Digital Marketing Strategy,

In-House vs Agency Marketing: Which One Do You Need?

Magdalena Andreeva

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Marketing teams are crucial for any company, though debates often ensue about whether they should be in-house or hired externally. There can be a well-balanced argument for either case, depending on the growth level of a company.

You might suspect that we’re a little biased towards the agencies, but we do want to present a balanced argument here. Let’s dive deeper into the pros and cons of in-house vs. agency marketing.

What Is the Difference Between In-House vs Agency Marketing?

In-house marketing relies mainly on an internal marketing team that your company can maintain to reach your business goals. By contrast, agency marketing uses an external or outsourced marketing team that you hire to market your business. Which one you will choose depends on the company’s goals and vision.

Let’s deep dive into the pros and cons of each.

Hiring an In-House Marketing Team

As businesses grow, it’s more natural to gradually bring more and more of the marketing activities in-house and develop expertise in the company. We find this the right decision for most companies once they reach a certain scale.

This only makes sense in the bigger picture since they can develop expertise in-house to cater to a particular brand. As Neil Patel points out, they are already designed to believe in your brand mission.

The only downside to going in-house vs. agency marketing is the team you put together perhaps has little experience dealing with companies like yours. They may be able to deliver the type of content you want to create and make it unique. They may have experience with paid search, yet not as diverse as the experience of an agency pay-per-click marketer.

The bottom line is, you’d need to invest time to get them up to speed. Once they’ve leveled up, you’d reap the rewards of having a highly experienced marketer with an in-depth understanding of your particular business.

If you’re part of such a rapidly growing company that has come to the point where you can benefit from having an in-house team, you can check these tips on managing and empowering your digital team.

Hiring an Agency as an Extension of Your Marketing Team

When your company is at an earlier stage, going with a marketing agency is a shortcut to growth. The same applies when you need certain types of complementary support to your marketing work.

In these cases, you are much better off hiring an agency for the experience level alone.

Diverse Experience

Agency marketers have years of experience working with various companies. From industry verticals to size, from start-ups to mature companies, they sure have worked with companies similar to yours. They can show you what the best marketing path is in taking you to the next growth stage.

Some agencies are even focused on certain types of businesses, just as Hop Online is focused on SaaS. They might recognize problems and apply solutions. They can compare a situation that they’re in with your project to something they’ve already experienced or a challenge they’ve overcome with another similar project.

More Eyes on Your Project

The main reason that most SMB SaaS companies can grow much faster with an agency partner is because of the diversity of ideas that an agency will bring. Agencies can put several bright minds on a project, they can test more, and move faster.

Marketing agencies usually share projects and can have a lot of fresh perspectives brought in at different points in time on a project. This way you will eliminate that risk of people getting stuck in the ruts and having tunnel vision. With an agency partner, there are more unique opinions shared, livelier debates, better decisions, and ultimately superior outcomes.

An in-house marketing hire, on the other hand, is the agency equivalent of isolating one person to one single project. That person often has fewer marketing peers with whom to consult and debate ideas. While the in-house person can still be successful, there’s a potential opportunity cost if/when the person develops tunnel vision.

That type of experience and perspective is the true value you get and the reason to pay a premium to work with an agency vs. in-house marketing.

Choose Agency Partners Carefully

If you feel you’d benefit from working with an agency as an extension of your own team, make sure to choose one wisely. Ask a lot of questions and don’t simply look for a specific solution but rather for these agencies’ different approaches.

Are they willing to tailor their services to your brand’s need, or are they sticking to the same old “best practices”? There are many individual criteria, of course, but you may want to check our top 3 key questions for assessing a digital marketing agency.

What Types of Digital Marketing Can In-House and Agency Teams Do?

In-house and agency marketing teams can develop and manage several types of online marketing strategies. However, it should be noted that digital marketing agencies have typically more experience with these tactics.


Since 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine, it’s crucial to integrate SEO as part of your digital marketing mix. Trusting an agency for SEO services, both on-page and off-page can skyrocket your website so that you can appear on a higher ranking position in search engine results pages.

It’s wise not to neglect to rank highly on SERPs as facts show that three-quarters of people never scroll past the first page of search engines. In other words, if your brand’s website is on page two, or even three, it’s unlikely that anyone will find your website.


Pay-per-click advertising is one of the most cost-effective methods of online marketing.

It works based on a bidding system in which you identify your most valuable keywords, decide how much you want to spend every time your ad targeting that phrase is clicked, and then watch your site traffic increase.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is important since the number of people using social media grows year-over-year, and in fact, users spend 142 minutes daily on social media in 2021 compared to the 90 minutes recorded in 2012.

Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram are all great platforms for promoting your business.

When you market on social media, whether in-house or by trusting an agency for social media services, you have the opportunity to raise brand awareness, direct traffic to your website, and increase conversion rates.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is vital because it helps you build trust, develop relationships, increase conversions, and generate leads by answering your audience’s questions. In today’s world, customers demand high-quality, consistent content from their favourite brands.

Content marketing combines on-page tactics like keyword targeting and user experience, with off-page strategies like email marketing to ensure your website has a strong competitive advantage, is in pace with search engines’ latest preferences, and provides additional value to users.

On a roll? Continue reading to find out how data science is transforming digital marketing agencies.

Paris Childress
Paris Childress

CEO & Founder

My job is to match talented, motivated marketers with high growth companies, arm teams for success, then to get out of the way.

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