Should You Hire a Digital Marketing Agency or Build an In-House Marketing Team?

Pooja Agnihotri
5 min readJan 20, 2022

This blog is for all those who are still confused between hiring an outside digital marketing agency and building an in-house marketing team.

They both have their pros and cons. So, I am going to share 14 comparison points to help you make your decision.

1. Focus and Direction

When you hire a digital marketing agency to take care of your marketing needs, it helps you focus on the areas of your business that you enjoy doing the most.

Let’s take an example. Suppose I run a nutrition store and I know a lot about nutrition and its effects on our health. If I have extra time, I can guide my customers on how to buy the right supplements and right meal plans instead of wasting my energy on learning how to do marketing.

So, a digital marketing company will help in bringing out the best for your business, thus helping you to grow your business.

2. Quality Marketing and Advertising

Digital marketing is not a one-man job. It is huge teamwork consisting of many departments with each having their own expertise. There are marketing managers, content writers, web developers, social media specialists, SEO experts, graphic designers, and data analysts.

When you work with a marketing agency, you hire a team of all those experts. On the other hand, when you try to build a team in-house, you have to hire all those people. If you don’t have the budget for that at the moment, it's best to go for a digital marketing agency.

3. Creativity

Creativity is that secret weapon that can help you attract the right customers on less budget. It improves your advertising ROI as it appeals to your audience’s core sentiments, building instant connection and trust.

4. ROI

Hiring a digital marketing agency is actually cost-efficient.

Do you know why? Because the return on investment is unbelievably amazing.

You invest in a digital marketing agency and its services one time, but the returns you get because of their efforts is long-lasting.

Not only this, if you add up expenses like salary, taxes, healthcare, 401k, etc.. for all the employees that you need for building an in-house marketing team, you will be able to see clearly that hiring a marketing agency is way cheaper than building an in-house marketing team.

Many small businesses get just one person to handle the entire marketing project but as I just pointed out, marketing isn’t a one-person job.

And not just salary, you also save yourself from other operational costs as you don’t need to get an additional workspace, systems, laptops, etc. for your team.

5. An Outsider’s Perspective

Many business owners fail to see the weaknesses in their own businesses. But when you decide to work with a digital marketing agency, you get an outsider’s view that is not biased or influenced.

A digital marketing agency will show you a mirror where you can see your strengths as well as weaknesses. Then you can easily turn those weaknesses into strengths.

6. Easy Scalability

Let us say that you have an in-house marketing team and suddenly your business starts to grow. Now, it’s time for you to start the expansion process on very short notice. You’ll be hiring people, assessing their competence and talents, and more.

What does this cause? Lots of cumbersome processes and time consumption But with a digital marketing agency, you can have the liberty of easy scalability because they already have the manpower for such work.

7. Talent Recruitment

If you decide to build an in-house marketing team, then you will have to start recruiting talent. But recruitment is a long, and time-consuming process.

Also, a digital marketing agency generally has a pool of talented employees. As they have extensive knowledge of the field they are operating in, they generally hire employees with more advanced knowledge of digital marketing.

8. Employee Turnover

Let’s assume that your marketing head decides to leave the company. In such a case, your marketing team will find themselves directionless.

Not only this, if any of your team members decides to quit, your work will come to a significant halt for some time.

However, this is never the case with a digital marketing agency. This means that even if someone in the agency resigns, your work will not stop as they have other equally talented professionals who can step in emergencies like these.

9. Training, Insurance, and Other Costs

You might think that an in-house team will be less expensive than hiring a digital marketing agency. However, an in-house marketing team needs a training budget.

Additionally, you will also need to give them benefits, insurance, support seminars, field trips, and more. This will cost you a lot. However, you don’t have to worry about any of this when you hire a digital marketing agency.

10. Employee Time off

At the end of the day, employees are humans. They take breaks, go on vacation and take time off to recharge and replenish themselves.

So, what happens to an in-house marketing agency when employees take time off? Who will do their jobs?

Your brand will have to put its marketing plans on hold if a majority of your team members decided to take leaves at the same time.

However, in a digital marketing agency, even if someone takes time off, there is always some kind of replacement available for you.

11. Software and Tools

Building an in-house team also implies that you will be required to purchase various marketing tools, plugins, software, and more.

On the other hand, digital agencies already have all kinds of tools, software licenses, and more. Moreover, they have even those marketing tools that you have not heard of.

12. Diverse Skills

A digital marketing agency specializes in various skills. They have expertise in graphic designing, content creation, SEO, online PR and reputation, data research and analysis, copywriting, social media advertising, and more.

13. Brand Familiarity

Your in-house works closely with your brand as they have been a part of your brand longer than a marketing agency.

Therefore they will have a detailed idea of what exactly is not working for your brand.

14. Control

With a digital marketing agency, you need to relinquish control and let them work their way.

You have to trust the process of marketing and even if you want, it is practically impossible to have full control over the operations of an external digital marketing agency.

Therefore if you are someone who likes to have complete control over all aspects of your brand including marketing, then an in-house marketing team will be a better option.

However, the world these days don’t function this way, even your in-house marketing team will want you to relinquish some control and give them some floor to explore.

So, being flexible will get you far, and being too in control might restrict your progress.

Key Lessons

Choosing the right digital marketing agency is incredibly important to make your brand stand out. Whoever you decide to have for your marketing, make sure that they never lose the vision of your brand.

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Pooja Agnihotri

Experienced marketer and a published book author, Pooja Agnihotri, is on a mission to save businesses from themselves.