There’s no one-size-fits-all answer.It really boils down to your company’s marketing needs and how you like to work. To help you decide, here are the pro’s and cons of both the in-house team and advertising agency.
Pros of In-House Marketing Team
- Dedicated, focused team. An in-house marketing team will give you 100 percent focus on your business and they are readily available for day-to-day needs that may come your way.
- Stronger brand knowledge. Your employees are the people who know your business best. That means an in-house marketing team will have hands-on experience with your employees, customers, industry and culture. That can translate into marketing and messaging that better represents your brand.
- Better access to resources. Because your employees are on-site, they have better access to the people and processes within your business. As a result, your marketing team can complete tasks much quicker. It’s far easier for an on-site marketing team to share photos, videos and updates to social media because they have real-time access to what’s going on at the company.
- Keep relationships in house. A marketer’s job is often to build relationships – with influencers, the media, clients, prospects, etc. It can be extremely beneficial for your marketing team to develop and own these relationships.
Cons of an In-House Marketing Team
- Expensive. Hiring full-time employees can be expensive. And, not just the salary, but also the overhead costs that go along with it. For instance, you also need to invest in training to keep your marketing team up to speed on current trends. Not to mention, that it’s rare you can find all of the marketing skills you need in just one person.
- Skills gaps. Depending on your budget, you might not be able to hire people to fill all the marketing skills you need. It can be difficult to find a few key people who can fill all of your designated roles – writing, editing, design, social media, SEO, advertising, etc. That may mean you’re still hiring contractors, freelancers or agencies to fill the roles your team can’t handle.
- Tunnel vision. In-house marketing teams, by their nature, are very focused on your business and industry. Although that can be a great thing, it might also mean they are not exposed to other ideas outside of your company or industry. Additionally, they can often find themselves behind on marketing trends. Both of these issues could make your marketing stiff or stale.
Pros of a Marketing Agency
- Breadth and depth of knowledge. Perhaps the biggest reason to hire an agency is their wealth of knowledge and expertise. Because they have an entire company stacked with marketing talent, you can be sure they have the resources on-staff to fill the bulk of your marketing needs.
- Cost-effective. Hiring a marketing agency can often give you greater bang for your buck. For the same price of even one or two full-time salaries, you can get access to a greater pool of talent through an agency.
- Access to technology and resources. Oftentimes, marketing agencies have access to tremendous marketing tools and other resources that companies can’t afford on their own or might not have known about. Agencies can give you access to technology, data and resources that you might not be able to get otherwise.
- Efficient. Because agencies do the same kinds of work for multiple clients, they have proven processes that make their efforts more efficient. They can often get the work done faster than an in-house team who might be figuring something out for the first time.
- Creative ideas and fresh perspective. Another key benefit to agencies is that they bring an outside perspective to your business. Oftentimes, marketing agencies can quickly identify trouble spots or opportunities that an in-house team might miss because they are too close to the business. The regular focus on bringing new and fresh ideas to the table can be a huge benefit to working with a marketing agency.
Cons of a Marketing Agency
- Less access and attention. Because a marketing agency is not on-site, you won’t have the same access to their team as you would employees. And because marketing agencies serve dozens or even hundreds of other clients, you get less time and attention from them as well.
- Slow learning curve. It can take some time for an agency to learn and understand your business – especially if they don’t have experience in your industry or niche. This means your team must spend time helping them get up to speed.
- Requires management. Even though you are outsourcing the bulk of your marketing, someone on your team still needs to be responsible for working with the agency and managing their efforts.
In the end, the choice depends on your business. There are many businesses that go with a hybrid approach, having both teams working for them. This way, the strengths of both teams are utilised to their full potential!