From driving sales to building a brand reputation, effective marketing is essential to expanding your consumer base and making your name known. A failed or inefficient digital marketing campaign, on the other hand, is every business owner’s nightmare. Not only will it cost financial resources, but it can also negatively impact your brand name and the way consumers feel about you. The key to a successful digital marketing campaign is the people behind it — it’s important to have a passionate marketing team that’s dedicated to generating sales and making your business shine. 

The Dynamics of Marketing

If your business is just starting out, it might be easy to single-handedly take care of your marketing needs. However, as your business grows and acquires new customers, its marketing needs grow with it. From content creation and search engine optimization (SEO) to social media management and paid media advertising, there’s no shortage of tasks you need to complete to effectively market your business. Eventually, marketing itself becomes a full-time job. To successfully meet these requirements, many business owners turn to a marketing department or agency for help. 

Given the pivotal role that marketing teams play in the success of a business, it’s important to carefully consider who you trust to take on the task. Most business owners choose between outsourcing and hiring an agency or grooming their own in-house marketing team. It’s important that your choice fits your budget, aligns with your business goals and is compatible with your current business model. Evaluating the two options can help you make the best decision. 

In-house marketing vs agency marketing concept with hand on blue background

In-House Marketing

In-house marketing meeting with a man writing on a white board In-house marketing is a setup in which all your company’s marketing needs are handled by a dedicated team of staff that’s been hired and trained by your company. The sizes and roles of in-house marketing teams vary from one organization to the other, and they depend on the business’s immediate needs, objectives and budgets. 

A typical in-house team is headed by a chief marketing officer, who works closely with the marketing director, a vice president and a marketing manager. Below the management team is the task force, which usually consists of five teams:  

  • Creative team
  • Website design and development team
  • SEO and paid media advertising team
  • Social media team
  • Communications team  

Under each team, freelance contractors may be selectively hired and trained on the company’s vision, mission and goals.

Agency Marketing

Agency marketing personnel working on a laptop at office desk, business and marketing text concepts coming out from computer screenAgency marketing involves delegating your company’s marketing needs to a third-party company and paying them a monthly retainer fee for their services. The hired agency is responsible for developing and implementing the right strategies, monitoring the campaign’s performance and making necessary adjustments to ensure your company’s goals are met. 

As their client, the marketing agency will keep you aware of the campaign’s progress through one of your in-house marketing specialists or another agreed-upon point of contact.  In most cases, these marketing agencies have the necessary staff, expertise and resources to provide thorough marketing services, including web development, content creation, PPC advertising and social media management. 

In-House Marketing Teams vs Marketing Agencies

Now that you understand the difference between in-house and external marketing teams, how do you know which is the best for your business? Here are some factors to consider when making your choice. 

Budgetary Needs

Running an entire in-house marketing team requires spending considerable company resources on acquiring and training marketing specialists. You’ll also have to pay a set yearly salary (and possibly benefits) to retain them. Moreover, since your marketing needs will likely change from time to time, you may end up paying employees who aren’t knowledgeable about the specific area you need help with. 

Marketing agencies, on the other hand, typically charge a standard monthly fee for their services. This payment method is usually more budget-friendly than in-house marketing, and it offers access to a diverse set of experienced experts. Thus, you don’t have to worry about the cost of recruiting and training. 

Skill Range 

Marketing strategies change every now and then — at some point, you may find that you need a completely different set of skills or talent. For instance, you might discover that you want to transition from blog posts to video marketing. Trying to build an in-house marketing team that’s well versed in a wide range of marketing skills is no easy feat. Not only will this take a considerable amount of time and money, but it also requires planning, screening and hiring various experts. 

Because they serve different clients with a wide assortment of needs, most marketing agencies already have a vast pool of specialists available. Regardless of your needs, you can rest assured that a digital marketing agency will have the right tools, experience, experts and technology to tackle the job.

Company Alignment

Successful marketing involves thoroughly understanding a company’s objectives and shaping a campaign around those objectives. While both digital marketing agencies and in-house marketing teams have the capacity to understand and meet a company’s goals, in-house teams are arguably more suited to doing so. This is because internal employees are specifically trained on a company’s vision and spend more time around the company. 

Cost of Turnover

If you are running an in-house marketing team, there’s always the chance that one of your team members will leave at some point. Whether this individual has outgrown the company, fallen sick or been offered a new job, their leaving may disrupt your marketing campaign and even bring it to a standstill. Moreover, the cost of acquiring and training a replacement can be expensive — it ranges from $4,000 for a task force member to $14,000 for an executive, not factoring in the price of a failed hire.

