Jul 13, 2023

Should I hire a digital marketing agency?

Darryll Bayes
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For any company wishing to get their brand noticed in the fast-paced digital world, hiring a digital agency would seem like an obvious choice. Working with a digital marketing agency to promote your company provides many benefits. However, sometimes buy-in from all stakeholders can be a challenge. Here we explore the pros and cons of hiring a digital partner.

Getting the strategy right

Before we jump in and start looking at what an in-house versus agency argument looks like it’s important to talk strategy. One of the most crucial aspects of thriving in the digital era is implementing the right marketing strategies for your business. With the vast array of channels and platforms at your disposal, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of your target audience, their preferences, and the most effective ways to reach them. Failing to do so can result in a scattered and inefficient approach to digital marketing. This can lead to wasted resources and ultimately a negative impact on your brand's growth.

A marketing agency that specialises in online marketing, comes equipped with the expertise and experience needed to navigate the complex digital landscape, ensuring that your marketing efforts are well-directed, efficient, and effective. They’ll help you identify the optimal channels and tactics to reach and engage your target audience, develop a cohesive strategy, and consistently measure and refine your campaigns based on data-driven insights.

The rise of AI in marketing

It's important to include a section on Artificial intelligence (AI) at this point as this is becoming a more prominent presence in office discussions, especially around the question of hiring a specialised agency versus the in-house utilisation of AI tools such as ChatGPT. With its sophisticated language models, and other time saving data applications, some are starting to believe that AI has the potential to replace human marketers in the near future. This has sparked a debate about the role of AI in marketing and whether it can truly supplant the need for human expertise and therefore make it easier to run digital marketing campaigns in-house without the need of highly trained staff.

While AI can undoubtedly enhance certain aspects of marketing, such as automating repetitive tasks and providing real-time insights, it’s important to remember that digital marketing is still a highly creative and strategic field that requires a deep understanding of human behaviour and emotion. A digital agency's team of experts brings this essential human touch to marketing campaigns, ensuring that they resonate with target audiences and forge lasting connections. By combining the power of AI with the unique talents and insights of real people, a digital marketing company can help businesses navigate the fast-paced digital world and achieve their goals more effectively than AI alone ever could.

Should you hire a digital marketing company or go in-house?

So, with the foundations of marketing strategy laid and whether using an AI tool is an ‘easy option’ explored, let’s look at marketing execution and that burning question “to outsource or not to outsource?”

The allure of creating an in-house marketing team

Despite the numerous benefits of partnering with a digital marketing company, there are some situations where a business may opt for establishing an in-house marketing team. These include:

  • Easier onboarding: With an in-house team there’s greater control over marketing strategies and brand messaging, as the deep understanding of the company's unique culture and values are already in place.
  • Cross department working: The ability to work closer with other departments within the organisation is easier when using an in-house team. This could develop a more comprehensive view of the business and its goals, by enabling seamless integration of marketing efforts with the overall company strategy.
  • Future growth: In-house employees will potentially help grow marketing efforts in the longer term, mitigating the need to outsource.

However, while there are some benefits, there are also some aspects that may make creating an in-house team out of reach.

  • Budget constraints: Significant investment in time and resources, including hiring, training, and retaining top talent.
  • Expertise: In-house teams may lack the diverse skillset and experience that a digital marketing agency can provide, potentially limiting the range of marketing strategies and tactics employed. Having a few ‘masters of all trades’ is less likely to result in sustained growth and improved ROI.
  • Achieving results: Desired results may take longer to be achieved if the in-house team are having to manage other roles too and therefore can’t devote their full time to one task.
  • Workstreams: Having a full team of specialist digital marketeers will mean that workloads will have to be large enough to sustain them long term, if not this could lead to lower ROIs or dismissals.

Taking these pros and cons of an in-house team into account, it’s crucial to consider the specific needs and resources of your business when deciding whether to build an in-house marketing team or partner with a digital marketing agency.

Outsourcing marketing to an agency

Choosing to outsource your marketing to an agency can yield several benefits that may not be achievable with an in-house team. These include:

  • Talent pool: Partnering with an agency grants you access to a diverse pool of talent with a wide range of expertise, which can keep your campaigns fresh and innovative. This not only ensures that your marketing efforts remain current and adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape but also allows your business to tap into cutting-edge strategies that might be otherwise inaccessible.
  • Greater time efficiency: With an agency, a team of highly skilled professionals will be assigned to executing and delivering the project. They’re already in place so, after an initial onboarding with your company, will be ready to start working on delivering results.
  • Scalability and flexibility: Outsourcing allows for greater scalability and flexibility in your marketing efforts. As your business grows and your marketing needs evolve, an agency can easily adapt to these changes and respond accordingly, without the need for additional in-house hires or costly training. This enables your company to focus on its core competencies while leaving the marketing management to a team of experts who are dedicated to delivering results.
  • Cost savings: Working with a digital agency can lead to significant cost savings. By outsourcing marketing, your business can avoid the expenses associated with hiring full-time employees, such as salaries, benefits, and office space. Additionally, an agency may have access to cost-effective tools and resources that can further streamline your marketing efforts and provide a better return on investment.

In summary, by partnering with a digital marketing company, you can leverage their knowledge and skills to maximise your marketing ROI, optimise your online presence, and ultimately drive sustainable growth for your business.

Feel ready to explore how partnering with a digital marketing agency can elevate your marketing efforts? Feel free to check us out.

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