Digital marketing has been on the rise for years now, and the COVID-19 pandemic did nothing but accelerate its growth. With more and more people staying and working from home, online traffic boomed.
And with this boom came a lot of opportunities for companies to reach their target audiences and engage with them through digital marketing strategies. The global market for digital advertising and marketing was estimated to be worth around $350 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach more than $750 billion by 2026. Huge numbers, we know.
This market includes businesses that decide to do marketing in house, as well as businesses that hire agencies to do it for them. And this is what our focus is going to be on today. We are going to thoroughly compare in house and agency marketing in order to help you figure out which one is best for you. Stay with us…
In house vs agency marketing: In house marketing
Starting with in house marketing, as the name suggests, this refers to the process of handling marketing within the boundaries of your business itself. In other words, you’re expected to build an internal team of marketers that will help create, manage, and maintain your digital marketing. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of in house marketing:
The pros of in house marketing are many, including:
Building an internal marketing team usually involves people who are very much familiar with your brand image, as well as the marketing strategies attached to it. And while some of the best marketing agencies out there are very much capable of detecting your company’s brand, values, and overall vision, that takes time.
On the other hand, an internal team usually takes little to no time to adjust to your needs.
Top-level agencies are capable of learning how your brand works and are ready to dedicate a lot of time to making sure that your marketing strategy succeeds. But they also have other clients, which means their response times can be off sometimes.
In other words, if you want a flawless response time, then you are probably better off with in-house marketing.
Another great thing about doing marketing in house is the fact that you have quick and easy access to your marketing team. You just walk over to whatever office space they reside in within your business and Tadaa! They have all your attention.
Marketing agencies, on the other hand, are rarely physically accessible to the average business owner. If you wish to reach out to them about something, you will need to call or email them.
When you decide to outsource your marketing, you’re basically giving away part of the control you have over the process to your marketing strategy.
So, if you happen to be one of those businesses that like to have complete control over their marketing, then you are probably better off with an in house team.
Even though the advantages of creating an in house marketing team are many, it still has some cons attached to it. Those include:
Creating an internal marketing team or even department takes a lot of resources, in this case, time and money. Indeed, it can usually take anywhere between a month and two months to hire someone for a marketing position.
Why? You might wonder. Well, for one, either you or your human resources department has to create a listing, as well as deal with all the applications that it attracts. Additionally, they are going to schedule the necessary interviews. Even when they decide on someone, they have to check with you first.
Additionally, maintaining an in house marketing team isn’t exactly a cheap investment. Not only do you have to account for paying out your employee’s salaries, but you also have to pay for taxes, training, insurance, retirement plans, and more.
And contrary to what some might believe, marketing agencies tend to be more cost-effective than in house marketing if you factor in all the costs involved in building a team. This is because they usually work on a retainer basis with short (or no!) minimum contracts.
Besides having to hire and maintain an in house team, you also have to pay for marketing software. You see, regardless of how skilled your marketing team members are, they won’t be able to achieve anything without software.
Software, in this case, can include anything from SEO tools to graphic design or web development programmes. And while you are expected to pay for some of these tools when approaching an agency, too, most agencies pay for them by themselves.
Scalability is an important factor in digital marketing. Sadly, however, it is very hard for in house marketing teams to scale in comparison to agencies.
That’s because in house teams don’t have access to that many skill sets, unlike agencies. If you happen to approach a good agency, then you can very much expect them to be knowledgeable about almost everything marketing.
Scaling your efforts with an in house marketing team can, unfortunately, mean one of two things:
- you neglect an aspect of your marketing strategy and focus on another one
- or you hire more team members
In house vs agency marketing: Agency marketing
Now that we’ve dealt with the pros and cons of doing marketing in house, let’s take a look at how things are if you go with the agency route.
In case you still don’t have an idea about what marketing agencies are, they are basically an external entity composed of many teams. Those teams can help to handle the various marketing needs of your business.
