Digital Marketing: Agency vs In-house
A strong digital marketing strategy can make or break the overall success of your business. The main point to consider for businesses today is whether to outsource their digital marketing to a professional agency or to invest into an ‘in-house’ marketing team.
There are many benefits to both approaches, however, it’s important to look at pros and cons of both arguments before choosing how to proceed. A successful digital marketing campaign requires not only the financial investment but also the investment of resources and ability to use time efficiently.
MARKETING IS ABOUT QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY
Imagine having a full-time employee who takes care of all your digital marketing activities which mean you get dedicated 40+ hours a week from someone who fine-tunes, develops and executes all your marketing needs.
Ultimately, this is true. But let’s face it, digital marketing is a broad field that includes PR, social media channel management, SEO, content management, web development, PPC and much more. And now imagine one full-time employee taking care of all these marketing aspects in an optimal way…
What happens when you contract a professional agency is that there is not just one person taking care of all of the above, but a team with different expertise and background competencies who will deliver successful marketing. The more people, the faster solutions are often found. Whether your marketing needs creative input, excellent technical execution or innovative ideas for marketing channels, a teamwork performed by professionals is always better than a work done by one or two persons regardless how marketing savvy they are. Now, you might say “of course, digital agencies charge a fortune so they can afford to have a team on board”. Not necessarily! Yes, some agencies overcharge and they have created a bad reputation for the digital marketing industry. At the end, if you know which direction you want to take for your business and carefully research the marketing agency landscape, you will find teams offering professional services for an affordable price.
STICK TO WHAT YOU’RE GOOD AT
Hiring the perfect candidate to take on the challenge of heading your online marketing activities is not an easy task. It also takes at least three months before the candidate knows your business and is ready to dedicate 100% to the marketing tasks. Ideally, the candidate needs to have the passion for driving the campaign creatively and the experience to analyze the data collated. Perhaps even the writing skills to piece together every aspect of your copy (blog content, SEO, social content, web content) should be on top. So at the end, your employee will not only have to drive your marketing but also handle day-to-day issues and inquiries as well as be creative and opened for innovation and new marketing channels. And, of course, they will have to monitor and analyze the data your campaigns are collecting to justify your investment. Do you get the hint? Last but not least, digital marketing professionals are on Gartner’s Groups top ten lists of most wanted employees in 2017 which means that you may have a hard time retaining top competence at a reasonable salary.
EVALUATE THE RISKS
Ultimately, if you work with a digital marketing agency and things do not go as planned, you can assess the service you are receiving before deciding whether to continue with this strategy further when your terms of an agreement have ended. Besides, some agencies, like TopEngage, do not require long-term contracts. With in-house staff, you have a responsibility as an employer which means that changes cannot be made overnight, and further training, means further investment…
If a digital marketing agency is professional, you will not only get services you pay for, but also strategic input from non-biased professionals who are interested in seeing you succeeding and preferably, not afraid to speak up if they think you are on the wrong track.
There are many elements of digital marketing which, without the experience or training, are hard to comprehend and foresee. Even the daily monitoring of your website visitors and data analysis can be put on hold if you have busy employees who are focused on the execution only. Setting up an in-house marketing team is not a bad idea. But, another solution might be making your team work with an agency, acting almost as the ‘middle-man’. Regardless whether you decide to hire an employee or work with an agency, you need to consider the option which will expand your business, deliver results and provide the best return on investment. Ultimately, this is almost always reflected in the end result of campaigns and ongoing ROI.