In-House vs. Agency Marketing: Which Is Best for You?

When it comes to your company’s marketing efforts, you often have a choice of creating an in-house team or hiring an outside agency. So how do you choose? While there are pros and cons to both, there are a few key differentiators that should be weighed when making this choice for your particular business.

Industry Knowledge

The marketing industry is constantly changing, and new technologies and techniques are always being utilized, so it’s extremely important for marketers to stay on top of their game. While in-house marketing teams know their stuff, it is often less of a priority for them to keep up on industry expertise and trends. This is because they are usually so busy with their daily tasks that researching the latest marketing trends ends up falling to the wayside, rather than being a routine part of the job. On the other hand, agencies stay up to date on the latest cutting-edge technologies and trends because it’s what keeps them in the game. They actively seek out better more efficient solutions to meet their clients’ needs and challenges. Agencies are all about being resourceful and effective to gain results.

Culture and Company Alignment

When it comes to company culture and alignment, no one knows your company better than those who work there. This is one of, if not the biggest, benefit of having an in-house marketing team. Since they work for the company, they know the culture and brand extremely well and will be able to convey it effectively in their marketing efforts. When working with an outside agency, it may take a bit more time and effort up front to convey your business’s “voice” and brand to them, but once you both are on the same page, the rest will be smooth sailing.

Cost

When determining if an in-house team or agency is right for your business, you must always take cost into consideration. While an agency’s hourly fee might seem high at first, take into account that you are benefitting from the expertise of multiple marketers with a range of skill sets. On the other hand, an in-house team requires the fixed cost of each individual’s salary. And when you find a gap in your in-house team’s knowledge that requires an additional hire, the costs can start adding up quickly. Overall marketing costs can vary drastically between companies depending on level of need. First, determine what skills and services you’ll require, then crunch numbers to determine which option will be both cheaper and more effective in the long run.

If you plan on hiring an individual or putting together an in-house team that has a keen understanding of your industry and are adept at all marketing aspects, you might as well be hunting unicorns. With an agency, you have an entire team of marketing experts for a lower cost. It may take some more time and effort up front to communicate your business’ specific challenges and needs and transfer some of that institutional knowledge, but once that knowledge is shared, an agency can operate just like they’re a part of your company.