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Marketing Agency vs. In-House Marketing

Updated from 3/2020 on 10/2/2020:

Today, every business has to be marketed.

Whether you own a small business, a large chain, or if you are a one-person business like a realtor, marketing should be included in your master plan. Because marketing isn’t just one element, it may be difficult to do on your own. So, the question is, do you hire a marketing agency or someone in-house? Here’s a little insight that may help you decide.

Full-Service

Marketing Agency: As you may know, marketing is more than SEO, social media, and branding. It’s graphic design, paid search, and content. Marketing agencies include a team of talented individuals that will work together to provide a full-service marketing plan.

In-House: Because marketing includes much more than one element, this means you’d have to hire not just one, but a few in-house employees to successfully provide proactive marketing. One content writer can take care of the catchy social media text, but who’s going to provide the eye-catching graphics? However, if all you need is a content writer, then hiring one in-house makes sense.

Skillset

Marketing Agency: Employees that work for marketing agencies are hired for their specific skillsets. The agency’s CEO normally requires previous work examples before hiring to ensure it succeeds the desired skillset. These individuals are trained and skilled to think like a marketer, a client, and a consumer. 

In-House: Hiring an in-house employee to take care of some of your marketing elements is fine if you’re not looking to ‘wow’ your customers and clients. Marketing agencies are skilled and trained to find the most creative ways to implement your marketing plans, whereas an in-house marketer may just take over live social media posting or the publication of a monthly blog post.

Time

Marketing Agency: Marketing takes time. Agency employees come to work to market. They spend all 7 or 8 hours of their day working on their skillset branch on the marketing tree. So, everything that needs to be done for your marketing plan, will be done. 

In-House: Let’s face it, running a business is time-consuming. How are you going to manage to add marketing? Assuming you hire someone to take care of this task for you, you’ll have to take a good amount of time out of your day to ensure that the person is performing well. If you have some extra time to look over everything and make sure it all works, more power to you!

Price

Marketing Agency: Yes, marketing agencies can be pricey. However, as cliché as it sounds, you’re getting what you pay for. If you want unique graphics and images, authentic print marketing, eye-catching social posts, and a successful ad campaign, a marketing agency is your answer.

In-House: If you’re looking to have a full-service marketing plan for your business, this means you’ll have to hire quite a few employees to do that. Depending on how much you’re paying, this will add up and eventually cost you more than a combined agency.  

Fresh Eyes & Inspiration

Marketing Agency: Hiring an out-of-office marketing agency will give your business many sets of fresh eyes. Someone that doesn’t know your business or product will be able to create ideas and inspiration on the best ways to market.

In-House: Hiring in-house is hiring someone that already knows the company, is familiar with product and has been using the same language and themes from the start. Marketing with this previous knowledge might make the marketing dry and uneventful. However, if you’re not looking to change anything up, this may be the best option for you.

Speed and Consistency

Marketing Agency: Agencies are here to create and execute a successful marketing plan quickly and effectively. Agencies also normally have a step-by-step process that ensures all deliverables are completed on time and well while passing it on to the next step. Hiring a marketing agency provides quick and consistent delivery. If something needs to be done on a weekend or after hours, these employees will most likely be able to take care of it.

In-House: In-house marketing employees may not be trained as agency employees. They may work in a certain place while just getting marketing done during work hours. Also, if there isn’t much of a plan, deliverables may slip through the cracks.

Strategy

Marketing Agency: Agencies, even creative ones, are built around strategy. Each team member has their own set strategy on how to do their job successfully for each client. For example, the social media manager will conduct research on when the best days and times are to post your content. Also, this person will review your monthly reports to see which posts do better than others and brainstorm on how to improve or change it up.

 

Apart from social media, every aspect of your marketing plan needs to be strategized – which can be overwhelming, especially once you start putting together strategic, well-performing ads. But… we got it covered.

In-House: In-house marketing employees may not be completely familiar with how to strategize or how to strategize successfully. There are many ways you can strategically plan for your business’ social media to work, blogging, Facebook ads, etc. but the main issue is: there are fewer ways to come up with a successful strategy vs. an unsuccessful strategy. A marketing agency is already seasoned and knows the best ways to handle every task.

So, do you hire a marketing agency or someone in-house? Hopefully, this breakdown brought you a little closer to an answer. This decision is going to depend on how big your business is, what type of marketing you need, and how impressive you want your marketing to be. If you have a small business and just want a social presence, hiring one person to do that in-house is probably your best bet. If you want your marketing to blow your competitors away with unique graphics, video, and content, hiring a marketing agency should be your decision. There’s no right answer to this question. However, when an impressive marketing agency partners with a stellar company, your business will reach new heights.