It’s a common conundrum for businesses and big-brands alike. What is the best option when it comes to choosing a marketing team? Invest in in-house marketing or partner with an agency to handle your marketing efforts. Both options have their clear advantages and disadvantages. Here are my thoughts on the topic:
For what it’s worth, let me first point out that 100% of our medium to large clients have full time, in-house marketing managers who oversee their companies ‘big picture’ objectives, yet still turn to us as an extension of their team to help them handle the creative details (and grunt work) of accomplishing their goals.
But if you are a smaller company who feels you can only afford one or the other, this article is for you. While I am obviously biased as an owner of a digital marketing agency, I also have first-hand experience in my previous days as a full-time marketing director for numerous companies.
In-House Digital Marketing Manager
For a fair comparison, let’s consider what you can expect to pay for an experienced full-time, in-house Marketing Manager. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average median annual wage for a Marketing Manager in 2014 was $137,400. The higher-end of the field earned $171,390, while the lower 10% of the field earned $65,980 per year. The salary of your marketing manager, does not include additional funds that you will need to allocate to your marketing budget. For example, your paid media spend.
The pros of hiring an in-house manager would be that they are giving you 100% of their attention and an investment of at least 40 hours per week of their time. Whereas,a dedicated account executive at an agency is going to be sharing you along with a handful of other clients, giving you only a portion of their time.
The cons, however, of hiring an in-house manager is that one person alone has realistic limitations on their individual skills and experience. The very skills that could make the difference between failure and success. No one person can be an expert at everything. However, a full-service agency is made up of many highly experienced experts within their own fields.
That average annual wage we mentioned breaks down to $11,450 per month (median average). Spending $10k a month toward an agency can typically afford you with a substantial amount of integrated services along with a diverse team of experts. These integrated plans often include overseeing your website, content marketing strategies, SEO & PPC efforts, social media efforts, graphic design, programming needs, email marketing and more.
Outsourced Marketing Agency
A digital marketing agency is made up of highly-skilled individuals who focus on their own individual specialty. For example, a typical social media manager who works at a digital marketing agency is someone who lives, sleeps and breaths social media avenues. It is not only their job, but part of their daily routine to keep up with the latest changes and updates within the social media world. Same for a back-end web developer who lives for coding, programming and a desire to create amazing interactive experiences. Other examples of unique skills found at a full-service agency include content strategists, journalism-level copywriters, research analysts, pay-per-click experts, seo specialists, award-winning graphic designers, analytics experts, video photographers, video editors, mobile marketing pros, PR specialists, UX and CRM experts and more.
Marketing agencies also have access to high-end, yet extremely expensive analytic & research programs that are often far too expensive for individual companies to afford. Plus, they also have the know-how to properly leverage these tools to get the most useful information from them to better optimize your campaigns.
So before you put all your trust and the future of your company on the shoulders of one person, consider the benefits, experience and synergy that comes from an entire team of dedicated experts working on your company. My suggestion is to give a quality outsourced agency a full year and you’ll be glad you did.
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