The Cost of Marketing: In-house vs. Agency Marketing

Marketing is an essential part of any business and it can make or break a company. This is why many businesses are so cautious about their marketing today. One of the biggest dilemmas that companies are faced with when looking for the best marketing strategies to boost their brands is the choice between an in-house marketing and working with a marketing agency. The dilemma here comes from the fact that most companies operate on a very limited marketing budget. The choice made depends on the priorities and long-term goals of the company and how the decision makers choose to try and help their businesses grow. 

So, what is the best option for companies with limited budgets: an in-house marketing team or working with a marketing agency? To help determine the best possible option, we discuss the benefits of hiring a marketing agency and compare them with the benefits of setting up an in-house marketing team.

In-House Team

1. Better understanding of your brand

In-house marketing teams often have better knowledge of the company’s vision, ethos, values and goals. They understand what their competitors are doing and will always create marketing content that complements the company’s values and incorporates the long-term goals of the company. While a digital agency may understand your brand, the people who know it best are your employees. 

2. Niche-specific expertise

An in-house team has more subject matter expertise in the specific industry in which your company operates. This knowledge and expertise in the industry can give them the ability to create more authoritative and insightful content that is likely to appeal to customers. The depth of content is very important when it comes to content marketing, and training an in-house marketing team may be what your business needs.

3. Size of Team

When setting up an in-house marketing team, you are most likely going to start with a few members, probably content creators. With time though, if the marketing campaigns are successful and the company grows, the team will have to increase in size to meet the marketing demands. This gives you the control over the finances and number of people on the team. You can downsize or increase the team size depending on the success of the campaigns.

4. Cost Effective

You have all the control over the budget used in creating marketing campaigns and can choose when a campaign starts and stops. Marketing agencies often require a certain budget to facilitate efficient marketing without limits. Depending on the strategy, hiring a marketing agency may cost more than working with an in-house team, but the ROI is a better indicator of success than straight cost.

Benefits of Hiring an Agency

1. Right experience

Hiring an agency to run your online marketing gets you professionals who are dedicated to this job and have the right experience and set of skills to always get the job done. These are people who have faced a number of challenges in the past and have the experience and dexterity to tackle almost any problem. Their experience in a wider range of marketing tasks gives them an edge over in-house marketers who may only know one or two avenues for pushing marketing.

Many agencies hire marketing professionals who have been in the business for years. Whereas if you try to hire an individual for your business, you may only be able to afford an entry-level candidate with not as much experience. 

2. Diverse set of skills

A marketing agency will always have people specialized in various aspects of marketing. They will have researchers, content creators, copy editors, data journalists, developers, social media marketers, email marketing teams and so forth. This means that there is diversity in what the agency can help you achieve. It would take you a lot of time to put together a similar in-house team let alone the remunerations required at the end of every month.

A successful digital marketing agency ensures that there are specialists for different verticals of a marketing strategy. While an in-house marketing team may have subject matter expertise in the business' field, a marketing agency will have expertise in marketing and how to best utilize a strategy to fit your needs. 

3. Gives you more time to work on more important things

Delegating the marketing duties to the professionals means that you have more time to concentrate on the operation of your business. The professionals will handle the ‘dirty’ job as you concentrate on the office duties. This improves the overall efficiency and the output of your company. 

4. Hand’s on approach

A good marketing agency always has a hands-on approach when marketing your business. It is something they have done before and will always have an idea of what to do. They won’t start theorizing on how to market you but will actually start marketing with you the moment you hire them. This results in better turnaround times and better overall results.

You want to find a digital marketing agency that will work with you to achieve the business results that you want. In the end, you will always be the final decision maker when it comes to implementing a marketing strategy, whether it's an inbound marketing campaign or starting a social media strategy. 

So, which of the two is the better option? This depends on the priorities of your company and the amount of money set aside for the marketing budget. If you are looking for reliability and shorter turnaround times, then you should opt for marketing agencies. 

If you're interested in the results a marketing agency can produce, check out our assessment on the ROI of B2B Online Marketing: 

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About the Author: Gregg Anderson

Gregg Anderson

Gregg is principal and senior advisor of 41 Orange.

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