Marketing Agency vs. Marketing Team

Marketing is essential for any business to thrive. Most companies don’t realize just how important marketing is. It’s is all about how your company spreads brand awareness, communicates with your audience, and grows your customer base. Without a solid strategy in place, your company won’t acquire the attention and recognition that it deserves. And, you won’t get the results you desire. Before you decide to assemble a team in-house or partner with an agency, it’s best to start by defining your overall goals. In-house teams and agencies both have their pros and cons. Therefore, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of each. Let’s take a closer look at the difference between an agency and an in-house team.

Marketing Agency

The Pros of In-house Marketing

Let’s take a look at the benefits of hiring in-house marketers. Keep in mind that a “team” could be just one or two marketers, or maybe even 10 people. However, when choosing how you want to build your team, it’s important to make sure you have the budget, and enough work to keep everyone busy. Here are some of the main advantages to consider:

1. Hire for Specific Skills

If you’re looking to focus on only one specific area of marketing, like SEO or paid campaigns, hiring an in-house marketer for that purpose is a good option. You have the opportunity to choose from a pool of qualified candidates who have experience in that specific singular area, and they’ll be able to dedicate all their time to working on those specific projects.

2. Easy Communication 

Another obvious benefit of having an in-house marketing team is that they’re on-site every day. Having your marketing team in the same office as the rest of your employees makes it much easier to communicate, hold meetings, brainstorm, and randomly bounce ideas off one another. There’s no phone tag, missed emails, or scheduling conflicts within the team.

3. Brand Exclusivity 

With one internal marketing team working exclusively and deeply on your marketing, they will know your brand fully. This includes its brand materials, target customers, and its competitors. Agencies on the other hand can get to know your company’s value, tone, and overall brand, however that process takes additional time due to agencies having multiple clients.

The Cons of taking an In-house Marketing Approach

Like with everything, there are some downsides of building an in-house marketing team for your business. So, before you start posting job descriptions online, it’s important to understand the drawbacks of this option, and determine what makes sense for your specific business. Here’s what you should know:

1. Expensive 

Believe it or not, hiring an in-house team is almost always going to be more expensive in the long run than working with an agency. According to difference online job sites such as Indeed and LinkedIn, the average salary for a marketing manager is over $70,000 per year. Keep in mind, if you’re considering hiring more than one person and building a team of 10 people, the cost will add up rather quickly. Make sure you have enough budget within your company to hire the team you need before you pull the trigger and make any final decisions.

2. Employee Turnover 

When you have in-house staff, you inevitably have employee turnover. The loss of team members overtime can slow hurt your marketing efforts. It can also put pressure on remaining staff, which can result in poor performance and even higher turnover rates. With an agency, you don’t have to worry about your activity slowing down.

3. Software Costs

As well as hiring your own marketers when building a team, you’ll also have multiple hardware and software costs. The whole software market has changed now and many of the essential marketing technologies are now available on monthly subscription. Depending on what you need, factor in access to website hosting, SEO tools, content marketing, social media, email, CRM and much much more.

While you may still invest in tools such as these when partnering with a marketing agency, you can often count on your agency to have a toolset and already know which tools will be essential. Therefore, you don’t have to think about additional costs because the agency covers it already.

4. Scalability 

It can be harder for in-house marketing teams to scale than a marketing agency team.

Agencies have access to a higher number of team members who have various skill sets in all different areas of marketing. If your business wants to do something specific, such as a PPC campaign, all you need to do is contact your agency and they get it done for you. Most of the time, that’s not the case with in-house marketing. Someone would pick it up as an additional task and have to learn it prior to accomplishing it.

With in-house marketing, you have limited team members and limited resources. If you want to scale your efforts, you need to either decrease work elsewhere or hire another team member, which takes time and costs money.

5. Overworked Staff

It’s true in every business that sometimes you set internal deadlines, and they aren’t met. This can be frustrating for a number of reasons. And, it can also delay important projects that have deadlines. When you hire in-house marketers, bandwidth eventually becomes an issue. People become pulled in different directions, time becomes wasted, tasks become confusing and things fall off the radar. That’s less likely to happen if you work with a good, reputable marketing agency.

