One of the biggest strategic decisions you will make about marketing your business is… who will do it? There are times when it’s best to keep all of your marketing in house and others when it will benefit you to retain an agency.
Pros of Hiring an Agency
Hiring a marketing agency works well if you don’t have the expertise in house to leverage online marketing to the extent needed to meet your growth goals, growing or managing your team would be cost inefficient or too time consuming compared to retaining an agency, and you see the benefits of objective advice. These are some of the agency pros to consider:
Wide Range of Skills
Online marketing requires a wide range of skills: content creation, SEO, social media marketing, and other roles depending upon the complexity of your marketing strategy as well. Small, in house teams of generalists or who have advanced skills in a piece of the marketing puzzle are an asset, but by retaining a marketing agency, you both broaden and deepen the skill set of people working for your business dramatically.
On the other hand, there are times that your business might look to an agency with specific expertise: industry knowledge and understand Hubspot or other tools that you have already invested in for example. Hiring an inbound marketing agency
No Extra Pressure on Your Team
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to decide to go in-house without considering your marketing team’s workload. Do you have the manpower to execute an effective online marketing strategy in house? If not, do you have the time and money to train current employees or hire new ones to make it work? Of course, the expenses related to a new hire are substantial and if it turns out that your new hire isn’t the right fit, you start back at square one.
Hiring an agency is an effective shortcut. Especially since inbound marketing takes time in an of itself, going through the hiring process, training a new employee, developing the strategy, and implementing it to the point of ROI could takes years. Finding an agency that is the right fit is certainly not something to take lightly either, but it’s a much faster process and the costs associated with choosing the wrong agency for your business are much less than hiring the wrong employee.
Like it or not, but no one in your company can be 100% objective when it comes to your brand and the products and services you offer. It’s the nature of being on the inside. Agencies can serve as an objective third party and look at the business challenges that you face with fresh eyes.
Pros of Using an In-House Team
If you have a marketing team with experience in a broad range of online marketing with specialists in the channels that are the most important in driving business, you may just have the right team in place to develop and implement an online marketing strategy in house. In many ways, keeping your marketing In-house marketing makes change faster and less complicated, especially because of these three things:
Industry and Brand Expertise
One of the best reasons to stick to your own marketing team is that nobody knows your company better than your employees. While marketing agencies specialize in working across many industries, tools, or approaches, your employees are naturally going to know more about your products and services than what an agency ever could: your products and services, the challenges you’re facing, the customer base, etc. Providing all this information to an agency will require that you set aside some time for interviews, calls, and email conversations.
Proximity and Availability
When you’re doing all the work in-house, everything is in one place. Whether it’s a meeting with the sales team or a photo shoot for the company’s bio page, you can organize everything much faster than working with an agency. While agencies have other clients and aren’t at your disposal 24/7, you won’t have to wait for an appointment with your own team.
Finally, doing in-house marketing means having total control over the strategy and its implementation. You can monitor the progress more closely and not have to rely on agency’s reports. When you hire an agency, you are also adopting their processes and approach, which can be effective since they are using a system that has shown consistent results but also a difficulty if you need to control the marketing plan either because of your management style or other reasons.
There is no universal answer to whether to hire an agency or not. You have the best chances of making the right decision if you look at your in-house team objectively and weigh all the pros and cons of either approach.