In House Marketing vs Agency


Business leaders struggle with deciding between in-house marketing versus an agency. The desire for expertise, speed, efficiency, and results don’t always match up with budgets and the bottom line.

Posted: Aug 14, 2023
Last Updated: Jun 10, 2024

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Business leaders struggle with deciding between in-house marketing versus an agency. The desire for expertise, speed, efficiency, and results don’t always match up with budgets and the bottom line. It’s a familiar dilemma for new entrepreneurs and marketing leaders alike.

Three considerations for deciding on in-house marketing versus an agency.

To make a wise decision, start by understanding your goals, the tasks to complete, and the actual people available to execute those jobs.

#1: Understand the goal

When people contact us to discuss their marketing needs, we first seek to understand their business goals. Only by keeping the end in mind can you arrive at your desired destination. Reasons for investing in marketing take many forms, but they all revolve around generating more revenue for the business.

Here are the most common reasons we hear from small businesses about why they want to invest in marketing.

  • “We want more qualified leads.”
  • “Our competition has been taking a share of our customers. We want to improve our customer loyalty.”
  • “We are launching a new product that we want to promote.”
  • “Business is good right now, but we want to prepare for the coming recession.”
  • Any of these sound familiar?

After you take stock of your goals and assess the cost to accomplish those goals, it’s time to get specific with the tasks it will take to complete this initiative.

#2: Consider the tasks to complete

How do you tackle an ambitious goal to improve your marketing machine? One step at a time. Take time to break down your goal into tasks that need to be completed and jobs that need to be done. For example, some of the high-level functions needed to redesign a website include:

  • Strategy: Thoughtfully identifying the audience, the purpose of the website, how to drive traffic to the website, and what key calls to action will be.
  • Messaging and content: Words matter more than you think. People buy because of words they read, so content needs to be done succinctly and well.
  • Design: Creating an aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly layout and design crafted to help the audience find value and take action.
  • Development: Building the website for speed, function, and security.
  • Search Engine Optimization: Using the right keywords and phrases in the website to help people find it.
  • Maintenance: Updates to your website, new images, and material to be added over time.
  • That’s a lot of jobs to be fulfilled!

#3: People who will execute the jobs

You need people with available time, resources, and capability to get the job done right. Now that you have your task list, it’s time to assign actual people for each task. In our experience, you rarely find a single person who can tackle all-things-marketing. You need to leverage the power of a team, with members strategically positioned to bring their best to the table. Consider these questions as you fill in your marketing team:

  • As you look at the jobs to complete, who on your current team can take responsibility for each task?
  • Perhaps you have capable people to execute. Do they have the time?
  • You may realize you need to hire another employee to make it happen. Do you have the time to go through the hiring process?
  • If you choose to partner with an agency, does their expertise fit your specific needs? Can they take on tasks you don’t have the time or capabilities to execute?
  • How much will it cost to hire a person to take over marketing tasks vs. hiring an agency?
  • How important is it that you stay on the leading edge of digital marketing?
  • How quickly do you need to move? Can the person responsible move as quickly as you want?
  • Another important question to ask yourself: What could you achieve with an agency that you could not achieve with in-house marketing?

In our experience, it’s tough for small to mid-sized businesses to accomplish all their goals with in-house marketing. Those responsible for marketing wear many hats and are often limited by time. When it comes to digital marketing, there’s constantly something new to know or keep up with. Like you, we don’t have the luxury of bankrolling big mistakes. We need real results. That’s why we’re passionate about guiding small companies to better messaging, design, advertising, and marketing strategies that get results. We’re a small business, and we understand the unique challenges that come with that. We have conquered similar operational challenges and developed proven marketing methods. We’re continually finding new ways to attract talent, productize services, reach niche audiences, and tell great stories. If you want to talk more about the pros and cons of in-house marketing vs. agency, let’s talk. Schedule 15 minutes today.

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David Brecount

CEO & Co-Founder

If you want different results, let’s do something different, together.

Reach out today