The benefits and drawbacks of hiring an outside agency versus building your own in-house team
Media consumption habits are changing and traditional ways of communicating are diversifying.
Having a well-equipped arsenal of expert marketers working for your brand, brimming with all the latest SEO, email, social, product, media, data, analytics, and strategy knowledge is pivotal for your brand’s long-term success.
When investing in your brand’s marketing, two big questions stand out:
- How much is all of this going to cost?
- Who is going to manage all of this work?
Average marketing specialist salaries:
With the “always-on” environment of the modern consumer, your brand is facing an interesting dynamic: keep up, or fall behind. Instead of having six months to develop content, most brands now have days, or even hours to capture and maximize engagement. These real-time responses are exposing an acute need for innovation on your brand’s side.
Benefits of building an in-house team:
- Your in-house team benefits from a greater brand understanding.
- In-house leaders understand that greater control, speed, and flexibility are a must if they want their marketing initiatives to succeed.
- With full-time employees, you have a sense of control, collaboration, and loyalty.
- Your team is easily accessible and dedicated to day-to-day deliverables at the drop of a hat.
Drawbacks of building an in-house team:
- Building a successful in-house team requires a lot:
- – a lot of time
- – a lot of resources
- – and a lot of management
- From recruiting expenses, basic salaries, to employment taxes, benefits, equipment, software, and even the physical space for which to house the new employees, there’s a lot that goes into building an in-house team.
- Hiring the right person can take a long time. The cost of selecting the wrong person can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention the potential negative impact your brand’s morale and productivity can face.
- Digital marketing never stands still, therefore, your marketing needs are always evolving. Bringing a brand strategist onboard now might seem like a good idea, but what happens when you’re stuck with people you don’t need long term?
- In-house teams can fall victim to their own brand affinity. Working from the inside of your company tends to blind you from looking at the outside of it, which is ultimately how all of your potential customers are viewing it.
Effective marketing requires knowledge of an increasing range of platforms. Consider the efficiency and experience that comes from a turnkey operation. Most agencies bring a collective expert knowledge of how to navigate the marketing landscape and the common pitfalls to avoid.
Benefits of hiring an agency:
- Agencies, for the most part, have more collective specialized knowledge. From creative directors, digital and brand strategists, to writers and videographers and account managers, all bring their specialized expertise to provide the most optimal workflow for their clientele.
- Agencies are able to take an outsider’s perspective while looking into your company. They have the ability to be strategic and point out areas of improvement or missed messaging opportunities, which can be easily overlooked by an internal team.
- Marketing agencies must be up-to-date with the latest industry trends if they have hopes of a staying in business for any extended period of time. Because of this, you’re almost guaranteed to be provided with insights into the most current ideas for potential growth.
- Niche agencies with specific industry specializations have emerged, allowing you to quickly onboard a team who is already well briefed and established within your industry and verticals.
- Agency pricing can be per project or campaign, or retainer based on longer term campaigns, and they can be tied to performance.
Drawbacks of hiring an agency:
- Accessibility. You can’t walk down the aisle of your office to talk to your marketing agency.
- Agency timelines and turn around times are tied to client decision makers.
- Although agencies can have a broad knowledge of different industries, there is always going to be a learning curve when it comes to understanding the brand which has hired them.
- The perceived cost of hiring an agency seems like a steep investment.
Despite the benefits and drawbacks of an in-house team or marketing agency, when you can rely on an internal team for everyday marketing needs while leveraging an agency’s external perspective and strategic thinking, your brand will have the largest pulse on consumer behaviors and changing media landscapes.
Best of both worlds:
- Working in tandem with a seasoned in-house team of experts, agencies can retain a key role in areas like formulating campaigns, overall strategy, creative direction, and acting as brand stewards, while also partnering with the in-house team to handle day-to-day marketing needs.
- Campaigns tend to operate smoother when in-house teams and agencies collaborate simultaneously as they can both leverage one another’s internal assets and knowledge.
- Due to an in-house team’s knowledge of its brand along with an agency’s expertise and access to outside data, collaboration among the two is almost always going to ensure brand standards and guidelines are implemented correctly.
- An in-house team can call on an agency’s particular set of strengths or specialized skills only when needed, allowing them to easily scale their marketing efforts and manage costs more effectively.
If your company needs access to an internal marketing team at any given time but wants the expertise an agency can bring, then working in tandem gives you the largest and most skilled asset pool to work with.