Hiring A Marketing Agency vs In-House

Written by
Leo Messi
Published on
March 26, 2024

In order to grow your brand, marketing should be an essential part of any good business plan – but how do you know who to consult to begin your marketing campaign? Deciding on whether your business will build an in-house team or outsource to an agency is an important determinant factor to the future of your company; the source will really impact the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing campaign!

Marketing is an aspect of your business that you should not underestimate; it's best to start marketing efforts with a rock solid strategy than waste time, money, and energy retroactively figuring out how to go about your end goal. Choosing the right marketing team that can help you create an optimized marketing strategy for your business needs is crucial.

What Does it Mean to Hire In-House?

To put simply, hiring an in-house marketing team means building a team of people paid who work full time for your company (these people are usually considered W-2 employees). This generally entails hiring the full scope of roles that omni-channel marketing initiatives require, including personnel that handles content writing, SEO, social media, paid media, and more.

Having a full-time team means that they should have a deep understanding of your company’s brand and its footing in the industry. Their commitment means they are immersed in your company’s vision and can tailor a marketing plan specific to your business.  

Benefits to Hiring In-House

  • Tailored management of marketing and full control over its operations. You are able to monitor marketing progress on a closer, more personal level.
  • Marketing team is comfortable with your business model and specific industry.
  • Ease of communication with the marketing team and easy integration with other in-house teams such as sales.

Cons to Hiring In-House

  • Very capital intensive to find a diverse team of marketing professionals. Each member of the team needs to be adequately compensated for and this can cost upwards of $125,000/year per employee.
  • Difficulty finding trained and experienced marketers meaning that your company may need to compensate for training.
  • The time to and resources invested into advertising, hiring, and training potential candidates, which is cost intensive.
  • Managing an in-house team can be burdensome on the bandwidth of the company.

What Does it Mean to Outsource Marketing to an Agency?

If constructing an in-house marketing team is not a good fit for your company, another option is to outsource your marketing initiatives to an agency or consulting organization. Outsourcing entails consulting an external agency to handle the marketing needs of your organization. These are experts for hire that tend to be specialists in their respective fields, or all-inclusive in their marketing services.

These agencies are generally more reliable, as they are professionally trained and managed by experienced marketers. The possibilities are endless when it comes to hiring from an agency; you just need to find an experienced firm willing to handle your marketing needs. This variety means you can find very niche agencies with highly specialized experts in different fields to fit your specific marketing pain points.

Benefits to Outsourcing

  • Outsourcing is a more simple and straightforward process.
  • The vetted team of marketing experts means you generally have a higher caliber of talent at your disposal.
  • Outsourcing agencies may provide an outsider perspective on your company and industry goals since they have worked with a larger scope of fields.

Cons to Outsourcing

  • Hiring for external agencies means that they may be unfamiliar with your company’s culture, goals and clients.
  • Your company needs to invest time into researching and pitching in order to find an agency that works best for your industry and your company’s timeline/goals.
  • Outsourced agencies can work on multiple marketing projects at once – your company may not feel like a priority.

Making Your Decision: Key Considerations

Tools and Techniques

Marketing and consumer trends are always evolving, and with them, so do marketing tools and techniques. An in-house marketing team may have difficulties keeping up with the shifting trends without proper management. Outsourced agencies, however, generally maintain an up-to-date understanding of the market due to their expertise in the field. Their specialization means they focus on developing the most effective marketing tools to fit the current industry climate.

In-house teams may require company capital to stay up-to-date on the latest software and tools. Training a marketing team to maintain leads on marketing trends also requires resources from the company itself. Outsourcing means you have an arsenal of the latest tools and industry experts at your disposal. They often have enterprise software that is difficult for smaller brands to access.  


The scope of skill needed for any marketing initiative depends on your company’s needs. Marketing agencies generally have a more diverse team of experts that are meant to be able to cover all of a brand’s needs; an all-inclusive service. It is difficult to assemble an in-house team that includes all the professionals needed to execute marketing campaigns, and you may still need to outsource to fill in for some aspects of the project.

Return on Investment

Short and long-term ROI will either make or break your decision as company profit plays a big part. The uncertainty of an in-house team poses a big risk, however, there is a higher potential for longer-term return given their intimate connection with your brand. Once you are able to accumulate a strong team that is accustomed to your company’s needs, you can smoothly run campaigns with little outsourcing and lower costs long-term.

On the other hand, outsourcing gives you a team of experts that are meant to solve short-term marketing problems. Outsourcing costs can quickly add up, and each new team requires time to navigate the new environment of your company – time is spent capital.


Now that you have a general understanding of the difference between in-house and outsourced marketing, you can begin to assess your company’s goals and resources to find a best fit. While in-house marketing teams can be a powerful investment, most small to medium businesses benefit more from outsourcing marketing to agencies. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive team of marketing professionals, StratDev’s team of superstar marketers provide paid media, SEO, web design and even digital PR services to kickstart your marketing campaign and scale your business!

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