Marketing is a critical function in any business. It’s responsible for generating awareness and interest in your product or service and converting that interest into customers and sales. But what’s the best way to get started with marketing? Should you hire a marketing agency or build an in-house marketing team?
The answer is, it depends. There are pros and cons to both approaches. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of each option to help you decide which is best for your business.
What is a marketing agency?
A marketing agency is a company that provides a range of marketing services for its customers. These services can include brand strategy, website design, content marketing, social media marketing, paid advertising, sales funnel strategy and email marketing.
Agencies typically employ a wide range of marketers with different specialties, from graphic designers to copywriters, social media managers and SEO experts. You might also hear the term “full-service agency”, which refers to an agency that offers a wide range of services.
If you choose to hire a marketing agency, you can expect to work closely with a team of marketing experts. Agencies usually assign one person to be your main point of contact, who will coordinate the work of the rest of the team.
In most cases, the agency will work remotely from their offices, often thousands of miles away.
What is an in-house marketing team?
An in-house marketing team consists of the employees in your business who are responsible for marketing. This could include a marketer or even the marketing department head, plus other employees who have a hand in marketing, like salespeople and customer service representatives. In-house marketing teams often have a wide range of responsibilities. For example, members of the team might be involved with website content creation, social media management, email marketing, paid advertising, content strategy, lead generation and sales funnel development.
To make sure these employees are focused on their marketing responsibilities, you’ll need to provide them with the support they need to do their jobs well. This could mean providing them with a dedicated space to work from, a marketing budget, training and regular feedback.
Pros and cons of hiring a marketing agency
- Access to a wide range of services – A marketing agency will offer you access to a wide range of services, from customer relationship management (CRM) tools to email marketing and web design to content creation and paid advertising. The advantage here is that you won’t have to hire and manage multiple specialists, saving you both time and money.
- Someone to manage your marketing – When you hire an agency, you have someone to manage your marketing for you. This can be a huge advantage. You can be sure that your marketing efforts are being used in the most effective way possible while gaining valuable insight into best practices.
- You can focus on your core business – With an agency to handle your marketing, you can focus on your core business and let the agency worry about marketing. This can help you to scale your business much more quickly.
Pros and cons of building an in-house marketing team
- They’ll know your business intimately – Your employees will know your business intimately and be able to create marketing materials that are perfectly tailored to your business and target audience. In addition, in-house marketers are likely to create marketing campaigns and messaging that reflect the true culture of your company. This is an advantage that an outside agency just can’t offer.
- You can scale your marketing quickly – You can scale your marketing quickly as you add new employees to your team. This is particularly helpful if you’re looking to scale your marketing early in your company’s life cycle when you have limited cash flow.
- In-house marketers are less expensive than an agency – In general, in-house marketers are less expensive than hiring a marketing agency, particularly if you’re not planning on hiring a full marketing team.
Which is better for your business?
The real question is not whether you should hire an agency or build an in-house marketing team, but whether you should do both. That is, while you may decide to build a marketing team to manage in-house marketing, as well as customer service, sales, etc., it’s also a good idea to hire a marketing agency to take on some of the more complex marketing tasks. The key to making this work is communication.
You’ll want to make sure you have a thorough marketing plan in place that clearly outlines all the work you want the agency to do and the timelines for getting it done. You may also want to consider hiring an agency on a project basis so you can scale up or down as your business needs change.