March 2, 2021 Doug Cofer

Agency or In-House: How to Determine the Right Marketing Hire for Your Business

The reality is this: time and money are of the essence.

In our previous How to Pick Your Marketing Agency blog series, we explored the thought process behind choosing the right marketing agency for you and your business. From rightsizing to resume-checking and matching your agency by industry experience, there is a great deal of thought required in choosing a perfect marketing partner.

But how do you know if you need to hire an agency in the first place? A common fallacy in hiring outsourced marketing agencies is this: hiring someone in-house would be cheaper and more manageable. 

We know what you’re thinking — of course, an agency would sit here and try to sell the idea of hiring a full-service agency for what seems like a one-person marketing job. Of course, in their eyes, working with an agency is the only choice. 

We get it. But first, allow us to break some things down for you. 

Marketing is not a one-person job.

It seems simple — you need a series of newsletters released to help promote your services or industry trends. You find an eloquent, punchy copywriter and marketing professional, bring them on staff and turn them loose. They live and breath your brand, produce beautiful long-form content and snappy headlines, and are incredibly efficient. 

Just one problem: it’s all they can do. When you recognize a need for paid search, social media analytics, or SEO/SEM, they don’t even know where to start through no fault of their own.

Quality marketing taps into a variety of skill sets, areas of expertise, and experience levels. To run a formidable marketing team, you must fill a handful of critical roles, and even the most seasoned marketing professionals will admit they can’t do it all. If possible at all, it is rare to find an in-house marketer who feels confident in every aspect of digital marketing. And even if they are, burnout from an insurmountable workload is looming.

Simply put, hiring someone to do multiple roles will inevitably decrease the quality of work. Agencies are staffed by teams of individuals who specialize in copywriting, social media, SEO/SEM, web development, videography, and more. Their centralized efforts on a specific skill set allow them to become experts in their craft. These specialists take the time to study your brand, learn your competitive advantages and weaknesses and collaborate with other agency team members to produce a cohesive, holistic strategy that aligns with your business needs.

An in-house marketing team is a budget-eater. 

The more, the merrier doesn’t always apply in hiring decisions. Even though it’s always helpful to have more hands-on-deck, it may not be an attainable luxury for you if you are a budget-conscious business.

According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary of a Marketing Specialist in 2021 is $65,834. If your marketing budget is $1 million or less and you’re looking to hire marketing professionals of your own, you will end up eating half or more of your budget in payroll and benefits alone. Additionally, you will be responsible for purchasing equipment, software, and technology needed by your marketing department.

Hiring people in-house will eat up your budget much quicker than hiring an agency would. Additionally, the reality is, your marketing team may not require a total of 40 hours of work every week — yet you will be paying full-time salaries and benefits without taking full advantage of full-time hours. 

Hiring an agency is a fraction of the cost, usually with set yet negotiable pricing based on your business’ specific marketing needs. An outsourced team comes equipped with the programs, software, and equipment they need to get to work. You’ll gain access to experts and top talent across every aspect of marketing, only for the amount of time you need them.

An outsider’s perspective is often much-needed.

An in-house marketing professional or team is prone to burnout or stagnance. As mentioned before, they live and breathe your brand, constantly looking for new ways to bolster engagement or develop creative ways to set your business apart. 

For agency marketers, no two days are alike. Working with different clients and various industries gives them the advantage of diversified experience, fresh perspective, and a creative outlook beyond comparison. They never stop striving to produce work that reflects the agency’s capabilities well and generates results for your business. 

Of course, if you have the financial capability to support and sustain a full-service marketing team, choosing between in-house or an agency is a matter of preference rather than ability. History and our own experience have revealed that clients with small marketing budgets can accomplish far more by working with an agency than they could on their own.

At Four Columns Marketing, we’re eager to level with you, listen intently to your goals as a business, and get our hands dirty on whatever project you set before us. Our experienced team of industry experts is here for you. Let us show you what we can do as an extension of your team — drop us a line at [email protected] or call 844-368-7265.

The Creative Marketing Agency That Gets You Results

Four Columns Marketing Provides Goal-Based Marketing Strategies to Optimize Profits