March 4, 2021

Should You Do Your Digital Marketing In-House or Hire a Marketing Agency?

Written by: 
Ryan Whiteside

In this video, we discuss the pros and cons of taking your digital marketing in-house, or if you should hire a marketing agency.


What's up in this video. I am going to go over if you should do your digital marketing in-house by yourself, or if you should hire a marketing agency.

Hey there, Ryan Whiteside, director of marketing at Two Wheels Marketing. Now, first off, you're probably thinking, because I work at a marketing agency that I am going to suggest that you work with a marketing agency because of a conflict of interest. But if you watch the rest of this video, I think you will see that I am going to be as unbiased as I possibly can and show you the true pros and cons of each. So let's start with digital marketing in house and the benefits there.

So the first benefit is that it's cheaper.

Now I have to put this in quotes because there are some exceptions to this rule. So if you do your digital marketing in house and you are a bigger company, so you are a medium sized business, a large business, it may make sense for you to do your digital marketing and house because you probably have enough work to do that. You need at least one full-time person spending every hour that they can all week on the marketing. So if you hire a marketing agency, they're going to charge you likely $100, $150, maybe even $200 an hour. If you hire someone in-house, you likely are not going to pay that person that much per hour. They're probably making no more than $125-150K a year, which equates to $50-75ish dollars an hour. So by going in house and do you have a full line of work that someone could work on all day, every day, every week, every month, every year, then it may make sense.

The next benefit to going in-house is you will generally see faster turn arounds.

And kind of going back to what I said before. When you have someone in-house, that means they are fully dedicated to your business, which means if you have a marketing promotion or something fast that you need to get out, then they should be available to drop everything they're doing and work on that campaign. Contrast that to a marketing agency. Oftentimes when you're working with a marketing agency, they are working on multiple clients at a time. So if you have some last minute thing that needs done, or you're just in a rush for whatever reason, then that is a little bit harder for a marketing agency, because maybe some of their other clients have a last minute marketing push they want to do. And this is actually kind of common like black Friday, cyber Monday, those types of things, everyone is wanting to get everything done at once. So that is a little bit more difficult for marketing agency because they are juggling multiple clients, multiple projects and promotions.

The next one, and this is one of the biggest ones by going in-house is when you hire someone full time, they will start to gain a much better understanding of your business.

Because they are wrapped up in your business all day long, they start to really understand and grasp all of the things that are happening in your campaign. So they have a much deeper understanding of what has worked, what hasn't, what's currently working, what optimizations have been made, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. They have a much deeper understanding because with a marketing agency, again, they're working on multiple clients. So only a certain part of their day is dedicated to your business. And because they're spending less hours on your business, they just don't have as deep of an understanding as someone who is dedicated to it and committed to it full time.

So on the agency side, one of the great benefits, there is an agency offers great value.

Now, I know I said that going in-house is cheaper, but that is only in certain scenarios, again, particularly with medium and larger businesses for a lot of businesses, small businesses, and even a lot of most medium businesses. You may not need someone to be fully dedicated, full time to do the marketing. So this is where a marketing agency can provide a lot of great value where you may hire them for, you know, 30, 40, 50 hours a month, and they can squeeze out and maximize that time and still get the same or similar results as someone who would be spending a lot of potentially wasted hours on stuff that is really low value tasks. So by hiring a marketing agency, maybe not hiring them full time hours to do the work, they could still get a lot done in the amount of time that you're paying them for.

The next benefit that marketing agency provides is experience.

So, as you might expect with a marketing agency, they are doing marketing all day long and contrast that with an in-house person where there may be some additional responsibilities on their plate marketing agencies, they live and breathe digital marketing. And not only that, they are working in a variety of different industries. Now there are some agencies that specialize in one industry, but the point is they are working on multiple accounts and that gives you an advantage because they can often take what they have learned from one account and apply that to your business. Contrast that to someone in-house only working on your business, yes, that has some advantages in that they can really dive deep into what you're doing, but there's also something to be said about agencies that are working on a variety e-commerce businesses, flower shops, lawyers, whatever. They can find something unique that they're seeing in one industry and apply it to your business.

