For any business owner to gain success in the world today, they absolutely must be on top of their digital marketing game. Especially when taking into account the way Covid-19 has shaped the global economy this past year, customers have become increasingly focused on the online space.
Many business owners handle their own digital marketing, and many are quite good at it as well. However, as these owners grow their business, and have to spend time on all the other aspects that make a business successful, they inevitably spend less time on digital marketing.
When that time comes, you have to be willing to look at the next steps for your business. Marketing is too important a pillar of business to ignore, and digital marketing even more so.
Digital Marketing Agency vs In-House Team
There are essentially two options when it comes to managing your digital marketing process, and that is to build a team of in-house marketing agents to handle it as a part of your company, or to work with a marketing agency.
For many companies, it can be incredibly tempting to create that marketing team from your own employees or new hires, as they will be working directly for your business and understand its inner workings. However, if you are a smaller company with only a few people, the cost of hiring new staff can be daunting, and existing employees may not have the expertise in the marketing world.
It is worth noting that a marketing agency can vary from expensive to extremely expensive as well, depending on the project. So how do you decide which option is best? Take a look at these considerations to see which choice will fit seamlessly into your existing operation.
1. The Culture And Vision Of Your Company
Generally speaking, most companies will want to work with marketers who understand and operate alongside the values your business has, and the direction you want it to go. These are the people who are the face of your company, after all.
Dedicated in-house marketing staff will undoubtedly be heavily invested in the success of your company. In contrast, a digital marketing agency may have a variety of clients which could split their focus. However, as with any other business, marketing agencies need to be well regarded by their customers, so they are incentivised to invest their time to make sure they are meeting your goals.
2. Expertise In Various Fields
Depending on the size of your company, and the marketing strategies that you intend to employ, your digital marketing team may need to have an extensive range of capabilities. Building a team in-house with the ability to work in web development, social media marketing, and email marketing, for example, along with being aware of current trends is not an easy task.
Conversely, these skills are the bread and butter for agencies, who will come equipped with these talents and more among their staff. Working with an agency will benefit companies who need to get their marketing strategies up to date as quickly as possible, as building a team takes time.
3. Measurable Results
Every single business owner is aware of the importance of ROI (Return On Investment). Unless you can measure the success of a marketing strategy, you cannot determine if you are making good use of your funds.
When building an in-house team, this is yet another talent that needs to be fulfilled by a staff member. As most employees tend to excel in only one specialization (two if you’re lucky), this can often mean hiring more staff and eating further into your budget.
Digital Marketing Agencies, on the other hand, will provide a wealth of statistics and additional information that will ensure that you know exactly how far your money is going. If you find yourself struggling with how to measure the progress of your marketing strategies, agencies can provide a solution.
4. Networks Of Supplementary Services
Digital marketing agencies will have a wide range of capabilities, as mentioned in #2. However, marketing is a massive industry, and there will be times when you may require more specialized marketing strategies that your agency might not have. In this instance, it’s a safe bet that a new or existing in-house employee certainly won’t either.
One important aspect that gives marketing agencies their edge is that they maintain professional relationships with companies that can fill any niche that they aren’t able to. If your business requires anything that can’t be handled by their existing staff, they can outsource it further to get you the best possible people for the task.
5. Social Media Management
Social media is often the most critical piece of the marketing puzzle. Many consumers interact with businesses primarily through social media, and as that may be the only facet of your company that they encounter, it must be perfect. While agencies have a considerable number of benefits to businesses, social media accounts need to feel personal to the company they represent, which may be a struggle for marketing agencies.
Many companies handle this dilemma by way of a hybrid approach. It is not too much of a stretch to hire a single social media manager. Suppose that employee can work directly with a marketing agency. In that case, the agency can supply your staff with the marketing materials needed without extensive hiring being required to build an entire team.
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The Bottom Line
At this point, it is safe to say that both in-house staff and digital marketing agencies are effective in different ways. The critical thing to remember is that you don’t need to choose only one or the other. By leveraging your existing staff, and hiring judiciously and only when needed, you can make sure that your company’s marketing strategy is in good hands.
For everything beyond their capabilities, however, the benefits of a digital marketing agency cannot be overstated. Both small businesses and the Fortune 500 utilize a combination of their staff and marketing agencies to grow and flourish. If you take the time to assess your own company’s needs and look into the best options to address them, your business will thrive well into the future.