Most marketing agencies have their own processes and software’s that’re  used for organizational purposes and will ensure that your specific companies deadlines are met and tasks are complete.

The Pros of working with a Marketing Agency

Now let’s talk about the whether or not hiring a marketing agency is a smart move. If you’re thinking about taking this route, it’s a good idea to do some research and find a reputable agency who has experience working with a company like yours. Here’s how a marketing agency can help your company:

1. Expertise 

When you partner with a marketing agency, you have various agencies to choose from in the industry. This means you buy in the exact expertise you need. Working with an experienced agency can help your company get the most value and return on marketing investment. If you’re looking for the best use of your marketing budget, an experienced agency can often deliver more than an in-house resource.

Overall, you’re paying for a whole team—not just one or two employees to get the job done. You’re getting access to a group of people who possess the skillset needed to manage your marketing campaigns successfully. And, get you the results you desire. There’s no learning curve and no training required when hiring an agency. Most marketing agencies become accustomed to managing a high volume of client work, therefore, they usually have solid project management and workflow systems in place to keep them on track with deadlines of tasks.

2. Capabilities & Diverse Skillset 

Many marketing agencies come with skills that in-house teams can’t match, especially internal marketing teams within SME businesses. These capabilities aren’t just strategic and creative. Marketing agencies can bring in more media access and for example, access beta features within key technologies such as Google Ads, Facebook or LinkedIn.

If you need help managing multiple areas within your marketing strategy, the best marketing agencies will already have a knowledgeable staff who become trained on those different tactics. There’s someone who is an expert at Facebook ads, someone who specializes in SEO, someone who specialized in Social Media Management, someone who specializes in Graphic Design and so on. As a result, your account manager can assemble a personalized team that meets all of your company’s needs and requirements.

3. Software & Tools

Marketing agencies offer an economy of scale through paying to access technologies and software’s that improve their service. These technologies are especially used in the areas of analysis, campaign delivery and performance reporting. Clients can tap into this cost effectively and also save time on not trying to manage and interpret these complex software’s and data themselves.

4. Scalability 

Compared to an in-house marketing team, an agency can scale quickly to your business. For an in-house marketing department, it’s challenging to respond to urgent new needs within the team.

5. Cost 

For most companies, the biggest draw of hiring a marketing agency is the cost savings. Hiring an agency isn’t cheap. However, it will be less expensive overtime compared to hiring several salaried in-house marketers. If you need extra hands for an upcoming project, but aren’t looking for long-term help, working with an agency is a great way to get support for a limited amount of time without committing to hiring a new person.

The Downsides of Hiring a Marketing Agency

Working with a marketing agency definitely comes with a few drawbacks. Here are a few to be aware of:

1. You’re Not Their Only Priority

One of the downsides to working with a marketing agency is that you’re not their only client. That means your company won’t be their number one priority all the time. Marketing agencies have multiple clients in which they provide marketing services for.

If you need something completed at the last minute, the team may not be able to make it happen with such a tight deadline.  This may also means that their time is less flexible, which could make scheduling meetings—and general communication—a little more challenging.

2. Location 

Thanks to the Internet you have the opportunity to find the perfect agency. However, they may be in another part of the world – a big disadvantage if you want to hire a local agency.

This can work but can also severely impact working relationships, access and aligning schedules with difference time zones.

3. Control

Companies that prefer to have complete control over their marketing campaigns will experience some growing pains when working with a marketing agency. Marketing agencies often work best when they’re given some creative and strategic freedom to make mindful decisions when it comes to different initiatives.

Final Thoughts...

There is no right or wrong approach to managing your marketing. Overall, choosing a team or an agency is a very personal decision for you and your company. Focus on your overall goals, your needs as a company, and your budget.

Keep in mind, you can always choose both options! Often, having a single marketing person, or small in-house team to manage core campaigns and working with an agency in specialist areas and other projects when needed, can be the very best way forward. What matters the most is having a solid strategy in place for your company that is aligned with your goals, and is designed to help you the best results for your business.

Schedule a time to speak with us to learn more about our services and how we can help your business grow! Also, feel free to read our published blog post to learn more about if our agency is a good fit for your business. Remember, our company also offers a Fractional CMO service. Click here to learn more.