And that could give you a unique advantage that maybe a competitor just doesn't think to do. The next benefit is probably one of the biggest benefits is a marketing agency is often experts. And by that, I mean, they're an expert in a wide variety of digital marketing. So you may initially need someone to set up your Google ads, campaigns, and you may need to hire someone full-time for that. And they work on that. Well, maybe you decide later that you also want to run Facebook ads or tick-tock ads or run a marketing automation campaign or some other aspect of digital marketing. Well, when you've hired someone, in-house oftentimes they may specialize in one thing and then they'll have to learn something else that you decide to do later. Contrast that with a marketing agency where they often have several employees who specialize in several different things.

So you are really in a way hiring a super expert. That's in a really good at every aspect of digital marketing, finding one person to do that is kind of like trying to find a unicorn. But with digital marketing, you, you kind of have that advantage because you know, someone is spending all day long on Google ads. Another person who's spending all day long on Facebook ads. Another person is designing websites all day long. Another person is a specializes in email or marketing automation, and they learn that craft and they become experts in those industries. So when your heart hiring a marketing agency, you're hiring experts that specialize and do those things all day long. So no matter what you want to do in digital marketing, you are fine. You will hire someone who is an expert because by default, because the marketing agency already has those employees at their disposal.

And that's another thing about going in house is you may hire someone who's really good at their job, and they do a great job. Well, if they leave, you're essentially back to square one. And there's a huge disadvantage. Compare that to a marketing agency. They have several employees. If one of their Facebook ads, experts leave, you still have the Google ads expert and the email marketer and all those people. And they probably have more than just one Google ads expert on the team. They probably often have two, three, four experts. They could just have another one of their Google ads experts fill in on your account, get cut up and you're ready to go. And you don't miss a beat. That is one of the big advantages with a marketing agency is they have so much talent at their disposal. You're always getting someone who knows what they're doing is an expert to take on your account.

So a few little other things that a marketing agency has an advantage of education and tools.

Digital marketing is always changing and it requires you to really keep up to date on things. Often the best education is paying for courses, going to seminars, doing all these things. And if you are hiring someone in house that is you're going to have to directly pay for their education. Similarly to run a really great agency, often marketing relies on paid premium tools, things like SEMRush, Ubersuggest there's so many tools out there. Spyfu and one of the great advantages particularly with tools is that oftentimes the way they're structured is you can buy a license to them and use them on multiple accounts. So take SEMRush. For example, one of their premium plans is $200 a month. Well, if you hired someone in-house, they would have to pay $200 a month and just run it on the one website, your business could try to sell it to a marketing agency where they pay $200 a month.

They can use that on 15, 20 different of their clients. So really they have the $200 a month. Only a small percentage of it is indirectly going to your account. So there's a massive savings by going with marketing agency, because they already have the license to the tool. They can just add your website and essentially it doesn't cost them any more to add you to their account. And that could be a huge saving. So you're getting the benefit. If it's a premium tools and you don't have to directly pay with them that you would, if you had an in-house person and the same with education, a marketing agency can send their Google ads expert to a conference and learn every advanced strategy there is to know about Google ads. Well, they can come back from the conference and apply that to every client that they have have.

It's one of the great advantages. So again, if you hire someone in house, you send them to the conference, you were paying the full amount of heck conference, sending them back, and they apply it to just your business. Whereas a marketing agency, you are not paying that person to go to the conference, but you are benefiting indirectly from their advanced knowledge that they're gaining from it because they come back and apply it to your account and all the other businesses that that employee is working in the agency on the clients. So I guess to summarize in-house is better. If you are working at a much bigger company where there's just a ton of work that needs done, and you need people to run it, a marketing agency is better if you're a smaller business or even a medium sized business, because you can hire someone for a set amount of hours.

And you're getting much better expertise because you're not just hiring one person who hopefully has a unicorn that knows everything about digital marketing. Instead, you're hiring an agency who has lots of different employees that specialize in lots of different things. And you're just getting more brainpower by going with an agency. Now, if you are interested in someone doing the digital marketing for you, and you're leaning towards a marketing agency to wheels marketing, we have worked in so many different industries. We manage millions of dollars of ad spend each and every year, we would love to get to know your business's particular needs. So if you are interested in contacting someone from our team to discuss your particular business, you can contact us here and we will get ahold of you. And we look forward to seeing if we can help you as a marketing agency, help with your business.