Skills & expertise
If you’re ready to invest in a good marketing agency, every pound you’re paying is probably going somewhere. You see, the companies that are most successful in the field of digital marketing today aren’t successful by chance. They have exceptionally skilled teams behind them.
But it’s not just about that. Even marketing agencies tend to find their own niche within the large world of marketing. You would find an agency that is better than the rest at search engine optimisation (SEO), for example, but lags behind in PPC (paid advertising). If your needs happen to be SEO-focused, then it’s only logical for you to go for them.
Here are some other areas that agencies or even team members within agencies can specialise in:
- Email marketing
- Paid advertising (Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads)
- Social media advertising
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Graphic design
- Web Design
It’s extremely hard to build such a degree of specialisation in an in house marketing team. With a marketing agency, however, you can take full advantage of the numerous marketing channels that you can utilise with them.
In comparison to an in house team, a marketing agency can quickly scale your business. For example, let’s say that you are looking to significantly increase your paid advertising efforts during the busy season. Or you want to improve on the overall state of your email marketing campaign(s). Whatever your needs might be, an agency can meet them.
When stuck between doing marketing in house or hiring an agency, many businesses focus on the important factor of cost. While hiring an agency all year round for numerous sizeable projects can be quite costly, it usually is more cost-effective than having an in house team.
For more details, simply scroll up to the cons part of in house marketing teams to understand. After all, one side’s disadvantage is usually the other’s advantage.
Agencies, unlike in house teams, don’t require investing time and money into recruitment and training. Additionally, these agencies usually have access to advanced marketing technologies, which can cost you a fortune if you go in house.
Hiring a digital marketing agency does have some cons, though, including:
Slower response time
Digital marketing agencies would not exist if they didn’t have a bunch of clients all at once. And if they wish to stay in business, they do have to satisfy all of these clients by giving them equal attention.
Businesses sometimes fall into the pit of hiring an agency that neglects them sometimes, just because another client is paying more or has an easier project. However, if you approach a veteran, client-focused agency, then this shouldn’t be a problem for you.
Still, if you feel like your agency is not responding to you in time, don’t go about thinking of building an in-house team. The remedy for your problem, in this case, is probably finding a new and better customer-oriented agency.
Marketing agencies exist all around the world. Although that sounds like a clear-cut advantage, it’s a drawback for some. That is because some businesses might fail to find a local marketing agency, for starters. Some might find the perfect agency. However, they are across the world.
This might lead to disconnects in the connection between the business owners and the agency itself. That can hurt the overall process. What we recommend in this case is to approach an agency that is experienced enough in such situations.
A good example of this is usually one that has some team members that work within your time zone. That way, they can provide you with all the support and help that you might need. Rockstar Marketing, for example, has experts from all across the world so that we can help our clients wherever they are.
Lack of control
When we say lack of control, we obviously don’t mean that you’re going to be completely losing control over your marketing strategy. After all, you are the client, and it is your word that matters most.
Some of the best marketing agencies out there usually thrive with a little bit of freedom. So, if you happen to be someone who wants tight control over everything related to your business, then you might probably have some issues with hiring an agency.
In house vs agency marketing – Which is better?
If the answer to this question was easy, then you probably wouldn’t be here, reading this article about “in house vs agency marketing”.
The answer to this question is, unsurprisingly, it depends. For instance, if you happen to be a small business with a limited number of clients and you’re happy where you are, then you might be able to handle marketing all on your own or through a single team member.
However, if you happen to be looking to grow and don’t want full-time staff to do the work, then an agency is probably the way to go. You see, at the end of the day, no one knows your business better than you do. So ask yourself the right questions about your needs and goals, and you will know the right answer.
You don’t have to look far
If you decide to go with agency marketing, you don’t need to spend weeks searching for the right agency. Just book a discovery call with us today. We’ll show you why we’re the right agency for you to hire.