In-House Marketing vs. Agency Marketing
If you own a business, digital marketing can be a powerful tool for generating leads, increasing revenue, and helping your company grow. Although there are multiple digital marketing strategies, such as search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing is an effective way for companies to reach their target audiences authentically.
Businesses often ask us whether it’s better to have an in-house marketing team or outsource to an agency. The lines are blurred between the two. It’s hard to tell which is better for your company without understanding the differences.
This guide will help you understand the pros and cons of in-house vs. agency marketing, so you can decide which option is best for your business.
What is the difference between in-house vs. agency marketing?
In-house marketing teams are employed by the company they represent. They work within the company to promote its products or services. On the other hand, marketing agencies are independent contractors hired by the company to provide marketing services.
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[Table] In-house marketing vs. agency marketing
In-house marketing revolves around creating and executing marketing campaigns internally. There are several advantages to having an in-house marketing team.
The benefits of in-house marketing include:
- Brand familiarity
In-house marketing teams are intimately familiar with the company’s products and services. This gives them an advantage in creating marketing campaigns that accurately reflect the brand. While agency teams can learn about the company, it takes time for them to develop the same level of understanding.
In-house marketing teams are easy to access and usually located in the same building as other company departments. This makes communication and collaboration easier. Agency teams may be located remotely, which can take time to respond to requests or feedback. (Which is why you need a responsive agency)
In-house marketing teams are focused 100% on one organization. While agencies may learn about a company’s brand and dedicate time to its overall marketing strategy, they also work with more than one client. Depending on your business, you may prefer having a team focused solely on you and your marketing needs.
With in-house marketing, you have more control over your brand’s ad campaign Businesses can provide input at every stage of the process and approve all final products before they are released. With an agency firm, you may have less information and be less involved in the overall process. An in-house team may be a better option if you want more control.
- Brand familiarity
- Talent recruitment and retention
One of the biggest challenges for in-house marketing teams is finding and keeping good talent. It can be difficult to attract top marketing professionals to work for a single company, especially if they can make more money working at an agency. In-house teams also have to compete with agencies when recruiting new talent.
- Employee costs
In-house marketing teams can be expensive to maintain. Companies have to pay salaries, benefits, and other employee-related expenses. These costs can add up, especially if the team is large. For example, a group of four in-house marketers would cost the business over $250,000 annually.
- Digital Marketing Manager: $65,000
- Digital Marketing Specialist: $49,000
- SEO Specialist: $48,000
- Social Media Marketing Specialist: $48,000
The business will spend around $52K per employee if you average these salary numbers. This means that if three people are working within this group alone (for example), your cost is over 200k annually to”maintain” your presence online! This number gets even higher when considering all expenses related, such as tax, retirement plans and tools.
- Software expenses
Another cost to consider is the software needed to support an in-house marketing team. Companies must purchase licenses for software programs like email marketing, social media, and analytics tools. These costs can add up, especially if the group is large.
In-house marketing teams may not have the same capabilities as an agency. However, agencies typically have more resources, which means they can offer a broader range of services. They also have access to a larger pool of talent, which can be helpful if you need specialized skills or experience.
In-house marketing teams can be challenging to scale. If you need to increase or decrease the size of your team, it can be hard to make the changes quickly, especially if you have a seasonal business or need to respond to sudden changes in demand.
- Employee turnover
In-house marketing teams can be affected by employee turnover. If a key team member leaves, it can be challenging to replace them. This can disrupt the team’s workflow and impact the quality of their work.
Agencies will often have years of experience working with different companies, giving them a broad perspective and unique insights that can benefit your business. Agencies also have access to the latest tools and resources and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices.
But is an agency the right choice for your business?
The biggest advantage of working with an agency is the expertise it can provide. Agencies have teams of professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. This means they can handle all aspects of your marketing, from strategy to implementation.
Agencies typically have more resources, which means they can offer a broader range of services. Social Traffic is proud to be a partner with Oracle Corporation.
Oracle is a multi-model database management system.
Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience (CX) is a suite of cloud-based applications offered by Oracle Corporation that includes advertising, marketing, sales, e-commerce, and customer service tools.
Oracle provides more targeted user lists, more features to reach those users, and more measurement capabilities to show the results of advertising campaigns.
- Software and tools
You also don’t have to worry about purchasing and maintaining the software and tools needed for your marketing campaigns with an agency. Agencies already have these things, and they include them in the cost of their services.
For instance, since Apple allows users to opt out of ad tracking, this has created a need for more sophisticated marketing tools that aren’t reliant on cookies.
Social Traffic has developed offline Facebook tracking software that it uses to measure the effectiveness of its campaigns, even when users have opted out of ad tracking.
- Diverse specialties
Agencies also have access to a larger pool of talent, which can be helpful if you need specialized skills or experience. This is because agencies often have teams with different areas of expertise to offer a more comprehensive service. For instance, our team at Social Traffic employs experts in:
- Digital Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Online Reputation
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
- Web Design and Development
This means we can handle all aspects of your digital marketing, from website design to social media campaigns.
When you outsource your marketing needs, it’s easy to scale up and down as needed. This is because you only pay for the services you need when you need them. So, if you have a seasonal business or need to respond to sudden changes in demand, an agency can quickly adjust the scope of its services to meet your needs.
Many businesses want a cost comparison when it comes to their marketing budget. While internal departments can cost upwards of $250k per year and agencies usually range from 20K – 200+ thousand dollars, with some agencies offering discounts for larger spenders, you also have to consider what you’re getting for your money.
Additionally, if you want only SEO services, an agency specializing in SEO can be more cost-effective than an internal department on your year-round payroll.
In-house marketing teams are not immune to the occasional disruptive event, but agencies can quickly adapt their services to meet your needs.
One downside to working with an agency is that they are not always local. This can be a problem if you prefer to meet face-to-face or if you need to respond quickly to changes in your marketing strategy. However, with technological advances, this is less of a problem than it used to be.
- Multiple Clients
Another potential downside is that agencies often work with multiple clients. This may look like they are spreading themselves too thin. However, when you work with an agency, you should have a designated point of contact who is responsible for your account. At Social Traffic, all our clients have a dedicated account manager, no matter how big or small their account is.
Finally, some businesses prefer to have more control over their marketing. When you work with an agency, you entrust them with your brand. It can be a problem if you like to be involved in every aspect of your marketing or have a specific vision for your campaigns.
While they will require your input and approval at key points in the process, agencies will ultimately be responsible for executing your campaigns.
Trusting an agency with your brand can be a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be a leap of faith. Look for an agency with a good reputation that you feel comfortable working with.
At Social Traffic, we pride ourselves on being a transparent and reliable agency that puts the needs of our clients first.