Which Is Better: An In-House Marketing Team or an Agency?

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Whether you are starting out with your small business or you own a well-established company, this question will always arise at some point: “Should I do my online marketing in-house or through a marketing agency?”

Building an in-house digital marketing team for your marketing initiatives might seem like the best decision. However, once you consider the effort and expense it takes to run a marketing department, it will be easy to understand why businesses turn to marketing agencies to handle their digital marketing initiatives.

Recruiting full-time employees could take months to find the right candidates who are capable of working together to handle campaign strategy, optimization and execution. In addition to the hiring and training cost of full-time digital marketing experts, there are ongoing costs, as well, including office supplies, desktops and laptops, online tool subscriptions, ongoing training and other miscellaneous costs. According to CareerBuilder, more than 41 percent of businesses reported that the cost of a bad hire was more than $25,000. Can your business take this risk?

With a seasoned marketing agency, there is one single cost for outsourcing the complete department. The experts on your agency team are professionals who have already gone through the required training and have the experience to make your digital marketing efforts thrive.

The full-time employees that you hire will have a specific skill. If you hire a website designer, you cannot expect him or her to write content – you will have to hire a copywriter for that. Building a successful in-house team quickly is a challenging task. With a marketing agency, your ideas can flourish and be executed without any delay. Established marketing agencies have not only encountered situations and challenges but also have experimented with various types of strategies and channels.

For most business owners, the decision to build an in-house team or to outsource to an agency comes down to either cost or convenience. Businesses set a random marketing budget and, if the in-house marketing team seems too expensive or too difficult to handle, they decide to outsource their marketing activities. While this perception may seem logical, the underlying assumption is that building an in-house team is better than outsourcing to an agency. Deciding on an in-house team or an agency is not just a matter of cost or convenience, it is a matter of fit. You can decide which approach is right for you by considering both options and then choosing the best fit to suit your business needs.

If you decide to hire an in-house team, it is best to start lean. You can recruit a few experienced and dedicated employees in the initial stage and hire more employees later, rather than recruit too many employees and eventually have to let them go. The distinct advantage that an in-house team has over any agency is that your employees know your business inside and out. An in-house team can communicate at any time because every employee is just a tap away. Regular interactions like team meetings will help reinforce the foundations of your marketing strategy. If you decide to choose an agency over an in-house team, it will be difficult to maintain regular communication to make sure that the design team, the content team and the social media marketing team are all aligned.

If you want to test the waters, you can start with a combination of in-house team and outsourcing a part of your marketing initiatives. It is important to compare the pros and cons of each approach in order to evaluate the return on your investment.


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