On the flip side, marketing agencies are immune to work disruptions thanks to their wide pool of specialists. If a member of the agency does leave, they can quickly fill the vacant position, thus avoiding disrupting your campaign. 

Cost of Turnover - time is Money concept, table Alarm Clock with cash money stacks

Industry Practices and Technology

The digital marketing landscape continues to evolve with every change in consumer behavior and technology. A marketing team that doesn’t know how to adapt to these trends will find that their marketing quickly becomes inefficient. 

To accommodate the ever-changing landscape of marketing, most digital agencies partner with clients across technology industries. They also attend frequent marketing and technical conferences. This guarantees that your business maintains access to the latest industry practices.

On the other hand, in-house marketing teams rarely attend industry conferences and thus have limited access to the latest technologies. Budgetary restrictions may further limit access to new research that’s pivotal to adapting your marketing strategy. 

Time Spent on Rollout 

When it comes to the business world, everybody knows that time is money. The faster you’re able to devise and employ a marketing strategy, the more effective it will be. 

The time it takes to come up with and implement a marketing initiative can be relatively long in an in-house marketing setup. Creating a functional team requires recruiting, screening and hiring new talent. Moreover, you have to spend time training and familiarizing the new team with your target goals before you can officially roll out your marketing campaign. 

Marketing agencies, however, are built for speed — they can jump into the market and face off against competition right away. Since they handle a wide range of clients, these agencies have sufficient knowledge when it comes to market setting, current consumer trends and successful sales tactics. 

Long-Term Business Goals

Another factor you have to consider when deciding on a marketing setup is how long the campaign will last. If you’re looking for a long-term strategy, you might want to invest in an in-house team to conserve costs in the long run. You can also groom your team to attain top-level expertise along the way, thus helping your marketing department rise to the standards of specialized marketing agencies.  

For shorter campaigns and marketing goals, a marketing agency is usually the wiser choice. It provides you with ready talent that can help achieve your target goals quickly while saving on the cost of hiring full-time staff.

Communication 

Efficient communication is key to attaining your business’ marketing goals. Since in-house teams are located within the company, they can maintain smooth and efficient communication with stakeholders. Emergency discussions can also be held quickly if any issues arise.

Agencies, on the other hand, usually prefer email and phone communications. Meetings and reports on progress can be arranged weekly or monthly, depending on what works for the client. However, some marketing agencies may designate a specific person to handle communications to facilitate this process.

Hybrid Marketing Teams

A team of professionals holding hands togetherSome companies attempt to enjoy the best of both worlds by hiring both an in-house team and a digital marketing agency. Known as the hybrid approach, this solution combines the strengths of an in-house team with the wide range and expertise of a digital marketing agency, resulting in a powerful force that can combat most marketing challenges.

The hybrid method gives businesses the room to customize their approach to better meet business objectives and budget constraints. The strategy also enables the in-house team to focus on their areas of expertise, leaving the parts they don’t understand to the outsourced experts. Of course, the downside of operating a hybrid market team is that it’s more expensive — this cost can generally only be afforded by big firms.

Which Approach Is Best for Me? 

When it comes to choosing between an in-house and a digital agency marketing team, there’s no universal answer. Each team has their respective pros and cons, so it’s important to evaluate your own needs to decide which is the better fit. An in-house marketing team might be preferable in some cases, such as if you’re looking for a long-term marketing team. However, for most situations, outsourcing your marketing needs is the best and most cost-effective way to market your business. 

Not only does hiring a digital agency save the costs of hiring and retaining full-time employees, but it also keeps your business up to date on new trends that are essential to a positive campaign. Moreover, you can easily access a wide range of skill sets without having to worry about a valuable team member suddenly quitting on you. 

Selecting a Suitable Digital Marketing Agency 

Digital marketing agency growth chartOnce you’ve decided that you want to outsource your marketing, the next step is finding a reliable agency that you can trust to successfully handle your needs. When conducting your search, keep an eye out for following factors: 

  • Experienced and fully specialized team 
  • Solid digital reputation backed by reviews and testimonials
  • Case studies that prove they can achieve a positive ROI (return on investment)
  • Core values that align with your company’s 
  • Responsive and easy to get in touch with 

At Lead to Conversion, we work hard to check off all these boxes. Our search marketing agency is dedicated to helping established businesses explore their full potential through effective marketing strategies, efficient communication and high-quality services. We offer a wide variety of digital marketing solutions, including responsive website design, search engine marketing, conversion optimization and website design. Our goal is to build your brand and help you earn the success you deserve.  Learn more about how we can help you by contacting us today!