Should I Hire a Marketing Agency or Hire an In-House Team?
Do you want to increase sales? Would you like to attract new audiences? Do want your business to stay relevant?
The hard question is: Who should help you create the strategy and execute the digital marketing efforts necessary to win more business? You are probably asking yourself: Should I hire a marketing agency or hire someone/a team in-house?
Outsourcing your digital marketing has a slew of advantages, like having a diverse pool of expertise you can pull from at any time. But hiring someone in-house can be the better option if you have the resources, the time, and the volume of work to justify the commitment.
We’ve been helping clients boost their marketing efforts for 17 years now, and have learned a few things about what approaches benefit our clients. We know that agencies aren’t always the solution–and we’re glad to tell you so. We’re here to help you solve this common marketing dilemma so you can decide for yourself which approach is best.
Here are the top six ways choosing to hire an agency can benefit your company.
1. Hiring an agency can actually save you time and money.
Most of the client teams we work with are overloaded, so we’re guessing yours is, too. And the costs add up when you consider paying for recruiting, salary, benefits, pay increases, and ongoing training. Adding highly skilled employees to your team can negatively affect your bottom line.
Agencies obviously come with a price tag, too. But it’s not the same level of commitment. And if your budget evaporates, you don’t have to go through the hardship of firing an employee. When adding an agency to your team, you can pool the experience and skills of many individuals, while keeping costs relatively low. Agencies also use project managers to ensure your project comes in on-time and under-budget.
2. You gain a diverse pool of expertise that you can rely on at any time.
For the same price as one employee, you could gain 20+ experts, along with their collective knowledge, experiences, and problem-solving abilities. That makes adding digital advertisers, designers, developers, content writers, and more to your own team seem unrealistic, especially for a smaller company.
When you hire an agency, you get more than just a website, you score a whole team. Our USDP team is full of smart problem-solvers who are constantly collaborating on new ways to keep you ahead of the curve. And because we offer a broad range of services, you can alleviate the headaches of coordinating several companies with different skill sets.
3. You generate more insights with an outside perspective.
In-house employees often become isolated from the fast-paced marketing industry. What’s a common complaint made by former agency employees that moved in-house? They feel they lost skills, or aren’t staying as relevant. Your in-house people may sit with you, but can they bring the insights you need year after year?
In our experience, many new insights are generated by people outside the organization who can analyze it from a different perspective. Internal employees often find it hard to create content without sounding like an insider, and they often don’t have access to what other successful companies do to win at digital marketing. That’s where an agency can be extremely useful. They should bring you best practices, the latest tools and tricks, and a new point of view.
4. You can count on swift response times.
What if your site goes down at 2 a.m.? What if you need a new set of ads up by Friday, and it’s already Monday? No matter how dedicated your team members are, it’s difficult to expect them to drop their daily demands and respond as fast as you’d like.
An agency should respond quickly to help with your hosting or digital marketing needs. For example, our USDP hosting team has someone on-call around the clock, so you are never stuck waiting until Monday morning for a fix. For this reason, opting to hire a marketing agency may be more reliable than hiring in-house.
5. You don’t have to overwork your own team.
Unless you have a lot of time to write content, create ads, manage your social media, and check to see how your marketing is performing, you won’t get much value out of it. If your expertise isn’t in digital marketing, you probably need help. Asking an already maxed out team to do more isn’t going to yield great value either.
Our team strives to become an extension of your team. When we know your goals, we treat them like our goals, and we make sure you’re getting real value (with data to support it).
6. You’ll get a strategy. Because every digital marketing effort needs a strategy to be effective.
Many companies generate Facebook ads, create blog posts, or create social media channels because they think they should–with no real thought as to what to do, or how to use them to generate leads or convert visitors into paying customers. You should avoid random and aim for ROI. That’s why you need a strategy. (Check out the blog post).
An agency can create a strategy to help you understand your audience, identify goals (and stick to them), and decide where to target your digital marketing to make the most of your budget. An agency should also provide you with reporting on the effectiveness of campaigns, click-throughs, or leads.
What should I consider when recruiting to hire in-house?
In addition to the items above, here are a few more things you should ask yourself before you start recruiting to hire in-house (rather than hiring a marketing agency):
- How soon do you need them? The hiring process can take months, and in our experience, finding the right talent (with the right fit for your culture) can be a challenge.
- Do you have enough work to justify hiring an employee? Are you looking at a few projects throughout the year or someone to take over running all marketing, social media, communications, and more?
- Who will the new hire report to? What is the learning curve in your organization? How quickly can they get up to speed and start delivering?
- How will you help the new person maintain their marketing edge? Digital marketing changes so rapidly that it’s unrealistic for one person to think they could do it alone. Will you pay for classes? Seminars?
There are dozens of reasons that hiring an agency can be the right decision for your company, but we understand that hiring in-house can be the right move, too.
The best way to find out is to take a Free Digital Assessment. This will help us learn more about your digital marketing needs and tell you–honestly–if hiring our team is the right fit.