Should we do our digital marketing in-house or partner with a digital marketing agency?
You may not be surprised to hear this is a question we hear often.
And you know what – there is no universal right or wrong answer. This can often lead to business owners feeling unsure about which is the right option for their marketing. You want to feel assured that you’re making the right choice with the biggest Return on Investment (ROI) possible.
That’s why it’s not about choosing between an internal or external marketing team; picking one or the other, it’s really more of a spectrum. A combination of the two might be the most effective way to optimise your marketing budget. However, choosing the perfect balance of internal and external marketing resources will be different for every business. You’ll need to find the magic blend that works for yours.
In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of opting for an in-house digital marketing team and how your business can benefit from hiring an external digital marketing agency to supplement your marketing efforts.
Start by defining your marketing goals
Before you start to assemble an in-house marketing team or partner with an agency, we recommend taking a step back; define your marketing goals.
Are there certain skills you are looking to fill? Or, maybe you need help creating a new brand strategy. When you know exactly what you want to accomplish, the decision of where and how you need to allocate your resources will become clear.
Hiring an in-house marketing team
For some businesses, keeping their digital function in-house just makes sense. At first glance, it may seem that hiring an in-house marketing team is more advantageous for your business. A marketing team of in-house employees provides more hands-on control meaning you can meet with them at any point, get status updates, take more control of the process and reinforce when something is not working. This level of autonomy and ownership can be hard to achieve with an agency.
In-house marketing teams are only focused on your brand. Your internal employees will have a strong familiarity with your company culture, vision and goals. They have the capacity to learn and understand your brand on a deeper level and tailor all marketing decisions to stay in line with both your company culture and vision to achieve in-house business goals.
You can often gain greater control over the execution of your marketing strategy. Hiring an in-house team means that you will have a more thorough oversight of what is happening, and the flexibility to change direction quickly. Additionally, you may have the ability to meet with your team at any point during the work day or week, especially if you are in a physical space.
An in-house team can achieve a stronger sales and marketing alignment. When your sales and marketing team work side by side, it is often easier to pinpoint what is working and what isn’t. You may be able to get direct feedback on the content that’s closing more deals, and the rate at which it is happening.
Benefits of Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency
Regardless of the decision you make, you will need talented people that can take charge and execute your strategy.
Whilst an in-house team can provide some clear benefits, do you feel prepared to hire and manage a team of marketing specialists to cover all branches of digital marketing?
It’s simply not possible to have the experience and knowledge of an agency of digital marketing experts with a small in-house team or a single Digital Marketing Manager. This is often why hiring a digital marketing agency to supplement your in-house marketing efforts can be the most effective outcome for your business.
But, how can supplementing with a Digital Marketing Agency can benefit your business? Here’s how…
Partnering with a digital marketing agency gives businesses access to an entire team of specialised and experienced professionals and skill sets, when your business needs them.
If you’re a small business, you probably don’t have enough work (or financial resources) to bring on a full-time web developer, SEO specialist, content writer, CRO strategist and social media writer. Are we right?
But, it would be hard to find a business that wouldn’t benefit from each of these services.
Ultimately, these may not be specialist skills that you need day-in-day-out which means you’ll either be:
- Paying you specialist for idol time, or
- very commonly, asking your specialist to do tasks that are not in the speciality e.g., “Hey web developer, can you design a website and make it SEO friendly.”
Often most businesses don’t need a full time or even part time, SEO specialist, content writer, CRO specialist etc. But they are essential in executing a successful digital strategy. Partnering with an agency gives you access to those skill sets and professionals allowing you to diversify your marketing efforts and draw on the experience of each.
At Business Assist, we have highly experienced experts that specialise in various digital elements, that can assist on projects or take charge when it falls into their discipline. Our commitment to fostering continual learning and growth also ensures our employees are up to date on the best strategies and techniques for our clients.
Partnering with an agency is much less commitment than hiring a full in-house team. If you decide to build your marketing team in-house you’ll become responsible for recruiting, interviewing, onboarding, or training, and any other time-consuming and often expensive exercises that come with hiring new team members.
If that doesn’t ‘float your boat’, then an agency that you can trust and communicate effectively with can take care of that instead.
You focus on your business, we’ll focus on the marketing.
At Business Assist we don’t lock our clients into fixed-term contracts. We limit your risk and provide you with the “freedom to walk.” Our focus on transparency is vital to our client relationships. Everything we do is transparent, measured, reported and accountable – minimising your risk.
Digital agencies have access to advanced tools and systems that can either be expensive to acquire or are not practical for one company to have. Having the right systems, programs and subscriptions are key to executing great work. Agencies can justify having access to exclusive resources as they are used every day across multiple projects, which often isn’t the case for smaller businesses.
Agencies optimise their systems and tools to ensure they are not just meeting, but exceeding industry standards when it comes to digital marketing implementation and reporting.
Pro’s of an in-house team:
Pro’s of a digital marketing agency:
- Wealth of specialists and experience
- No responsibility for hiring a team of experts
- Access to software and memberships
- Less commitment and low risk
Striking the right balance between internal and external marketing resources might take some adjustment to get right. You need to find a balance that works for you. Perhaps your business requires the need for an internal team to execute your vision with the help of an agency partner for big-picture projects. Or maybe one marketing manager in-house is the right way to go, to provide a clear channel of communication between your business and your dedicated agency partner.
Wherever your company lands on the spectrum, it’s clear that there are many advantages to combining a digital marketing agency to complement your in-house marketing team.