5min read

In-House Marketing Versus Marketing Agency

by Dan Moyle | May 8, 2020 at 8:15 AM

As a marketing manager, you’ve got your hands full. You’re ready to scale up your marketing efforts, maybe even add to your team. But you’re not sure if you should add a team member or partner with an agency. 

Maybe you’ve heard that in-house hires are the way to go because they get to know your brand intimately and speak your language. 

Or maybe one of your peers told you an agency is the way to go because they work with clients in other industries and bring a fresh perspective to your marketing. 

Either way, you’ve heard pros and cons on either side. So when you’re ready to dial up your growth and invest in an inbound marketing approach, which way do you go? 

In this article we’re exploring how an agency can benefit your business when you’re in growth mode and your marketing strategy needs the right touch. 

Agency: Multiple Experts

Did you know that for about the price of a full-time employee (FTE), you get access to multiple experts? 🤯

Using Impulse Creative as an example, you get to tap into a growth strategist, an inbound evangelist, a director of inbound, a director of projects, a graphic designer, a web developer, a content marketer and an inbound marketer. That’s the team behind the scenes working with a client. 

This means our clients get to work with different perspectives, all levels of experience, various demographics and multiple skill sets. What FTE can offer all of those benefits? 

Here’s a breakdown of what that looks like in the real world:

  • Growth Strategist: More than another sales person, our growth strategist Jackie understands inbound marketing, growth strategies, lead generation and more. 
  • Inbound Evangelist: At Impulse Creative, we’re all about teaching and helping. Our inbound evangelist does just that. George helps with HubSpot onboarding, teaching inbound marketing, sales and service, video marketing strategies and more. He also oversees the Sprocket Talk community.
  • Director of Inbound: Strategic thinking. That’s one of our strengths on the Impulse Creative team. The head of our inbound marketing team (covered below) is Juli. She’s a force to be reckoned with, bringing experience spanning in-house marketing, the agency world and more. 
  • Director of Projects: Project management is critical to growth. That’s why adding an expert on managing all of the moving parts is crucial to our mission of bringing clients multiple experts. Our director of projects Audrey manages tasks, calendars, people and everything else. It’s like adding a project manager to your team as part of your marketing and sales team.
  • Graphic Designer: From designing websites to creating logos and more, adding a graphic designer like Jeffrey to your team of experts ensures quality branding. With experience across multiple industries, our designer brings a whole slew of perspectives and ideas. 
  • Developer: Have you ever hired a developer to create web apps or a website? It’s an expensive endeavor. With an agency, you can add this skill set to your team of experts. Our developers Russel and Vinny are magicians with code. 
  • Content Marketer: From premium content creation like ebooks and pillar pages to blog posts, our content marketing team brings a ton of writing experience to the team. Danielle and Jenn love writing and editing for high-velocity growth. 
  • Inbound Marketer: How valuable is it to have a person you trust managing all of your different marketing needs, reporting to you as the marketing manager? Our inbound marketers create content, run social media campaigns, manage accounts, strategize and more. Having a trusted partner on the front lines means you’ve got one person to go to for everything you need. 

Not every project needs every expert. But this is how we look at the question of hiring an in-house marketer versus hiring an agency. An agency comes with multiple experts. 

What to Look for in an Agency

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It’s not always easy to think about giving up control of your marketing and messaging to an agency. An outsider. We get it. So what should you look for in an agency so you can trust them?

Look for a digital marketing agency who is willing to test the waters before making you commit to a long-term retainer. 

What does that look like? It’s a team that you’re able to build some rapport with early. They aren’t afraid to prove themselves through smaller-scale projects to reassure you in their competence. 

While marketing efforts don’t always yield instant results they often trigger small, visible trends. Look for signs of that momentum. Instead of simply signing a six month deal (or a year-long commitment), ask your prospective partner to prove their worthiness with a short-term campaign.

Here at Impulse Creative, we start off with a customized audit. Our team does a full evaluation of your company's website or marketing practices, including a deep dive of your social media and email marketing, a site health report, a keyword research build and competitive analysis, heat map tracking and more. When we wrap the audit, you get our findings, no strings attached.

Read more about what to expect when working with an agency here.

As you prepare for serious growth, consider the difference between an in-house marketer (with many great attributes) and hiring a team of experts via an agency. 

And when you’re ready to lean into digital marketing on a deeper level, we’re here to help.

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