In-House Marketing vs. Agency Marketing | ELED - Hellenic Internet Company
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If you own a business, digital marketing is one of the best strategies to help your business grow, reach more leads, and increase revenue. Whether you’re looking to use search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, or social media marketing, online marketing can help your company.

A question many businesses have about digital marketing, however, is whether they should keep their marketing in-house or partner with an online marketing agency. It’s an excellent question, and this guide aims to answer all your questions about in-house vs. agency marketing.

What is the difference between in-house vs. agency marketing?

In-house marketing relies on an internal marketing team or employee , which your company maintains, to market your business. In comparison, agency marketing uses an external or outsourced marketing team, which you pay to use, to market your business.

In-house marketing revolves around building an internal marketing team to develop, manage, and maintain your digital marketing strategy. The question is, should your business invest its resources in an internal versus external team?


The advantages of in-house marketing include:

    Brand familiarity

When you have an internal marketing team, they know your brand, which informs all their marketing decisions and materials. While agencies will get to know your company’s value, tone, and overall brand, that process takes time.


It’s also easy to access your in-house marketing team — just walk over to their desk or office. In comparison, agencies aren’t located right next door. You need to call or email to chat, which is why (if your business outsources its marketing), you want a responsive agency.


In-house marketing teams focus 100% on your business. While agencies will learn your brand and dedicate time to its marketing strategy, they also focus on other clients and their marketing needs. Depending on your company, you may prefer having a team all to yourself


When you outsource your marketing, you share the responsibilities of your marketing strategy. In some cases, businesses prefer to have complete control over their marketing, which can make working with an agency difficult. That’s why, if you like having that level of control, it’s best to build an in-house team.


Creating an in-house marketing team does come with some drawbacks, though, including:

    Talent recruitment

Establishing an internal marketing department takes time, whether you’re hiring one person or three people. The average time to hire for a marketing position is around 50 days — that’s almost two months.

Your human resources department, for example, needs to create and outline the listing, as well as work to attract applications. Not to mention, they must schedule interviews and will likely require your input before choosing the new hire.

It’s a massive investment for your business to build an internal marketing team, as well as maintain it.

    Employee costs

Maintaining an in-house marketing team isn’t the cheapest investment.

Monthly salary, however, don’t include additional costs that come with maintaining an in-house team, like taxes, insurance, retirement plans, and even equipment. O
For small-to-midsized companies, an in-house marketing team is a tremendous investment. That’s why the cost of maintaining these teams is one of the most significant drawbacks of internal marketing — it’s a massive commitment.

While a marketing agency isn’t free, they’re often much more cost-effective than in-house marketing.

    Software expenses

Besides the cost of hiring and maintaining an in-house marketing team, you also have marketing software expenses. These expenses can range from SEO tools, like Ahrefs and SEMrush, to freelance services, like graphic design or web development.

While you may still invest in tools like these when partnering with a digital marketing agency, you can often count on your agency to have a toolset. You don’t have to worry about the cost of these programs because the agency pays to use them.


The abilities of your team, company, and marketing budget is another drawback of in-house marketing.

If you focus on building your marketing department from local candidates, your area limits you. Depending on your location, this factor can slow your recruitment efforts substantially. In comparison, an agency can provide the team and tools to help your business.


When you can scale your marketing efforts and business, it’s a tremendous benefit.

Unfortunately, it’s harder for in-house marketing teams to scale than agency teams.

That’s because agencies have access to a larger number of team members with various skill sets. If your business wants to up its PPC campaign, for example, you call your agency and they get it done. That’s not the case with in-house marketing.

With in-house marketing, you have limited team members and limited resources. If you want to scale your efforts, you need to either decrease work elsewhere or hire another team member, which takes time.

    Employee turnover

When you have in-house staff, you have employee turnover.

That becomes a negative in the in-house vs. agency marketing debate, though, because the loss of team members can slow and hurt your marketing efforts. It can also put pressure on remaining staff, which can result in poor performance and even higher turnover rates.

