When it comes to digital marketing, many business owners struggle with the decision of whether or not to hire an in-house employee or go with a full-service marketing agency. Both have their pros and cons, but in the end, we believe that a marketing agency is the better option.
With an in-house employee, you have a single person charged with your marketing needs. And if they work in the same building, you can speak with them directly, which could help align the goals. While this might make it seem like an in-house employee is a better option, if you want results you are most likely better off with a dedicated marketing agency.
Digital Marketing is Hard
Digital marketing is hard. It’s a field that is always changing, with new technologies and platforms emerging all the time. Even highly knowledgeable professionals don’t always get the best ROI. "In a survey of 1,000 marketers worldwide by Rakuten Marketing, respondents estimated they waste an average of 26% of their budgets on ineffective channels and strategies" according to EMarketer.
Digital Marketing is a Wide Area
Digital marketing includes several different specialties, such as SEO, PPC, social media marketing, email marketing, and more. "Marketing has grown into an immense industry with loads of different niche areas" explains Rasmussen. Unless you are willing to spend the time to learn digital marketing yourself or have an extra-large budget, it is unlikely that one person will be able to do everything effectively.
Digital Marketing is Always Changing
The one constant in digital marketing is change. What works today might not work tomorrow. Unless you have someone who is keeping up with the latest trends, your digital marketing efforts are going to fall behind.
Digital marketing agencies live and breathe digital marketing. That’s why digital marketing agencies are always on the cutting edge, experimenting with new strategies and technologies so they can keep their clients ahead of the curve. It’s their job to keep up with the latest digital marketing trends and changes, so you don’t have to.
If you’re like most business owners, you want to save money where you can. You may be tempted to try and handle digital marketing in-house, rather than hiring a full-service digital marketing agency. However, this is often a mistake. A marketing agency can be considerably more affordable than an in-house digital marketing specialist. The main reason for this is that when you hire an agency, you’re only paying for the services that you need. You’re not paying for employee benefits, health insurance, office space, or any other overhead costs.
While a good employee can be a valuable asset, you don’t always know what you are getting when you make a new hire. It is difficult to accurately gauge the effectiveness of a new hire. Even if they interviewed well and have a solid resume, you can’t be sure you’ll get the results you want. And if you aren’t knowledgeable about digital marketing, you might not be equipped to reliably understand the results you are getting. Bringing a new employee up to speed in your business can take time, and it could be weeks or even months before you can accurately measure marketing results. And if you are unhappy with the results, you’ll have to fire the employee and start from scratch.
With a marketing agency, you have a team that has to deliver results or they will not survive as a business. You can talk to previous clients and ask for proven examples of results from an agency you can’t from an employee.
Access to Specialized Tools
Agencies have access to tools and software that are expensive and difficult to purchase on your own. This allows agencies to do better digital marketing and provide a higher level of service to their clients.
Marketing tools can have a tremendous impact on the effectiveness of marketing efforts. "A strong tech stack encourages growth and ensures that you aren’t spending your valuable time on tedious tasks" explains social listening tool Sprout Social. With a marketing agency, you are leveraging their access to powerful, and oftentimes pricey, marketing tools that can have a big impact on your digital marketing campaigns. Because digital marketing agencies work with multiple clients, they can spread the cost of these tools and software across all their clients.
You’re likely to get better quality results from an agency. When you hire a digital marketing agency, you get a team of specialists who are focused on getting you results. They will work together to create a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that covers all the bases and leaves no stone unturned. When you have an in-house digital marketing employee, they are often pulled in different directions and may not have the time or focus to hone their craft.
A full-service marketing agency is the better option for digital marketing, hiring an in-house employee just doesn’t make sense. You’ll save money, get certainty, access to specialized tools and better results.