Today’s companies have a lot of choices in building an effective digital marketing team. You can create an internal dream team, hire it out to a marketing agency, or use a combination of internal and external resources. But which option is suitable for your company?
Are you better served with an internal team or finding the right mix of external talent?
Why Hire a Digital Marketing Agency?
Outsourcing has many advantages.
When considering in-house marketing vs. outsourcing, you get a diverse team of professionals skilled in social media, copywriting, SEO, public relations, advertising, design, and web development when you hire a digital marketing agency.
These specialized skills can take a long time to learn at the expert level. It takes repetition, keen analysis, creativity, and extensive marketing knowledge across platforms to reach the right audiences and propel business success. With this necessary expertise, it is only sometimes feasible for a business to manage its social media and other digital marketing efforts.
Some companies may have an essential skill set for social media marketing, developing content, and various marketing needs. This may work okay for a little while. But it prevents them from accomplishing intricate marketing campaigns or tasks that have the power to drive results.
A digital marketing agency has team members and partnerships that work across multiple tactics and understand audience engagement’s complexities. They know how to stay on top of campaign optimization and evolve strategy when surprises inevitably arise.
Fresh perspectives go a long way. It is easy to get tunnel vision when you’re immersed in your own business all the time. Partnering with an agency opens your company to new, creative ideas developed via different angles, insights, and skill sets.
Technology evolves quickly too. Digital marketing agencies work on the bleeding edge of that evolution to increase efficiency and stay on top of the latest and greatest tech tools to accomplish goals.
Why Should You Keep Digital Marketing In-House?
Some companies prefer to have everyone in-house. Here’s why:
Sitting at conference tables in meetings and stopping by our colleagues’ desks to check in, ask questions, and solve problems has long been a traditional way of working together. We have been used to being close to each other. But with a vast acceleration in remote work, the need for closeness at the position in some companies has become limited.
The idea of what a workplace is has evolved and expanded. While together working best for some, technology has enabled team members to communicate in various very convenient ways, allowing work to continue with quality and speed without being close to each other.
When using an in-house marketing team, you have increased accountability within your business operations. Some business owners prefer to have this increased level of control over their marketing campaigns. You know who is responsible for what — from social media to search engine optimization. However, this takes additional time and effort and can take you away from other essential tasks, which might be too much to have on your plate.
The day-to-day accessibility to communicate with in-house teams does have its benefits. That ability to have frequent conversations and analyze marketing options and unexpected opportunities is convenient. For example, suppose a news event or viral video (It’s corn!) explodes in the middle of the day that is relevant to your business; you can discuss ideas on the fly to determine content possibilities on your social media sites during its trending.
That being said, even though digital marketing agencies don’t have a desk around the corner from yours or are not on the same screens all the time, quality firms will have transparency in communications and best practices regarding reasonable response times for clients.
Input and Connection
Immediate access to data provides for quick decision-making when you need it. If you have closed-loop reporting, you can immediately see how the latest Facebook ad performed, and you can get reporting on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis. An in-house marketing team is convenient when you need to give the go-ahead on a new ad right away and do not want to wait on an agency responsible for the data.
Why Hire a Digital Marketing Agency?
Relying entirely upon in-house only works for some organizations. Many choose to work with an agency because it gives them more options when it comes to:
There is no substitute for incredible talent, one of the top factors when comparing in-house marketing vs. outsourcing. Expert-level marketing knowledge is difficult to achieve, and each role in a digital marketing agency is highly specialized. Design, SEO, copywriting, web development, social media marketing, content marketing, and more all require expertise to get results.
It is difficult and expensive to internally hire a person or team with the necessary knowledge in all the specialty areas to develop, execute, and manage a successful digital marketing department. From recruitment, onboarding, salary, benefits, ongoing training, and more, the time, effort, and money it takes to bring that expertise in-house is substantial.