With an agency, you don’t have to worry about your strategy getting paused. They’ll partner you with another team member and keep your campaign moving forward. For your business, that means you can continue getting value from digital marketing.
Agency marketing

Agency marketing provides your business with an external marketing team, which uses various online marketing strategies to grow your company. The question, however, is whether an Internet marketing agency is your best option.


Working with a digital marketing agency vs. an in-house marketing team offers a few benefits, including:


When you partner with an agency, you get to choose from the most experienced companies in the industry. This perk allows your business to hire agencies with a background in your market, for example, or a heavy focus on your preferred strategy, like SEO.

Working with such an experienced partner can help your company get the most value and return on investment (ROI) from digital marketing. If you’re looking for the best use of your marketing budget, an experienced agency can often deliver.


A digital marketing company often comes with skills that in-house teams can’t match, especially internal marketing teams at small-to-midsized businesses. These capabilities can range from accessing beta features in Google Ads to data on effective tactics or strategies.

For example, if your business wants to try a strategy like geofencing, but has zero experience with it, an agency could offer a unique advantage. They do have experience with using geofences and can use their background to help your company get the best results from geofencing.

    Software and tools

With an online marketing agency, your business doesn’t have to worry about researching or purchasing marketing tools. Your agency will often have access to these tools already, like for keyword research, and use them for your strategy.

In some cases, digital marketing agencies will also have marketing software that can make measuring and tracking your online marketing campaign easier. WebFX, for example, provides its clients with access to MarketingCloudFX.

This software, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, can not only track your marketing ROI but also analyze your marketing strategies to find ways to improve your campaign and get better results from it.

    Diverse specialties

Many agencies will also offer your business access to team members that specialize in areas like:

    Social media
    Paid advertising
    Conversion rate optimization (CRO)
    Web design
    And more

This level and degree of specialization allows your business to take advantage of multiple marketing channels, from social to email. In comparison, if you manage your marketing in-house, you have to limit your efforts or hire a jack-of-all-trades team member.


Compared to an in-house marketing team, an agency can scale quickly to your business.

Whether you’re looking to increase your paid advertising efforts during a busy season or improve your presence across social media networks, an agency can meet your needs. For an in-house marketing department, it’s challenging to respond to those needs.

It’s even more challenging if your business wants to pause its marketing efforts.

For example, maybe you want to pause ad campaigns during your slow season. If you hired someone to manage your paid campaigns, that leaves them (and you) in a predicament when it comes to finding work.


When debating between an agency or an in-house marketing department, many businesses want a cost comparison.

That’s because agency pricing depends on your needs.


Working with a digital marketing agency does come with drawbacks, including:


You can find agencies across the world, which becomes a disadvantage for businesses that want to work with a local marketing company. For example, maybe you find the perfect agency for your organization, but they’re across the country.

This situation can prove challenging when aligning schedules.

That’s why, if you decide to partner with an agency in a different time zone, work with one that has experience with these kinds of client relationships. They’ll often have processes in place that make working with them seamless.

    Multiple clients

The fact that digital marketing agencies work with various businesses can make some companies feel neglected. If you work with an experienced and client-focused agency, however, you shouldn’t get this impression or feeling.

When you work with your account manager, you should feel like they’re a part of your business and your team. That’s a sign and quality of an experienced digital marketing agency. If you feel pushed off by your agency, it’s not necessarily a sign that you need an in-house team but that you need a new agency.


Companies that prefer to have complete control over their marketing campaign will experience some growing pains when working with a digital marketing agency. That’s because agencies often work best with some freedom.

While they will require you to sign-off on your strategy and different campaign decisions, providing them with the freedom to make strategic choices can help your business get the results from your marketing campaign.

Trusting your agency can also help your company reduce the bottlenecks that come with outsourcing marketing. If you have confidence in your account manager to make ad copy tweaks, for example, they can get those updates live and start getting more clicks and sales for your ad campaign.

In-House Marketing vs. Agency Marketing
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