In-House vs. Marketing Agency: Which Is For You?

The answer really comes down to a variety of factors related to your business, your objectives, and where you’re looking to take your marketing in the future. In this article, we’re going to break it all down and help you make an informed decision on what’s best for your business.


In-House Marketing

In-house marketing simply means that your marketing will be done by people who work exclusively for your company. This approach allows all the members of the team to be fully aligned with the company’s vision, brand, and goals.  They live and breathe the company’s identity, which helps to streamline efforts to build their brand.


Common Interest

In-house employees are paid to have a deep understanding of their industry and share a common vision of the company’s goals and message. They also have more creative control over the design, timelines, and projects you put together. The marketing team is focused exclusively on your company vs managing multiple projects.


An in-house team is exactly that.  They are all in one location and at your fingertips.  Communication is streamlined because the team is constantly working together, which makes for faster decision making.  They can create your own timelines, and tackle urgent matters and new projects more efficiently.


An in-house team has the flexibility to rearrange tasks and priorities on their own terms.  The team can expand or scale down projects based on the company’s needs and financial situation, without the pressure of contractual terms to an agency.




To run an effective in-house marketing team, you will need to find the right people, which can be a tedious process. It’s rare to find an in-house marketer who is well-versed in all aspects of digital marketing, not to mention can handle the workload.  Website design, SEO, social media, content creation, paid media advertising, and branding all require a certain skill level in order to be effective.  Acquiring a successful team requires recruiting, training, and most importantly, time.


The overall cost of an in-house team will depend on the company’s budget and individual needs. That being said, you’ll more than likely need a dedicated position for each variable to your marketing strategy. It can become quite costly to hire, train, and retain a full team of experts on a permanent basis.


Digital Marketing is constantly evolving. Staying current with new technology, trends, and updates can become limited if you don’t have the resources to keep up.  You’ll also need to stay current on consumer habits, algorithms, and other insights to minimize any roadblocks in your marketing process.  An in-house team may be at a disadvantage in their ability to maintain up-date technology and software systems if there isn’t the budget to do so.


Marketing Agency

Agency Marketing requires hiring an outside company to develop and manage your marketing efforts.  These companies have the experience, knowledge, and expertise to plan and promote your business through an effective strategy.   Marketing agencies tend to have the talent and resources to provide valuable services to their clients.



Because marketing agencies work with a wide variety of clients on an on-going basis, they have more skilled experts on hand.  Their staff consists of high-trained, well-versed individuals with the creativity and resources to develop high-quality marketing services.


Although the cost will depend on your company’s needs, hiring an agency can be a much more affordable option.  Most agencies have pre-set prices and often a flat monthly cost based on the services you need.  They also have their own software, tools, tech support, eliminating those costs on your end.  Often times their monthly services cost considerably less compared to the ongoing salaries of an in-house team.

Tools and Technology

In-house teams might often struggle to implement new software or stay up to date on SEO, social media, and other digital marketing trends.  To stay competitive, marketing agencies stay up-to-date on the latest research and trends.  They also have more exposure to new technologies and tactics, which enables them to develop more innovative content.



Company Culture

Marketing agencies can be at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding the ins and outs of your company’s goals, vision, and brand.  Naturally, a full-time internal employee is much more closely aligned with the company’s inner workings, so it might take more time for an agency to build that relationship and understand your brand.

Less Control

Companies that like full control of their marketing campaign might find it difficult to work with a marketing agency.   While you do have a say-so in the direction of your marketing, you are trusting them with the creative control and strategy of your project.  This means giving them the freedom to make strategic choices on your marketing.

One of Many

Agencies handle multiple clients, which means you may feel like you have to wait your turn.  Communication may be less than what you’re used to, since you’ll most likely have to schedule a call or meeting each time you want to discuss your marketing project.   However, a reputable, professional, and client-focused agency shouldn’t make you feel neglected.



How do you decide what’s best for your company? It’s important to first look at your specific needs, available resources, and skillsets of your existing team.

If you decide to go with a marketing agency, look for one with a good reputation, an established client base, and an ability to demonstrate an ROI for your business.

Considering hiring a digital marketing agency?  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.