Hiring In-house vs. Agency for your Inbound Marketing

Chris Hawkins

Written by Chris Hawkins on Wed, Jul 30, 2014

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In House vs AgencyThis is just some of what you get from an inbound marketing agency. It also may be a list of requirements for your next marketing hire.  

Deciding whether to hire an in-house marketer or an agency is not an easy decision. If you’re on the fence, let’s see if we can help.

Here are some key advantages of hiring an agency over bringing a marketing person into your organization.


Agencies perform the same tasks over and over becoming highly specialized in each piece of the marketing puzzle. This specialization creates efficiency in both strategy and tactics.

Efficiency in strategy eventually provides a competitive advantage in the marketplace for an agency partner. The choices made may mean the difference between a company not ranking well in Google and ranking on page one for 20 keywords.

Tactical efficiency—those choices put into action—means creating the right message for the right person at the right time, whether it’s driving visitors with a compelling blog post or increasing conversions for a download.


An agency works with numerous partners, developing a good sense of what works and what doesn’t. This experience would be hard to find with a single in-house marketer.

With an agency, you have an entire team behind you. There is wisdom in a crowd of marketers.

Agencies keep up with trends, ideas and successes in the digital marketing industry. They play with the latest marketing tools and apps, attend conferences in cool locales and generally geek-out on digital marketing.


Being immersed in your business every day has many advantages. But it can also leave you with a case of myopia. Developing a narrow view is easy when you’re that close to your work every day.

Agencies provide a fresh perspective on what looks the same, looks “right”, or what may even look impossible to someone on the inside.

Agency marketers are objective participants in a very subjective, personal environment. An agency doesn’t get involved in office politics, the daily drama and fantasy football. And they aren’t worried (usually) about telling you what you don’t want to hear.

(Some companies even bring in consultants to help them with perspective.)

Talent Gap

One marketer will not have the specialized skill set that an agency with these specialists will have. How many marketers do you know who are proficient in the list above?

Again, it comes down to having a team behind you versus one person. 

Hiring the Wrong Person

Not only does hiring an employee actually cost at least 30% more than their salary, the cost of making the wrong hire lops even more off your bottom line. How much will depend on your business.

Think of all the costs that go into hiring the wrong person: recruiting costs, salary, benefits, other costs (office equipment, training, managing), missed business opportunities, impact on employee morale, and severance.

It adds up quickly even when you can’t put a dollar amount on something like employee morale, which is even scarier. Give this bad hire calculator a whirl to put some dollars to it.

Are you thinking about hiring an agency or bringing someone in-house for your inbound marketing? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. 

Also, check out our free ebook on key attributes & core values your next agency partner must have. 


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