Are you debating between building an in-house marketing team or hiring a full-service agency? All businesses have been in this spot. It’s not an easy decision to make. But to help you decide, we’re going to break down the pros and cons of in-house marketing and an in-house marketing agency.
What is In-house Marketing?
In-house marketing means a company has a department that solely handles all marketing activities. Employees of the company complete all marketing operations of their product or service. The in-house marketing teams vary in size depending on the company’s size and typically cover social media, communications, advertising, and web development.
What is an In-house Marketing Agency?
An in-house marketing agency replicates the traditional agency model but only works with the mother company. Like most digital marketing agencies, they may not be the only agency the mother company is working with.
For example, a marketing agency like etribal can work alongside in-house marketing departments, providing support and a fresh pair of eyes on digital marketing projects such as SEO, paid campaigns and marketing automation.
An in-house marketing agency can also focus on specific advertising needs. Examples of in-house marketing agencies are BBC Creative by BBC and Content Factory by Coca-Cola.
What are the Advantages of an In-House Marketing Team?
The key to succeeding in your marketing goals is by having a strong team behind your company. Is in-house marketing right for you? Let’s look at the advantages of an in-house marketing team.
1. Transparency & Control
The marketing team structure allows for transparency, allowing companies to be included in the entire marketing process.
2. Access to First Party Data
Companies have complete control of data when working with an in-house marketing team. They have ownership of first-party data but tend to lack expert knowledge in interpreting that information. In comparison, agencies have highly skilled marketers trained in understanding and delivering the given data.
3. Consistent Messaging & Branding
Your brand message gives customers an impression of what your brand represents. Since in-house marketing teams work solely with one company, they have extensive knowledge of the products and services.
4. Being Agile & Faster
An in-house marketing team can quickly communicate with the company because the team is working together in one place. Agencies may require you to schedule meetings or have a slower response time.
5. In-house Technology
Technology is the foundation of today’s marketing industry. Creative management platforms (CMPs) provide digital marketing solutions for companies. For larger companies, this is ideal, but for smaller businesses, this is costly.
6. Lower Costs
Companies can take ownership of their brands and have transparency over their marketing budgets. However, there is a costly initial investment.
7. Help Client-Agency Relationships
Having an in-house marketing team will complete your company by providing in-house branding and first- party data.
8. Dedicated team
An in-house marketing team works solely with your company, so they’re able to place all their attention on your business.
9. Increased ROI
By having ownership over spending and in-house talent, companies can begin to see a positive effect on their ROI.
What are the Disadvantages of an In-House Marketing Team?
While an in-house marketing team does have its advantages, there are also major disadvantages. In this case, an outsourced marketing team may best fit your company’s needs.
Routine can hurt a business more than help it. When marketing teams only focus on one marketing area, it can produce less creativity and miss possible growth opportunities.
2. Lack of Experience & Knowledge
In comparison to marketing agencies, in-house marketing typically lacks having a diverse range of marketing skills. While their advantage is having a lot of marketing experience, it’s usually in one area.
In contrast, a marketing agency has a wide range of experience in various industries. This helps create effective marketing strategies for your company.
3. Lack of Resources & Ramping Up
To get the results you want when marketing, you need to work with experts. While there are many marketers, very few are talented in what they do.
When you don’t have the talent in-house, you look to outsource a marketing network. Agencies are composed of the best in the industry and can provide you the results you want.
4. No New Perspectives & Creativity
With an in-house team, it’s’ the same employees working on the same marketing campaigns. This can create a lack of inspiration and stale ideas from the marketing team. An agency like etribal works with best in class digital marketers that are a fresh pair of eyes and a competitive edge in the industry.
5. Less Brain Power
Most in-house marketing teams don’t have the knowledge a full-service agency has. Whether it’s script writing or digital PR, agencies have additional resources that in-house marketers lack.
6. Talent Recruitment
Finding the right team for an in-house marketing department isn’t easy. And not hiring the right people could cost you a lot of money while searching for the right people.
When to Build an In-House Marketing Team?
When do you know it’s the right time to build an in-house marketing team? That’s a good question. Here’s the answer:
- You can invest the time in building a powerful team
Building an in-house team is an investment that you need to have the financial support and time for.
- You want to build a team of experts within your company
You have a long-term marketing strategy that includes assembling an in-house team.
- You don’t want to spend time coordinating with a marketing network
You don’t have the time to communicate and coordinate with an agency.
When Should You Hire a Marketing Agency?
If you’re thinking about hiring a marketing agency like etribal, here’s when you should do so.
- You have a small budget
If you have a small marketing budget, a marketing agency gives you the flexibility to work within your budget to fulfill your needs and is much cheaper than hiring full time staff in house.
- You need immediate results
You have a short period of time to reach your marketing goals. A marketing agency uses their expertise to deliver quick results.
- You lack an effective marketing strategy
You lack an effective marketing strategy and are looking for innovative ideas to give your business a competitive edge in the industry.
When Should You Hire Both an In-House Marketing Team and a Marketing Agency?
No one said you have to pick one or the other. You can also blend both marketing services together to best suit your needs.
- You need flexibility
You haven’t decided on a final strategy and want to keep flexibiltiy in your business. You can hire one or two in-house marketers and an agency for support.
- You want to reap the benefits from both sides
Both in-house marketing and agencies have their advantages. You can balance out the disadvantages by building an in-house team that works alongside a marketing network like etribal.
- You don’t have a marketing budget
You don’t have the budget to build a full in-house marketing team but want to continue to work on your marketing strategy and goals.
How Much Does In-House Marketing Cost?
There’s no one-size-fits-all number when it comes to in-house set-ups. Costs related to building an in-house marketing team vary on the size of the department and the digital marketing roles needed in your company. So the size of the team is crucial when determining the cost and naturally, your team will take time to develop.
That said, with a marketing agency, you’re given a flat fee upfront with a list of the services you’ll be provided depending on your marketing goals. You know exactly what you’re getting with your investment. Whereas with an in-house team, it’ll take time until you see your initial investment pay off.
Benefits and Pitfalls of Marketing Agency vs In House Marketing Team
There are plenty of benefits and downsides of an in-house marketing team and marketing agency. We’re about to squash the in-house vs outsourcing debate.
- To build an in-house team, you’ll need to invest the time interviewing, hiring, and training new employees. In addition, you’ll have to manage their salaries, vacations, and benefits. With etribal’s marketing networking, you skip the initial investment.
- In-house marketers don’t have the broad knowledge and experience of working in multiple industries and in different digital marketing roles.
- It’s very common for in-house marketers to lose creativity when working on routine projects.
- You can easily scale your marketing team through an agency and avoid firing and rehiring staff during fluctuating periods.
- Unlike an agency, if someone in your in-house team quits, your marketing program won’t be put on hold.
When it comes to choosing between an in-house marketing team or a marketing network like etribal, it truly depends on your situation. However, a safe and secure route is to start with an agency or hire a couple in-house marketers, having the agency and in-house team working together to develop the best marketing strategy for your business.