Agency vs In-House: Which One is the Best?

Agency vs In-House: Which One is the Best?

in-house vs marketing agency


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Marketing is a vital activity for companies in a world constantly filled with way too many advertising messages. Each brand is trying to stand out and face the competition, and strategic digital marketing can be the answer for many of these brands.


Eventually, the question arises: should these companies outsource digital marketing services or create a digital marketing strategy in-house?


Below, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both options, helping companies understand which one might be the best fit for them. 


Moreover, we will cover the reasons companies should invest in digital marketing either by hiring their own team or by collaborating with an agency.


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Understanding Agency Marketing

A digital marketing agency is a company that provides marketing services to clients. They work with multiple brands to help them achieve their goals. Marketing agencies employ experienced personnel, tools, and usually specialize in a channel or niche.


Hiring an external digital marketing agency, you get skills, expertise, and experience that would cost you multiple times to hire internally and more time to hire & manage the employees.


Agencies handle different accounts and companies with a variety of products and services.


Marketing agencies can cover a wide range of marketing services such as performance (ads, media buy), email marketing, social media marketing, and SEO


marketing channels

Types of Marketing Channels, Source: Geeks for Geeks


Agencies tend to focus only on a specific marketing channel and make it their specialty. This is the reason companies should focus on which agency they choose based on which marketing channel they want to focus on and what they want to achieve from their marketing strategy.


Understanding In-House Marketing

In-house marketing happens within the company. They hire their own expert marketing professionals who focus their actions and marketing campaigns completely on promoting the company, its products, and services. 


Hiring in-house, you need to focus on finding the right people to ensure they possess the fundamental skills and experience needed to support all the company’s marketing channels.


The in-house marketing team may be a small team of generalists at smaller companies, or a bigger team in several departments with high specialization like content marketing, performance/PPC, social media management, affiliate & partnerships, product marketing, or search engine optimization.


Main Differences

An in-house marketing department only focuses on the branding of the company, while a marketing agency is responsible for multiple clients. 


When you are working with a marketing agency, you are not expecting to have communication with them several times during the day as you can have with an in-house team.


Another main difference between the two is their cost, generally in-house is more expensive than an agency.


in-house vs agency

Cost of an in-house team vs. an agency, source:


Pros and Cons of In-House Marketing

Many companies would like to have the availability of an in-house marketing team, though we would like to discuss why this option is ideal for some companies but not achievable for a lot of smaller companies.


pros & cons of in-house marketing

In-house marketing pros and cons, source: 



Brand Familiarity

In an in-house team, everyone understands the brand and has a wide understanding of the target audience and market for the company, its products, and services.


Brand familiarity is incredibly important to know the history of the brand and which marketing efforts and campaigns have worked and been successful in the past.



The reason many companies choose to have an in-house marketing department is because of how easily they can access and communicate with the team.


The easy management and collaboration between departments make the whole process and decision-making easier for the team to make holistic choices to achieve marketing goals.



The complete focus of an in-house team is only on the marketing aims of the company. This allows more time for planning and testing, focusing on one goal and one company.


This is ideal for big companies that would feel pressured to depend on outsourcing services from agencies that have a lot of clients and the company’s marketing needs may not be their main priority.



Control is another fundamental reason companies choose to establish their own marketing teams. When working with agencies, companies have some control over their marketing campaigns and need to approve any actions before the agencies implement them.


However, the company has complete control over the in-house team and can control all the processes and timelines for every step of the strategy they follow. The marketing manager is usually in contact with other departments of the company and knows the current advertising needs the company has.



Recruiting and Employee Cost

Hiring marketing professionals with the necessary skills can be particularly hard and challenging. Apart from the lengthy process to find the right people, there’s also the cost of having someone employed and be part of the internal marketing team.


This is one of the main reasons companies should consider if they can afford to have their own marketing departments they should.


Other hiring costs may be the time to hire, manage, and train the employees.