Fluid Marketing Needs
Marketing needs are sometimes different and often require complex solutions. This holds for small businesses to large corporations, regardless of industry. With the experience and role specialization of working with an agency, you get improved marketing results — and each dollar stretches further. Any good business manager understands the importance of getting the most bang for a buck.
In addition, highly technical questions, such as those concerning data analytics and reporting, can (and do) arise and may be difficult for an in-house marketer to answer, while it would be easy for an agency to tackle. With highly complex content management systems, even more, comprehensive reporting, and highly skilled and specialized professionals, an agency can expertly deal with the fluidity of your marketing needs.
Creativity and Experience
Each industry has its unique characteristics and potential customer base. Digital marketing must be catered to those for a business to meet its goals across customer engagement, lead generation, revenue generation, and other critical components of long-term company success. This takes creativity, insight, experience, and the right strategies. When you are outsourcing, you will have a depth of resources in a variety of creative minds. Individuals complement each other to fill out a whole and robust team with far-reaching skills.
Successful agencies have the ability and background to work across industries to target individual business needs. And more than likely, they will have worked with other businesses in the same industry as yours. They will have a comprehensive understanding of best practices across the industry and be able to construct strategic marketing plans around brand guidelines. This should be implemented cohesively across social media platforms and other digital marketing efforts.
Someone Else Pays for Professional Development
Keeping up with the ongoing professional development of an in-house marketing team is an expenditure that is expensive and unnecessary. The field of digital marketing is constantly evolving. When you hire a digital marketing agency, someone else pays for all that while delivering what you need when you need it.
Agencies must keep on the cusp of any new content management technology, changes in functionality in social media platforms, upgraded digital tools that increase efficiency, new design software that can produce beautiful imagery and videos that customers go ga-ga over, and any others coming over the horizon. That’s a big part of the digital marketing package you don’t have to pay the bill for if you outsource.
So Which Marketing Solution Is Right for Your Business?
Deciding on the right marketing solution for your business is easier when you understand what can be expected from each one. The in-house marketing vs. outsourcing question can seem complex, but it can be broken down into simple, apparent factors.
If you are leaning toward in-house marketing, consider the following:
Lead generation — if your sales team already has a plethora of leads consistently coming in that is growing your business the way you want, fantastic.
Talent Diversity— if you have the various talent you need (or are willing to hire in-house) to excel with a robust, dynamic, and comprehensive digital marketing program, you’re ready to shine.
Reporting— if you are already getting the lifecycle of data from the point of contact to conversion to brand advocacy, you can make solid decisions on your marketing every day of the week.
Agility— if you have a future-forward group that stays on top of the latest developments and changes in digital marketing, you have the rocket fuel you need to keep in front of the competition.
If you are leaning toward outsourcing, consider the following:
Results— when your current efforts are not eliciting the effects you need, working with an expert digital marketing agency is the way forward. Even when you and your team are doing the best you can, it is difficult for internal teams to stay on top of campaign optimization and performance.
Workloads — when the next campaign sits like a large boulder on your shoulders, it’s time to get some help. Overworked employees do not lead to effective marketing campaigns. Maybe you have one person wearing too many hats, or perhaps there is just too much work to be done for your small team. They may be trying hard to keep up but end up falling short. If you don’t know, ask.
Reporting— when something is so important, you sometimes have to emphasize it twice. Closed-loop reporting is a standard for quality digital marketing agencies. This is how they know why a successful campaign works — and they have the numbers to prove it. This data provides precious information for decision-making. Without that, you might as well have a blindfold on.
Innovation — when you are stuck in the era of traditional marketing or aren’t savvy about the latest social media platforms and next-gen technologies (branding and advertising in the metaverse are on their way, you can count on it), stop bogging yourself down and keeping cumbersome obstacles in your way. Digital marketing agencies have the mandate to innovate. Period.
Ultimately, outsourcing frees you and your team up to do what you do best. You can focus on delivering excellent products or services and creating incredible customer experiences; the pros can handle the rest.
We are an agency that knows what we’re doing. We have helped companies across industries and disciplines solve their marketing problems.