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In-house marketing vs. marketing agencies.

A marketing agency team meeting to discuss strategies

When it comes to digital marketing, many new or inexperienced businesses are unsure of where to start. Some businesses use an in-house marketing team to handle all of their marketing affairs. Other businesses use a marketing agency for all of their digital marketing needs. And some use a combination of both approaches, keeping some campaigns in-house while outsourcing larger or more complicated campaigns to an agency. And, occasionally, a business owner will try to tackle it all themselves. 

But which one is better? Which one is the right one? We decided to take a look at the benefits of both approaches to help you determine which one is best for your business.

The benefits of in-house marketing

  • In-house marketers have internal access and insight to the company and industry, allowing for a more organic marketing approach. This is especially beneficial for social media marketing, where posts and engagements can be made in real time.
  • In-house marketers are often fully immersed in all aspects of the company and have a deep and thorough understanding of the brand. This understanding can, in some cases, eliminate the extensive product, service, or industry research needed to develop campaign content (but does not supplement keyword research, nor does it supplement a knowledge and understanding of ad platforms, data analysis, and performance troubleshooting).
  • In-house marketers, in most cases, are solely responsible for marketing campaigns and management, allowing them to focus on that alone as opposed to balancing and managing several projects and company campaigns at once.
  • Using an in-house marketing team can be cost effective for larger companies who expect or require round the clock campaign management. In these cases, hiring one or several employees to focus on these campaigns full-time can be more practical than paying an agency for such extensive blocks of time.
  • Using an in-house marketing team means that your marketers are on-call whenever you need them for any sudden or last minute campaign launches, reports, or adjustments. This type of spontaneity is not always available with an agency without a premium fee.

The benefits of using a marketing agency

  • Agency marketers work with and for several unique industries, and each one may require a different tactic. This allows for more broad and diverse experiences and helps to fine-tune the approaches to research, troubleshooting, and problem solving.
  • Agency marketers are paid for performance, management, and results as opposed to an in-house hourly or salary compensation. Client satisfaction and return on investments are key motivators for agency marketers and the basis of the client-agency relationship.
  • Agency marketers stay up-to-date and ahead of the current marketing processes, technology, and tactics.
  • Using a marketing agency allows business owners and managers to focus on the business itself rather than investing time in research, campaign management, and possible failed marketing initiatives.
  • Using a marketing agency can be more cost effective for small or medium businesses by paying a flat monthly agency fee, instead of part-time or full-time payroll for one or several additional employees.
  • Using a marketing agency often includes access to several experts with various proficiencies, ranging from web development to social media marketing. This eliminates the need to train or fund these positions internally.

Determining which one is right for your business

There are several factors to consider when determining whether you should hire a marketing agency or assemble an in-house marketing team.

  1. What is the current size or scale of your company?
  2. Do you have team members who could take on the responsibility with sufficient training and funding, or would the position(s) need to be filled with one or several new hires?
  3. How many campaigns do you expect to run at one time, and what are the scales of these campaigns?
  4. What ad and social platforms are relevant to your brand and your target audience, and do you have the understanding and experience with each platform to adequately manage each campaign?
  5. Do these campaigns require real time updates and engagement, or can the content (written and/or visual) be preplanned and predeveloped?
  6. And lastly, what does your marketing budget look like? Would hiring an agency be more or less efficient for the overall task (research, development, deployment, and management) than hiring an in-house team?

Different companies have different target audiences, different campaign needs, and different budgets. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to digital marketing, and it ultimately comes down to what will work best for your company’s unique needs.

What we think

At SMARTBIZ DESIGN, we believe using an agency to manage your paid ad campaigns is the most effective and efficient way to ensure their success. Professional agencies are made up of experts with a variety of experience and unmatched levels of understanding of campaign research and report data. They are prepared for industry changes and variables, and can predict, identify, troubleshoot, and resolve technical or analytical obstacles more readily than in-house members who may not have the required experience to do so.

When it comes to social media marketing, we believe that it is usually in the best interest of the company to manage this in-house. Internal team members can make posts and respond to engagement in real time with an organic and authentic approach, whereas an agency would typically have to pre-plan social posts and may lack the industry-specific experience to respond to queries and comments. 

Unsure of your business needs or digital marketing goals? Contact us today and let’s discuss what approach and strategies may work best for you, and how we can help.