Should you build an in-house marketing team, or hire an agency?
The short answer: It depends…
Many factors determine which model is right for your business.
Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of an in-house team:
- You know your brand better than anyone else so your creatives and messaging are consistent and on point.
- An internal team can respond faster and attend meetings on short notice.
- You can set and control marketing priorities.
- You decide how things get done and which tools to use.
- Hiring (and retaining) experts to perform tasks like SEO, PPC, and website development can be challenging.
- Software tools are expensive and most agencies already have them.
- Employee benefits are costly and additional employees require additional HR resources and ongoing training.
- Unlike agencies, in-house employees only work for one business so their technical skills and experience can become narrow and outdated.
- Budget cuts, lay-offs, or unexpected things like a pandemic can leave you scrambling to fill a serious gap in your marketing team.
Now let’s look at the pros and cons of hiring an agency:
- Expertise with other clients in your space so agencies have a lot of data and insight into what is working for other companies, and what isn't.
- Good agencies have the resources and standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place to get things done very efficiently.
- Partnering with an agency can save you a LOT of money and time.
- For the cost of 1-2 employees (on average) an agency can fill all the roles needed in your marketing function.
- Agencies are not in-house so you need to schedule a time to speak to them.
- Some in-house marketing employees may feel threatened or butt heads with the agency.
- Agencies often have multiple clients so they must create a retainer that fits in their budget and you are not the only priority they must focus on.
- Agencies decide what tools they will use and how services will be delivered.
- Most agencies require a retainer agreement and if you choose the wrong agency it can be difficult to pivot to a new one.
A good agency should treat you like you are their only customer so it's important to do your homework and choose the right partner.
If you decide hiring an agency is right for you it's critical you (or someone from your team) are available to work closely with the agency to make sure your goals are being met.
Both agencies and in-house marketing teams have their positives and negatives. Skill sets, communication, and resources are different in every organization, so ultimately it's up to you which way to go.
There's really no wrong answer.
Get in touch if you would like to schedule a call to get an honest (unbiased) opinion on which option is best for your business.