Inturact is a Marketing Agency, and the only houses we work in are our own (and sometimes Nikki’s). However, many people on our team (myself included) have experienced marketing from both sides of the table. While both have their unique challenges and advantages, the fast-paced and results-focused agency life is most certainly where I want to be. But our clients struggle with this question a lot, so we thought we should provide a comparison from our experience on the pros and cons of hiring a marketing agency versus building everything in-house. BTW: If you're a fan of AMC's Mad Men, an episode a few weeks back did a nice job addressing the theme.
Pros of building an in-house marketing team
- Your own in-house marketing team works for you 9-5 p.m., full time. They are at your beck and call whenever you need a blog post, a banner ad, a website update, a social media Tweet-out, and when your boss has questions you can’t answer about your ROI, CTR, CRO, SEO, and all those other three letter words.
- Your own in-house marketing team knows your company and products backwards and forwards, because that’s all they do.
Cons of building an in-house marketing team
- Bringing all of your marketing in-house requires you to spend valuable time sourcing, vetting, hiring, and onboarding great marketers.
- Then, you have to pay those great marketers what they’re worth to work full time. With benefits.
- Let’s say you hire just two full-time, experienced marketers. Not only will you be paying their salaries, they’ll still need additional funds to hire vendors through proper vendor management and contractors to do specialized work such as website management, graphic design, and content marketing.
- They tend to get wrapped in the corporate bubble of “this is how we do things,” which means staying on top of the latest market changes can be a struggle. In the business, we call this a “bubble strategy,” and it prevents your marketing team from having the foresight to anticipate change and agility they need to meet new challenges as they come.
Pros of hiring a marketing agency
- We’re a one-stop shop of marketing specialists. When you hire a marketing agency, you’re acquiring an entire department staffed with experts, including business analysts, marketing strategists, marketing technologists, data analysts, inbound marketing specialists, conversion rate specialists, content creators, web developers, and graphic designers. For our customers, this means higher efficiency and lower cost.
- You pay us to get results. If we take a break, it's on our time, not your dime. Our sole focus is on designing and implementing strategies that reach your growth objectives. And, we know damn well you won't continue working with us if we don't deliver results.
- We collaborate with you to grow. Our small size allows us to act as collaboratively as an internal department and be totally responsive to your needs. Sure, at Inturact we ask for a hefty chunk of your marketing budget for our services, but that enables us to focus on your needs rather than taking on a ton of other clients. We divide our attention between a small handful of businesses, giving you every possible resource, specialty and skillset you’d ever need (without the overhead of employing between 5 to 20 full-time employees!).
- The landscape is always changing, and we’re agile enough to stay ahead of the curve. Marketing is all we do, all day, all week, all the time. We love it. That means we are keyed in to your customers’ needs, changing online landscapes, and your big picture business goals. We constantly find new ways to increase your ROI by researching, developing, testing, analyzing and improving our marketing strategies.
- We make marketing a strategic driver of growth – as in, our efforts are all put towards helping your business grow quickly and sustainably. That’s a specialized field in itself. We’ve worked with all kinds of businesses, learning what works and what doesn’t, and how to scale what works into a system that allows you to expand. Hiring an agency with experience helps to avoid costly mistakes and maximize ROI.
- Our success is directly tied to yours. If you don’t grow, we don’t grow. That accountability naturally challenges us to be results-driven and never fall into complacency.
Cons of hiring a marketing agency
- The problem with a lot of agencies is that they take on too many clients. With so many accounts, it’s impossible to have more than a surface level of knowledge about each company’s values, goals, clientele, products and services. Your account will be handed down to a middle-person, with less expertise, who has to contend with ten other clients. There’s no partnership there.
- Many agencies position tactics and deliverables as the primary drivers of growth, churning out cookie-cutter contracts just as rapidly as their client and staff churn. These types of agencies compete on price alone, which leaves marketing underfunded, and thus, unable to execute a program that results in meaningful business outcomes.
Honestly, while we’re not cheap, we offer a lot of value per dollar. At the end of the day, it’s our goal to grow your business exponentially and partner with you as you expand, innovate, and lead your industry.