Is it better to do your digital marketing in-house or partner with a digital marketing agency? It’s an important question for every business owner to consider, and there is no universal right answer. In fact, we’ve found that a combination of the two is often the best solution. Hiring a digital marketing agency to work in tandem with your in-house marketer or team can be the most effective way to optimize your marketing budget.
Choosing between an internal or external marketing team can sometimes feel like a lose-lose dichotomy. In reality, it’s more of a spectrum, and the perfect balance of internal/external is different for every company. It’s common to have a mixture of both; the 2017 In-House Creative Industry Report shows that over two-thirds of in-house teams partner with external agencies.
We’ve made a list of some of the reasons that hiring an agency can be beneficial, especially for small-to-medium sized businesses looking to supplement a single in-house marketer:
1. Broader Skill Set
The primary reason that businesses choose to partner with a digital marketing agency is that they get an entire team of specialized, experienced professionals working on their project for significantly less than it would cost to build that same team in-house. Most small businesses don’t have enough work to justify bringing on a full-time developer, full-time SEO expert, and full-time social media account manager. However, a large majority of companies would benefit from the services of each. Partnering with an agency brings those skills and more to the table without any additional investment. Having such a vast range of skills at your company’s disposal also makes it easier to diversify your marketing efforts.
Not only are there more people with different skill sets within an agency, but also those people generally have a greater depth of experience. Agency professionals are typically specialists in a particular area, plus your company benefits from the competitive landscape in which agencies are hiring talent. In-house marketers often adapt to be more like a jack-of-all-trades in order to cover all of the company’s needs. Agencies devote resources to educating employees and keeping them on the cutting edge of their respective discipline. Additionally, the team environment within an agency fosters continual learning and growth.
Generally speaking, it’s significantly cheaper to partner with an agency rather than bring on a full in-house team. That being said, total cost can vary greatly based on the size of your business and how much you’re looking to accomplish. Both internal and external marketing can amount to a sizable investment. A full in-house group requires significant overhead, including salaries, benefits, office space, equipment, training, recruiting, and more. An external agency can be one of the largest line items in a marketing budget, and because of that can be an easy target for cuts and renegotiations. All things considered, a digital marketing agency is usually the most cost-effective solution for high-quality marketing work. For the same price as one or two full-time salaries, you gain access to a complete team of professionals across multiple marketing specialties.