When looking to make a decision between hiring internally and externally there is a range of factors to consider. No matter what, you as the business owner are looking to make the best long-term decision for your business so I’ve rate both solutions across a range of factors.
For you, depending on where your business is at some factors will weigh more heavily on you than others so take a look at the different factors and see how they affect your decision-making process on which way to go.
Rating Both Solutions
An In-House marketer or Marketing team centers around building your own team to create and manage your digital marketing strategy and execution.
A Marketing Agency centers around an outside organization that has a range of services and people that offer different skill sets that they bring to the table.
Looking at 9 different criteria I’ve rated both solutions on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best).
Brand Consistency and Quality
Developing a consistent Brand experience is vital to success with your marketing.
Your in house team will be more likely to express your brand consistently and with a higher quality as they are consistently only dealing with your own brand. Depending on the caliber of team members the score will fluctuate but with the right team this is often the best solution.
For a Marketing Agency it will generally be more difficult to maintain the brand consistency as they are not there in the office with you, they’ll have other focuses and they will not only spend time with your brand. However, agencies that work tightly with the clients tend to improve their brand experience over time and often help to create standardized brand guidelines to help their clients to successfully implement their brand.
Winner: In-House Marketing Team
Being able to be nimble, make rapid decisions, and control the way marketing is done can be vital. Especially when things go wrong, which no matter who you work with, will happen.
With an in-house marketing team, you’ll be able to walk over as you’ll likely be in the same office. You will have the tightest level of control there.
With a marketing agency, they can either have a location in your city or often they are out of town. Having someone local may help as if they aren’t responding to emails/calls you’ll be able to swing by the office though that does take a trip.
When determining if you want to choose an agency, you’ll want to make sure to find out how responsive they are, whether it’s within 24 hours. The best agency may even put a guarantee that you’ll get a response within a certain amount of time.
Winner: In House Marketing Team
Focus on purely your industry and business is valuable in the continued knowledge of and best practices and terminology of your space.
Your Marketer or Marketing Team focus 100% on your business. This really is the highest level of focus possible.
While Agencies will learn about your brand and spend time on your business’s strategy, they also have other clients that they will spend their time with. While that can sometimes bring new insights from across the industry some businesses will want to have a team that only focuses on their business.
Winner: In House Marketing Team
Finding the right talent is vital to successfully grow your business. Whether that’s talent that you hire or talent that you work with externally (such as an agency).
For recruiting an internal marketing team, the odds are that you’ll have to first either have an HR department or add it to the long list of activities that you’re already doing.
Right now, the average time to hire for marketing is around 35-55 Days. That’s a long time.
For an agency, it’s often easier to locate the talent as the agency takes the job of bringing together the talent for you. You’ll still have to evaluate the agency and how much work they’re willing to bring to you and your company however, often as the agency will spread the cost of their employee over multiple different companies you’ll find that you gather better talent than bringing that cost in house.
Also, Agencies are actively vying for your business and looking for clients so the time to find an agency is easier and faster.
Winner: Marketing Agency
Cost or ROI
For a lot of businesses the decision often comes down to the cost. Many businesses cannot afford to pay certain high fees or bring on a full marketing team at once so they start with where they can. For this comparison, we’ll compare a full 4 person marketing team with an equivalent cost in a marketing agency.
For hiring, you’ll likely spend around 200k for a 4 person marketing team. You’ll need a Digital Marketing Manager (65k), Digital Marketing Specialist (49k), SEO Specialist (48k), and a Social Media Marketing Specialist (48k). This cost doesn’t include benefits such as insurance, retirement plans, equipment & software expenses. Once this is calculated in, the total cost comes to about 280k a year for a 4 person team. Note: This size team is pretty average for a company of 25-49 employees.
Marketing Agencies vary, from 20k – 200k a year depending on the scope of the work you’d want from the agency.
Most marketing agencies offer different pricing tiers depending on the scope of services. To be comparable to a 4 person in-house team you’ll likely pay closer to the 200k mark. With that cost, you’ll likely be able to acquire a top-notch agency with a team of 10 employees that work with your business on their specific skill set allowing you to have a greater skillset for a price that’s oftentimes less than what you would pay to build your own internal marketing team.
The agency would also handle any turnover on their end by providing you with a different employee and the best agencies make it so you barely even notice a transition due to their best practices being documented and new employees taking on the work.
Winner: Marketing Agency
In summary, the choice is yours.
We hope the information above has been helpful to you and if you have any questions about how we work with our clients to achieve 10X levels of success.