In-house Marketing vs Working With An Agency

We're here to help you understand the differences between in-house marketing teams and agency marketing teams. If you are a business looking to branch out with your advertising and you're wondering if you should set up an in-house team... read on to find out more!

Main differences

At the top of the list is the over-arching fact that (for good or for bad) an in-house team will know your business extremely well, and in great detail. They will know the company dynamics, the office politics, and they can attend meetings in person, rather than across video conference. This can be a great asset, because depending on your company's structure, you can get them incredibly involved in the marketing results and as you are directly paying their wages they will feel loyal to your business and may want to work in a more dedicated way as they feel valuable. One of the downsides is that when you have a dedicated in-house team, ideas can become stale and they may not always be familiar with the up-to-date industry standards, which means you will need to pay for training days and up-skill sessions regularly.

This doesn't mean that agency staff are any less dedicated, they still need to deliver a high quality level of work because it affects their standing at the agency. It just means that they do not have the integrated working conditions of an in-house team, and therefore they will not always see the outcome of the campaign they've worked on. A benefit of out-sourcing to an agency is that if you are having issues with office politics you can trust an agency to delivery your work-stream impartially. Another benefit of agency marketing teams is that they have a larger pool of skilled workers who can come up with different strategies and designs to help with your campaign. A downside for outsourcing is that – depending on your contract agreement – you may find that there's a delay to your campaign if they are understaffed.


The benefits breakdown of an in-house team

If you are considering employing an in-house marketing team here are the main plus points:

- Adaptability; having a team of people who are readily available to experiment with and adapt to new circumstances is very helpful. This could be changes in budget, a new product that needs to be rushed out, something that has happened in the industry that needs to be immediately addressed – anything you can think of that requires the marketing team to be on their toes, in-house are undoubtedly quicker to work with.

- Reliability; if you employ a specific team leader for the marketing team you can ensure that there is consistent quality, and accountability for their workload. Even better, if that TL is someone that is skilled in marketing, they will be able to liaise with the management and employees effectively. In An agency the management may not have any personal marketing experience, and so sometimes instructions or queries can be 'lost in translation' between the business and the agency worker.

- Flexibility; if you have the scope to grow and shrink your in-house team due to seasonal demand this can be very useful. For example, you could have a core team of 2 members, and then have 5 additional members of staff who are also trained in customer service, warehouse or IT roles, who can be used elsewhere in the business when marketing campaigns are ramped down.


The benefits breakdown of outsourcing to an agency

- Talent pool; there is no contest when it comes to this area. An agency will always have a bigger reach to a more diverse pool of talent. This is because by their nature they employ and have contact with a lot of skilled workers. If you need a specific task for one special campaign, they'll know someone who can help. If you need a fresh look at your Facebook Creatives <<link to the FB creatives blog>>, they'll be able to give you someone who is an expert in that field.

- Faster Access To Market; this is one of the deciding factors for kick-starters and entrepreneurs who have a new company. An agency can usually get your campaign out there and seen by potential customers a lot quicker than an in-house team (when starting up). This is because they have the external resources and available skilled staff to take your requirements and action them, whereas employing your in-house team requires HR, hiring process, contracts for each staff member, training, and a trial period which all delays the process of getting your brand seen.

- Marketing Industry Knowledge/Insight; choosing to use an agency gives you the advantage of their employees and management having the most up-to-date knowledge of the industry standards and also platforms. From Facebook Ads to Google Ads and everything in-between your agency should be able to advise you on what works best, and also be able to effectively use their knowledge to create an impactful campaign. They live and breathe marketing, so they can ensure that you haven't missed out on an integral area!


So what's the outcome?

Each option has its pros and cons. Looking at your business model you should ask yourself if you have the time and resources to employ a permanent team of in-house staff. In an industry as fast-paced as online business. Do you have the scope to include frequent training to your staff, or would you prefer to build a relationship with a respected agency who can deliver your project on time and on budget?


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