it just isn’t the right fit for your company. When you work with the right agency, transactions will be effortless, ROI will be visible, and you will clearly be able to see how the agency makes your life easier while focusing on what you need them to focus on; marketing campaigns, scaling your business, and brand awareness.
You will want to continuously audit the cost and performance against your goals and KPIs of whichever route you take: in-house or agency.
For in-house, look at:
- How much did you spend on building the team?
- How much did you spend on marketing tools?
- How much did you spend on overhead (including salaries and benefits?
For marketing agencies, look at:
- What you paid against the deliverables you agreed upon.
- The metrics to justify their work. (Good agencies will provide this analysis for you, again to make your life easier.)
Platform, AI (artificial intelligence) & Service Partnerships
Most agencies have tried multiple platforms, artificial intelligence services, and other partnerships through experience. They have built connections and years of experience with using the top services and know which ones to use for specific marketing needs. That means that your contract with an agency will include the use of top AI software, marketing platforms, and partnerships that would otherwise be too expensive and time-consuming for an in-house marketing team to use, manage, and closely measure.
What’s the right answer? Marketing agency or in-house team?
Ultimately, you know the answer that is right for your business. It is important to consider all aspects noted above before making any decision. If you do decide that an agency is the right choice for your company, contact us today to find out how your business can harness the power of the web to build an audience, create memorable content, and drive sales.