Top 5 Myths: Hiring an Agency vs. In-House Marketing

Within many companies, there is constant debate over whether or not it is necessary to hire an ad agency for marketing work that can possibly be done in-house. We have had experience ourselves with clients who have attempted to build an in-house marketing department, but found that they unfortunately did not produce the results they were hoping for and were met with many obstacles they were not expecting.

We want companies, especially our clients, to make good marketing decisions, so we are sharing the Top 5 Myths we’ve encountered when it comes to the decision of hiring a marketing agency vs. in-house. Let’s take a look…

Myth #5

Marketing Agency:  ‘Longer turnaround’

The myth that an agency has a longer turnaround on projects is false. Because they are experienced, efficient with time management, and deadline driven, a good agency will pull out all the stops to complete their work on time.

In-House:  Quicker turnaround’

If you do not already have an in-house individual or team, that means you would have to go through the arduous process of assembling the perfect candidate(s). From the time you post a job listing until the time you hire someone, it can take months. And once you hire them, it will take additional time for you to properly train them, adjust to the company culture, their new colleagues, and to this brand new role. Even getting your marketing project off the ground wastes time, energy and resources, just to find and hire the right team.

Myth #4

Marketing Agency:  ‘Results may not be worth the money’

What if you spend all this money and do not get the results you wanted? Agencies are results-driven. If they want repeat business and referrals [which they do!], they are going to go above and beyond in order to produce the results you want and expect. Understand that marketing messages are sent into an environment you have no control over. Good agencies have years of experience and are most likely to succeed given the knowledge, resources and talent they have acquired.

In-House:  ‘I can produce the same results as an agency’

We have yet to see an in-house marketing department produce the same level of quality work as a professional agency. If you don’t have the agency experience, industry knowledge and the time to put in all of the work needed, you are not going to get the results that you had hoped for.

Myth #3

Marketing Agency:  ‘I don’t trust an external perspective about my business’

Actually, gaining the advantage of an external perspective from industry marketing experts is the best thing you can do. Agencies have experience and a thorough knowledge of industry trends and analysis of the competition. They have an objective opinion and aren’t clouded with tunnel vision, so they can see exactly where improvements need to be made.

In-House:  ‘My perspective is the only one that matters’

As we mentioned above, in-house marketers oftentimes have tunnel vision when it comes to their own brand. They tend to see only their perspective of their brand, not the views of their current, and more importantly, their potential customers.

Myth #2

Marketing Agency:  ‘They are overqualified’

A professional marketing agency offers a team of highly trained and knowledgeable experts with a diverse skillset and experience with clients in various industries. You may think that all of these qualifications are unnecessary if you are just trying to complete a few projects. However, this is actually to your company’s benefit. The value you receive is usually well beyond the cost.

In-House:  ‘No need for a diverse skillset’

Your skillset is only as large as your in-house team. If your team consists of one person, there is no way this individual can possess the advantages of an entire agency full of creative and professional experts. Their knowledge will be limited only to what they know, and their efforts in most cases will not produce results at the level necessary to meet the company’s desired goals and objectives.

Myth #1

Marketing Agency:  More expensive’

One of the most common myths is that hiring an agency is expensive. If you really think about it though, it’s actually not. Hiring an agency for project work will incur a few one-time fees; and after the job is complete and paid, that’s it. If you hire an agency on a retainer basis the monthly fee is usually less than an in-house’s staff salaries and expenses.

In-House:  ‘Less expensive’

If you decide to do work in-house—let’s say an email marketing campaign—you may not already have staff in place (email marketing specialist, graphic designer, copywriter, etc.) to fully complete that job. You’ll have to create these positions, which means: paying each individual a salary, benefits, covering any additional expenses such as necessary training, computer equipment, software, graphic design tools, analytic and data tools, etc. The startup costs for this is far beyond what you would pay an agency.

If you are faced with the decision to either hire an agency or do the work in-house, we advise you to carefully consider the points we mentioned here. We’d be happy to share more of our experiences with you; give us a call.