Decision: In-House vs. Agency

When tackling digital marketing, there are many things to consider. One of the biggest questions usually revolves around staffing. Should we hire employees in-house to do it, or work with an agency?

On the surface this is a simple question, but there are many factors and implications to consider when making this decision.

Here are 5 reasons and 2 cents why going the agency route could be beneficial to you.

1. Expertise

It’s one thing to know the ins and outs of your company, but it’s another to know the latest in digital marketing. Every day Google is changing, websites are evolving, and tools are being added and adapted. It’s a full time job, and luckily agencies are already focused on staying ahead of the curve. With teams of task experts, you get insights from deeper resource pools and transferable industry experience.

2. Finances

Employees with a specific digital marketing skillset are hard to come by. Either you have to pay for this background, or pay someone to learn it. Neither is ideal for hitting your marketing goals without breaking the bank. With an agency your initiation costs are much less, your management fees are more scalable than salaries, and you can cut or expand your spend flexibly as you go.

3. Time

Hiring and training new employees can be a daunting task. Luckily agencies have already done the hard work for you. Their team is already trained so all you have to do is get them up to speed on your business. This creates a much quicker start time. Then you can get your marketing plans rolling, grow faster, and still have time to focus on your own tasks. Delegation at its finest.

4. Strategy

When working internally it’s easy to get tunnel vision for your product or service. Sometimes it can be refreshing to get new eyes on your business. Utilizing an informed and unbiased outside perspective, agencies can be an excellent resource for strategic thinking. Even beyond their specific field, passing ideas between smart professionals is a good practice for any company.

5. ROI

The ultimate variable: How much do you put in and how much do you get out? This is the core of agency performance and they recognize this as the company’s end goal. At the end of the day it’s all in the numbers, and agencies will show time and time again that efficiency rules the game. Through a mixture of reporting and goal setting, an agency can be expected to prove its performance.

Two Cents

As a digital marketer who has worked both in-house and agency roles, I feel I have some personal input in this matter.

While working in-house I saw some of the benefits of having an internal team; we were tied into other departments, we saw the full scope of the company, and we understood the complexities of the industry. However, this role had its limitations. As an employee dedicated to a narrow job, I burnt out and lost track of expansion. I grew too comfortable with the status quo and the internal business, and no longer felt connected to the outward marketing world.

Since switching to an agency role I have seen the advantages first-hand. I now live and breathe marketing and apply it to each individual client. In this grey space I can take learnings from one client and apply it to another. I maintain excitement when tackling client strategy, and you’d be surprised how far excitement will help your marketing reach. Agencies do a great job of keeping their employees fresh and active so they can push for companies in the best possible ways.

Consider your options, your pros and cons, but know that you don’t have to do it all on your own. Outsourcing can be your friend. In this constantly changing digital environment you can rely on other experts to pull you through the waters. Agencies are a great option to get you there.

Benji Hill About the author

Benji Hill (@HillBenji) is a Client Manager at Point It. With a background ranging from Startups to Fortune 500s, Benji has helped numerous companies expand their digital strategy. Benji spends most of his time playing sax in a funk rock jam band called Caveman Ego, and dominating the office (especially Evan Barocas) in ping pong.

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