In-house marketing staff has its benefits. But so does hiring an agency. Here’s how to know which is right for your growing business.
As businesses grow, they face a major decision about whether to hire in-house marketing staff or work with an agency partner. Each has its pros and cons. And then of course there’s the cost.
So what’s the right move for your business? Here’s a deep dive into when each scenario makes the most sense.
First, let’s set the scene with an understanding of what a marketing agency is and then how an in-house marketing team functions.
A marketing agency is an external group of people with varying skills. Marketing agencies can be full-service, offering everything from postcard printing to Google Ad management. Or they might specialize in one aspect of marketing, such as local SEO.
Generally, growing businesses need a full-service option, which also offers the opportunity to expand marketing as the business shifts and adapts. Often, full-service marketing agencies are comprised of a variety of experts. This includes website developers, SEO gurus, copywriters, designers, social media experts, strategists and more.
Review the marketing agency’s areas of expertise and consider potential long-term needs. While you might see advertising as something you add later once you’ve established a strong online presence and strategy, don’t count out those services yet.
In-house marketing means hiring full-time or part-time employees to draft, execute and monitor marketing efforts. The challenge growing businesses face is hiring staff members with diverse expertise to handle everything.
And marketing generalists tend to know a little about a lot of things without being experts. Often, in-house marketing staff takes time to acquire. You might start by hiring one generalist who you can see leading your marketing team, and then as profits grow, you slowly add expertise to expand the team.
What that means is, you likely won’t have immediate access to all marketing specialties. And if you hire one person to oversee everything, you risk burnout and fast turnover in the position, which can slow down results from your marketing campaigns.
Now that you know more about in-house marketing vs. agency marketing teams, here’s a look at the pros and cons of each.
You’ll experience many great benefits of working with an in-house marketing team. Here’s what you can expect.
While there are many advantages to hiring in-house marketing expertise, it also has its disadvantages.
Working with a marketing agency offers many benefits. Review them now to see if they might be the right fit for you.
Contracting with a marketing agency does have its setbacks. Ensure you’re prepared to work with these challenges before signing on the dotted line.
Ultimately, it also comes down to the expense of each marketing option. Here’s an overview of the cost of working with a marketing agency vs. hiring expertise in-house.
Depending on the type of business you run, you’ll need a minimum of three staff members to start an in-house team. Here’s a look at the national average salary for each of these positions.
You’ll still need part-time employees to handle copywriting, design, development to finalize your marketing efforts. At a minimum, you’re looking at $250k per year before paying for benefits.
The cost for a marketing agency will vary based on what initiatives you’re ready to start and how much groundwork you’ve completed. One of the most expensive one-time projects is developing a customer-centric website with modern functionality and a user experience that generates more conversions. But once you pay that one-time cost, you can begin working on other tactics on an ongoing basis.
Generally, you should expect to pay no less than $5,000 per month. This can help you get started with SEO, social media and perhaps light online ads. Companies with more aggressive goals or who want to start working on all aspects of their digital marketing should plan to pay $10,000-$12,0000 per month.
Even at $12,000 per month ($144,000 per year), you’re well under the $250,000 required to start an in-house team.
Generally, small to midsize companies benefit most from working with a marketing agency. While your final goal might be to move expertise in-house, augmenting your team with agency expertise while you grow the company is beneficial and offers deep knowledge about many marketing tactics.
New Light Digital is a full-service digital marketing agency offering SEO, email marketing, websites, content marketing, social media, video marketing and more. Schedule your free consultation now to learn more.
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It’s great to know that hiring a marketing agency is generally more cost-effective than in-house solutions. My husband co-owns a company that specializes in probate, and he and his partner want to expand their business. I’ll suggest that they save money by hiring a professional marketing service in the next few weeks.