Merchant Capital

In-house marketing vs Agency: The Pros and Cons

As your business grows, so will your dependence on effective marketing. Your target audience can’t use your products or services if they don’t know about them, that’s why marketing is a crucial function for any business. However, many business owners get stuck when deciding whether to hire in-house marketing professionals or hiring a marketing agency. So, let’s look at 3 considerations to help you make your decision.

1. What marketing skills does your business need?

Consider what your marketing requirements are so that you make the right decision for your business. For example, do you have enough work to keep full-time staff busy or does your business need marketing on a project-by-project basis?

In-house:

You’ll rarely find one person who is proficient in all aspects of marketing, but even if that does happen, the workload might be too much for one person to handle. That’s why you need to be realistic about the marketing skills you require, and whether you have the budget and workload to hire enough people to execute your marketing objectives. The hiring process is a long one. It takes time to interview multiple rounds of candidates and then there’s induction and basic training that follows. However, at the end of this lengthy process, you should have marketing professionals who you’re paying to live and breathe your brand and your brand only.

Agency:

With an agency, you have a more diverse skillset to choose from. However, this doesn’t necessarily guarantee that those skills are more developed, it just means that you have more skilled individuals to help your business with your marketing needs. Choosing an agency with a good track record is key, but even if you find that ideal agency, you’ll still need to teach them about your brand and your business objectives. Also, keep in mind that agencies have other clients that they service, so your business may not always be the top priority.

2. How adaptable does your marketing need to be?

With marketing and consumer trends constantly changing and evolving, you need to decide how adaptable and proactive you need your marketing to be.

In-house:

In-house staff are readily available if you need quick communication. They’re also able to drop whatever they’re doing to attend to time-sensitive or high-priority tasks. However, an internal team runs the risk of experiencing capacity issues if they’re given too many urgent tasks at one time.

Agency:

As mentioned, agencies have other clients that they service so getting results is of paramount importance to them. However, agencies can’t always get back to you as quickly as you may need them to, and this could slow down the delivery of time-sensitive tasks.

3. How important is work culture to your business?

To make sure that you hire the right fit, you need to be honest about the state of your company culture. Is each person looking out only for themselves or is there a sense of common purpose? Is the leadership of your company inspiring or is the focus solely on getting things done? Is your staff turnover incredibly high or do people stay because they feel like they’re a part of a work family?

In-house:

If your company has a strong sense of culture, then hiring an in-house marketing team may be the better option because you can find individuals with values and passions that align with your business. You’re able to nurture your team to become brand ambassadors who are devoted to making your business a success, just like you are.

Agency:

If your business doesn’t focus as intensely on company culture, then a marketing agency may be the better fit. The agency’s staff aren’t yours, so they don’t have to be as committed to your company’s values and passions. They don’t have to be brand ambassadors; they just need to ensure that their deliverables are met on time.

The bottom line

Your business needs marketing to reach those who will make use of your products or services. So, deciding on what your company’s marketing should look like, isn’t a decision you take lightly. Take a look at what your expectations and the costs involved are, and the right decision should become clearer.

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