COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - 5874 Business Continuity

In-house vs external marketing

5 minute read

According to Marketing Week, brands that have decided to take their marketing in-house are beginning to show some regrets. While initially brands thought the move from hiring an external marketing agency to having a team in-house would save on costs and improve creativity amongst staff, it turns out this hasn’t quite worked out the way they hoped.

That’s not to say there aren’t some benefits to in-house marketing. We take a look at some of the reasons reported by Marketing Week that brands gave for choosing an in-house team and where hiring an external digital agency might actually be a better choice.

Familiarity vs New ideas

One of the arguments for an in-house marketing team is that they will have a deeper understanding of the brand and products as they can be in and around the business on a daily basis. This familiarity does have some merit as it means there will be consistency across the brand and any marketing channels. 

However, being too close to home can be a hindrance when it comes to developing fresh ideas. An external source can see an entirely different perspective which means new ideas and more chances to grow your marketing strategy and your business. 

Faster response vs Meeting deadlines

Being in-house with the sole purpose of looking after the marketing of one brand does of course have its merits. You’ll be able to make decisions and get answers much faster. Rather than waiting on a response to an email, you can walk over to your colleague’s desk and ask the decision upfront. This often means projects and strategies can get the sign off much faster. 

Yet, what happens when half the marketing team is on holiday? Or Christmas is looming and it’s all hands on deck packing parcels? 35% of those surveyed by Marketing Week said that since swapping to an in-house marketing team, deadlines were often pulled back or missed. With an agency, you’re hiring them to do a job and to complete it by a certain date. Your holidays are covered and busy periods will include extra help so your in-house staff can focus on other things. Sure, an in-house marketing team might mean faster response times, but if you are working with a marketing agency, they will be able to meet deadlines more efficiently and carry any extra weight. 

Cheaper cost vs Industry experience

Perhaps the most popular reason for businesses taking their marketing in-house is down to the cost. It can often work out cheaper to pay out individuals in a small team than it is to pay an agency’s hourly rate. 

There’s a reason for that.

With an agency comes a vast amount of experience. The team would often be larger than what most businesses could afford/have space for in-house and the knowledge is much more varied down to working across a variety of industries. If a problem arises, chances are, they’ve already dealt with it. It also means their resources are varied, as well as the skillset of the team, meaning you’ll have access to more technologies and a new level of creativity. 

That’s not to put down in-house marketing teams. There are a lot of benefits to having marketing professionals working closely together in the environment of the brand, which is why it can often be the case that businesses look to recruit a small team in-house but also look externally for extra help. This may not be an option for smaller businesses who might find it much easier and more valuable to hire a digital agency for a few hours each month than to pay an individual or team an annual salary, but for midsize to large scale businesses, working together could be the best option.

For more information on how we work as a marketing agency and how we could support your in-house team, give us a call on 0121 369 5874 or email