Agency or In House?

There’s a lot of debate right now about whether companies should use an agency or an in-house team for their marketing efforts. If you work in a corporate job, you’re probably curious about how your company could benefit from an agency’s expertise. You’re probably also nervous about relinquishing control of your company’s marketing efforts to a group of outsiders.

The truth is, each option has its pros and cons. The real deciding factor for this choice is understanding what you need and what you’re willing to sacrifice.

In-House Gives More Control

Companies are increasingly opting to go with an in-house marketing team for a number of reasons. One of the most appealing aspects of this option is that in-house team members typically have an easier time communicating with each other than they would with a contact at an agency, for no other reason than it’s much easier to pop into someone’s office to ask a question than play phone tag.

Another pro for this is that the company has total control over its marketing strategy. Many CMOs can get frustrated with their agency if they feel it’s focusing on the wrong strategy. With an in-house team, the CMO will be able to see exactly what her team is working on in every phase of a campaign. This also means the marketing team will be held to higher expectations, making it imperative that you hire strong team members to ensure success.

Finally, PR and marketing agencies split their time between multiple clients. The best agencies will allocate enough team members to work with each client, but it can be understandable when a CMO wants a team with its full focus on only one company.

Agency Gives More Experience

With an agency, things are a little different. Actually, they’re quite a bit different. Agencies tend to focus more on providing clients with the most up-to-date tools and resources. This is because they’re able to hire a more diverse group of employees. Whereas an in-house department might only have a budget for four team members, an agency can have four team members on the content team, four on the CRO team, four on the design team, etc. Obviously, not every employee will be devoted to your account, but it gives you a much larger pool of experts, which leads to my next point.

The real appeal of an agency is that it aligns your company with industry leaders. Agencies typically put more importance on staying up-to-date on PR and marketing trends, certifications for industry-related programs, and thinking strategically. Agency leaders and employees aren’t just attending industry conferences – they’re leading them. Think about it. If you’re a young enterprise tech company trying to build brand awareness and thought leadership, does it serve you better to hire your own marketing team and start from scratch or to align yourselves with one of the top technology agencies and immediately reap the benefits of the agency’s experience?

Why Not Combine the Two?

Increasingly, CMOs are using an in-house team and an agency to create a highly efficient marketing strategy. This is a great way to retain control over the aspects you handle well while gaining insights into new marketing tactics. This is a great option for any company, but especially those struggling to step into the new roles content marketers are expected to fill.