It can be tough making a decision between building an in-house marketing team or hiring an agency. In this article, we will discuss objective information and all of the pros and cons of hiring an agency versus building an in-house digital marketing team in order to assist you in making an informed decision on how to execute your marketing initiatives. Picture this familiar situation: Your organization has plenty of hard-working, intelligent people who are able to wear a lot of different hats. Marketing activities, from social media and content creation to search engine optimization (SEO) and paid media advertising, are all handled by committee (if at all). It’s an environment that is constantly reactive. The time has come to either hire an agency or bring on full-time marketing staff in-house. There may be a lot of debate in your company when it comes to the decision to handle marketing in-house on your own or through a third-party marketing agency. So what exactly are the true advantages and disadvantages of hiring an outside agency versus “going in house”? What will you gain, and what will you lose, when it comes to both decisions? Read on to find out. MyCity Social is a top digital marketing agency in the Tampa area. Call MyCity Social for your SEO, social media marketing and more today!
How Does An In-House Team Compare To A Marketing Agency?
Firstly, let’s delve into the in-house marketing team, which will vary widely in scope and size, depending on the size of the organization (and the maturity of its marketing program). Typically speaking, staffing for an in-house marketing team will break down into a couple of high-level categories: Creative, website design and development, SEO and paid media advertising, social media, and communications. In each of these high-level categories, there is a wide scale of positions, from the VP level down to practitioners and freelance contractors. Of course, how you organize these teams will all depend on the organizational priorities, budget, and immediate needs of your company. Certain organizations are unable to handle video in-house and already hire that work out to an agency. Others may have one dedicated SEO person, but are unable to gather adequate resources for PPC. Ideally speaking, every organization SHOULD have somebody to cover all of these important aspects of digital marketing. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
How A Digital Marketing Agency Can Help
A lot of organizations choose to outsource some or all of their marketing activities to digital marketing agencies such as MyCity Social. These kinds of agencies are already totally set up with all of the staff, expertise, and resources necessary to provide outsourced full-service digital marketing services, such as: Website development and optimization, content creation and creative services, search engine optimization (SEO), Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and social media management and advertising. In general, digital marketing agencies will take a monthly retainer fee for the services rendered and may directly work with an in-house marketing specialist or other points of contact.
Cost Comparison Between In-House Versus Agency
There are many benefits to hiring a digital marketing agency, such as getting more bang for your buck overall. Hiring a digital marketing agency can be a much more cost-effective choice. This is especially true if your business isn’t big enough to have the budget to hire a fully-staffed marketing team. When it comes to the cost of hiring one marketing specialist, you could keep an agency and still have access to 8-10 digital marketing experts. Here’s how in-house versus full-service agency financial models pan out:
- In-house team: hiring and maintaining an in-house staff can end up eating up a huge portion of your overall marketing budget. You may not be able to hire all of the specialists you require, and you’ll have to decide exactly which skills are most critical to executing your marketing strategy, and which ones you’ll have to do without.
- Full-service marketing agency: Rather than having to pay the salary of several specialists, you end up paying a monthly fee that allows you access to a diverse range of experts. As your marketing strategy evolves, you can trust the agency to have the expertise that you require, rather than having to constantly worry about needing to hire new team members.
If you choose to go with an in-house team, there can be many issues with efficiency. Turnover is extremely expensive, and can bring your marketing engine to a halt, while a marketing agency will always deliver like a well-oiled machine. A key question you should consider is what happens when one of your team members decides to leave. Turnover can be extremely disruptive, and it can be a whole year before a role is backfilled and that person is ramped up, trained, and offering the full value of their employment. The real dollar cost of having to replace an employee can be over $4,000, and can go up to over $14,000 for executive-level positions. This doesn’t even factor in the cost of a bad hire, which can end up being a scarily high number.
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So how does an in-house marketing team compare to an agency? Here are some points to consider:
- In-House Team:
- Best for larger organizations who are able to invest in larger marketing budget and a mature marketing strategy
- Easier communication between stakeholders and more efficient project execution since they have closer proximity to and familiarity with the brand
- Able to handle all marketing activities in-house with dedicated staff and specialist sharing the workload
- Limited to dated technology, organizational silos, and budgetary constrictions. There may be a lack of employee initiative.
- Turnover is extremely expensive, as your business will have to pay out of pocket for training costs, time to fill, and work disruptions.
- Prone to organizational silos and tunnel vision that may disrupt innovation and slow change.
- Marketing Agency:
- Able to cater to organizations of any size who are looking to quickly expand and scale marketing activities
- Does need a bit of ramping time to establish good working relationship and brand alignment
- Expert specialists offer services tailored to the specific business needs of the client
- Agencies are often at the forefront of innovative strategies and digital marketing technology. Agencies regularly attend industry conferences and learn new tactics.
- Typically more cost-effective, as the only cost to you is a retainer fee
- Less prone to negative effects of turnover, as they have a larger staff dedicated to marketing your brand
Deciding What’s Best For Your Company
A lot of organizations end up utilizing a hybrid approach. Many larger firms already have at least a core nucleus of in-house marketing professionals, but also choose to augment their marketing abilities with an outside marketing agency. It can be extremely cost-efficient to aid this in-house team through outsourcing key services to agency specialists. When choosing how to structure your in-house marketing team, it’s always helpful to take a good look at your strengths. Generally speaking, in-house staff will live and breathe the brand, and will have a far deeper understanding of the unique selling propositions, product set, target audience, etc. However, in-house teams may not be an option for companies that are smaller. Agencies can help to manage paid advertising campaigns, optimize web pages for keywords, and design creative materials. Agencies also have the advantage of bringing an outsider’s perspective to assist in-house teams in identifying areas of innovation.
If you are currently debating whether to invest in an in-house team or hire a marketing agency, it is key to take a serious inventory of your specific use case. What is the best approach for your organizational makeup? What are the kind of results you predict going in either direction? There are many crucial questions you should ask yourself. The answers can mean the difference between highly effective digital marketing or an inefficient one that only drives up cost rather than lead-generation. MyCity Social is proud to offer:
- Prioritizing communication through assigning a dedicated account manager from day one
- A holistic approach to digital marketing rather than quick fixes and band-aid results
- A strong digital reputation in our reviews, testimonials, and case studies that show a real ROI.
Contact Us Today
Here at MyCity Social, we believe that the key to creating meaningful digital results begins with getting to know you and your business. Our highly experienced and skilled team of digital markets will first get to know you and your business prior to beginning on any marketing campaigns. We aim to be your one-stop-shop for digital marketing, offering everything from SEO optimization and content marketing strategy to social media marketing. Your assigned digital marketing expert will first put together a marketing strategy tailored to the needs of your business. Then, they will coordinate every part of your online marketing with your digital marketing team to make sure that you get the optimal results. You won’t have to work with multiple people and lose the message in the process. Call MyCity Social to work with a marketing agency Tampa residents trust today!