Apart from the costs of having employees for the in-house team, companies should have a budget for the software the team will need, such as email marketing tools, specialized tools, reporting & analytics, even photo & video editing software.


The company should consider all of these costs that may not be obvious from the start if it wants to build its own marketing team.



Even if an in-house team is created, the team members will have certain limitations referring to their skills and the software they can use. This is because marketing agencies invest in different marketing tools and have a wide range of marketing experts with different backgrounds and specialties.


Pros and Cons of a Marketing Agency

As a marketing agency, Growth-onomics, specializes in SEO and growth marketing. Our goal is to be your external agency partner to help you grow your business.


However, we have to be impartial while we’re discussing both the pros and cons of using an agency to help you create and implement your marketing strategy.


pros & cons of a marketing agency

Agency marketing pros and cons, source: 




In a marketing agency, you will find people who are focused on providing the best results from different types of brands and have the expertise to understand your goals.


Agencies are hiring people from different types of backgrounds, that have a wide range of different specialties and levels of experience, to ensure that they have a variety of skill sets. This is difficult to do in an in-house team.



Apart from the talent and the expertise, marketing agencies utilize software you might not be able to afford for your team.  As they work with different clients, the incremental cost of software tends to be smaller per account for them, making them cost-effective for agency work, but not in-house.



Agencies work fast, they can adjust quickly if your marketing needs change overnight. For example, it is important to know that your marketing agency can deliver when you would like to use another marketing channel or lower your budget.


They can also expand the services or reduce them, based on need. An agency’s pricing and cost can be adjusted.



Marketing agencies are cost-effective. The reason is that the money the company will invest in recruiting and paying for an in-house marketing team is a lot more than what the company would pay for an agency.


An internal team comes with employee training, wages, hiring costs, time management, and software costs. This may make a higher dent in your marketing budget than you imagine.



Multiple Clients

If you are working or thinking of working with a marketing agency, you would have to come to terms that they are not only working for you but for a variety of different brands.


You should know that you would still need to be updated weekly about your marketing plan and all the actions they took.



Even if you are in daily contact with your marketing agency, you should be aware that it is impossible to have complete control over the work they produce. However, companies that want to have total control over how their marketing campaigns are produced should evaluate before using a marketing agency.


Key Points to Consider 

When you are deciding between creating your own in-house marketing team or hiring an agency, you should consider some of the following factors:


Budget and Company Size

Financial resources are important when you are deciding whether you will create your in-house team, while considering this you should not only count the cost of the campaigns and software but also the wages of the employees you will need. 


You should also consider the size of the company, and if you would like to grow with your team. If you find out that you are lacking the budget for an in-house team, it is possible that you will need to collaborate with an agency for your marketing needs.


Small companies tend to outsource most of their activities instead of hiring, but also bigger companies hire based on the need to expand capabilities.


Marketing Goals

Your company’s marketing plan and the channels you want to use is another factor that will help you determine your best option. Usually, if you are using a variety of different channels, using an agency is your best option as they have people specialized in all these channels.


Time to Market

Another factor is how fast you want to start your marketing campaigns. Building an in-house team may take time, whether using an agency will be a time-efficient choice.


Flexibility and Adaptability

How flexible can you be when it comes to your marketing strategy? If you want to have total control and adapt to a different communication style, maybe an in-house team will be more convenient for you.



Choosing between agency and in-house marketing depends on your company’s specific needs and resources. Agencies offer specialized expertise, scalability, and cost-efficiency, making them ideal for diverse and multichannel strategies. 


In-house teams provide brand familiarity, control, and direct communication, which are crucial for cohesive and focused marketing efforts. Evaluate your budget, goals, and the level of control you require to determine the best fit for your business.


Whether you are considering hiring an in-house marketing vs agency to handle your company’s marketing, it’s always a good idea to explore your options…


Book a Call with Growth-onomics

And, see how we can help you grow your business today. You can outsource your marketing actions to Growth-onomics, and focus on your day-to-day business without worrying about marketing!


This content is the product of human creativity.