Should your business be running its marketing activity in-house, or should you should you hire an external marketing agency to handle it for you?
Marketing managers and managing directors will all approach this question one day, and the decision is bound to impact strategy and implementation going forward.As someone who’s worked in both worlds, I thought I’d give an insight into some of the biggest advantages of both an in-house marketing team vs hiring an agency. Let's take a look:
3 reasons to keep marketing in-house
1. A single-minded vision
From my experience, one of the biggest advantages of keeping marketing in-house is consistent clarity of your business’s goals and vision. Staff at your company will have been slowly immersed within the company culture over time - something that is difficult to replicate for those who are seeing your business with fresh eyes. An in-house team will have also been immersed in your business’s processes and procedures from the beginning.
However, for these factors to have any lasting impact, there will be an adjustment period. And companies will also need to be honest about their mission - is this something a creative in-house team will feel motivated by? If not, then all the training and adjustment to company culture will be for nothing.
2. Owned, not rented, talent
With a smart hiring plan (and a little bit of luck) you will hire people with not only the right skills, but also the right attitude to complete your in-house team. From there, it won’t be hard to bring everyone together to implement effective strategies and campaigns.
It is essential, therefore, that your team receive the right level of training internally to get up to speed. Their talents should be moulded and enhanced, rather than restricted. Owned talent can take a lot of investment, particularly if your goal is to find an in-house marketer who is adept at all aspects of digital marketing.
3. Fast communication
A business can benefit from faster communication with an in-house marketing team. They may only be a stones-throw or quick Slack message away from being able to put something into action. In comparison, an agency may be a bit slower to react, with other clients and projects constantly on the go.
However, just because your marketing team has been contacted, doesn’t mean that the task will be completed quicker - or with a similar level of expertise - compared to an agency. An agency is filled with experts, who may have the knowledge and processes in place to solve your enquiry with speed and precision.
3 reasons to choose an agency
1. A fresh perspective
An agency may not have an instantly deep cultural connection with your brand, but they will be able to deliver a fresh, objective insight into your strategy. Over time, you can become blind to your team’s day-to-day practices, especially if your performance has plateaued.
An agency will have likely seen and experienced working with businesses like yours before, and tackled projects in similar industries (something that you can check during the prospecting stage). They will also have their own processes in place to address your company’s pain points. Although not as deeply intertwined with your business as an in-house team would be, they could also be brought up to speed quickly by understanding your buyer persona and by accessing a brand style guide.
2. Depth of experience
While an in-house team can be trained with their own set of diverse skills, a staff member at an agency will have been hired and trained specifically to tackle the needs of clients in a range of industries, including your own. Digital marketing agencies usually stay up to date on best practice, with many able to demonstrate their expertise through certifications. Getting hold of a marketing agency is the quickest way to get trained industry experts working on your marketing campaigns and generating leads for your business.
This doesn’t mean your in-house team don’t necessarily have the skills required to fill the gap. Bringing in experienced members of your team with adaptable skill sets may be the best option for you in the long-term.
3. Flexible costs
Marketing agencies are often open to discussion over which services they can supply, depending on the client’s needs. For example, Yellowstep can deliver 3 distinct packages for our inbound marketing offering - all of which are different prices.
Your activity can therefore be scaled up and down, and the retainer package adjusted to match it. For example, if you need a big campaign push in the summer, you can focus more of your budget around these dates rather than the months where you don’t need to be as active.
The decision is yours
These aren’t the only reasons marketing managers will choose either an in-house marketing team or an agency. We’re sure you can think of your own, depending on what your priorities are.
However, I hope this blog has helped you consider the best approach for your business. If you’d like to understand the benefits Yellowstep can bring to your own marketing efforts, why not book a free marketing assessment for an objective look on how you can achieve your marketing goals?