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In-House Marketing vs Agency Marketing

If you own a business, digital marketing is one of the best strategies to help your business grow, reach more leads, and increase revenue. Whether you’re looking to use search engine optimization (SEO), PPC campaigns, or social media marketing, online marketing can help your company.

A question many businesses have about digital marketing, however, is whether they should keep their marketing in-house or partner with an online marketing agency. It’s an excellent question, and this article aims to answer all your questions about in-house vs. agency marketing.

#1 – Cost

Cost is a major factor when hiring an in-house marketing team or outsourcing it. The pro for a small business is that they can manage and closely monitor their own marketing content and brand. However, as that small business grows, it will need to hire more employees or think about outsourcing. When considering an in-house team, a business needs to think about employee turnover, factor in the costs of replacing that employee, the additional training and the effect it has on other staff members, all which can cost thousands of dollars. Not to mention social benefits such as paid vacation days and sick leaves. When everything is outsourced, that cost goes away and you just pay your retainer or monthly fee.

#2 – Mastered Skillset

It is possible to find well-rounded marketing employees when developing an in-house marketing team, but it does indeed take a team to have mastered skillsets. Not all start-up businesses have a marketing budget or enough revenue to hire a full-service team so it makes sense to outsource certain pieces, or all of their marketing to an agency. An in-house marketing team in a large-scale business may have the resources for a mastered team but it must be determined if the ROI outweighs the costs.

#3 – Maintaining A Competitive Edge

Marketing is ever evolving and it is important to keep abreast of the trends and technology that keep you ahead of your competition. It is possible to do this with in-house marketing if the company invests in marketing education, new technology and resources. However, most of the time, unless you have a large enough marketing team, this investment outweighs the Return on Investment (ROI) and it is more cost-effective to outsource the marketing to an agency.

#4 – Growing or Scaling Your Business

When you have an in-house marketing team, if you want to grow or scale your business you will need to either hire or let go of employees. The hiring of new employees is a rather lengthy process, between interviewing and training. For example, say your competitor decides to launch a new product or a new feature to enhance their existing product. How quickly would you need to ramp up your marketing efforts? Rather quickly. With an in-house marketing team, it may not be quick enough to get you to where you need to be in time to beat your competition. However, an agency already has the staff in place to take on new work or scale it without you losing an employee. In-house marketing may make more sense when your business is in a place to maintain a dedicated marketing team. There are many pros and cons to in-house marketing vs. agency.

#5 – Communication and Networking

Communication and networking are extremely important in marketing, whether you have an in-house marketing team or if your company confers with an agency. An in-house marketing team, depending on the size, may have some limitations brainstorming with other peers in their field. However, when a business has partnered with an agency, that business would have both employees who are knowledgeable about business operations and an outsourced marketing team that has the ability to brainstorm marketing ideas. Communication with an agency is essential to understanding the company mission, branding and goals.


There are several situations to consider when planning an in-house team or choosing an agency. Both can work well depending on your business’s challenges and goals. Some businesses choose both so that they have control over content, branding and other marketing deliverables while others choose to outsource everything and keep a very open communication flow with an agency. Strategic Marketing is a full-service agency that will help you with your marketing planning or what will work best for your budget and your overall company mission. Let us help you decide - Contact us.

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