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When to Choose In-House Marketing Instead of an Agency


Despite all the valid points for letting a marketing agency do all your work, there are times when you should rely on your in-house team to do everything. Here’s when it’s usually smarter to stick to in-house instead of retaining an inbound agency.

When You Can't Find the Right Agency

While there are many great agencies out there, finding the right fit can sometimes be difficult. There are a lot of considerations:

  • The right skill set
  • An approach and strategy that aligns with the rest of the business
  • A cultural fit
  • If you have any geographic requirements (eg. local agency only)

Especially if you have location requirements for an agency, you might find that your options are limited and will have better luck finding an employee locally or someone who is willing to relocate to your offices.

When Team Culture is Paramount

Nobody understands your company better than people who work there, and trying to communicate your views and values to a third party can be a challenge. It’s easier to work with people you already know well and who understand your way of doing business. Doing in-house marketing sometimes saves time because the lines of communication are simpler.

While an agency has a number of clients and needs to balance their time to meet their business objectives along with yours, an employee can stop everything and work on something new at the ding of a new email in their inbox.

When You’re Great at Hiring People

Building a team is one of the most challenging aspects of building a business. It’s time-consuming, stressful for both the employer and the job candidates, it’s expensive, and it doesn’t always work out. When it doesn’t work out, it’s even more expensive and time consuming to terminate the employee and start from scratch again.

That said, you might be great at it. If you have a knack for hiring, on boarding, and training employees, you’ve got a competitive advantage over most businesses who struggle with hiring and should consider whether it’s smart to leverage this advantage by hiring in house. On the other hand, if you’ve had bad experiences in the past, choosing an agency might work better for you since your commitment is much shorter than hiring in house.

When You Already Have a Rockstar Team

If you have a team of amazing marketing professionals with a wide variety of skills and you have the capacity to give your team more responsibility, keeping your online marketing in house is a good move.

Still Not Sure?

In a way, choosing between using your in house marketing team and an agency is a false choice. Why not adopt a hybrid model where you are executing traditional marketing campaigns in house and digital with an agency or you’re doing well with social media, but need to round out your team’s skills with content, paid advertising, etc. Combining in house and agency work gives you flexibility and benefits from both sides of the equation.

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