Do you need an agency or a full-time employee? That’s right, title as the first sentence, we’re going ALL IN today. It’s a question we’ve heard a lot so we decided to really examine our answer and provide a bit more detail on why we (unsurprisingly) see an agency partnership as the better option, not just monetarily but creatively.
Agency vs. Full Time Employee
There’s been a trend of taking marketing in-house which, surprisingly, doesn’t worry agencies too much. Why? After about 6 months to a year of going in-house, a lot of businesses start to understand the true value of an agency partnership. Here are a few things to consider when thinking about an agency vs. a full-time employee.
- The experience of one person vs. manyFinding one person that can do it all? Good luck! If you do happen to find that unicorn, know that they’ll come with a hefty price tag. More often than not, you’ll find a great in-house marketer that either knows a little bit about everything or a lot about a couple of things. A professional marketing agency will put together a dedicated team for your project that includes professionals with a wide range of expertise, including web design, content creation, SEO experts, social media specialists, software engineers, and more. Different aspects of your inbound marketing campaign will be run and maintained by specialists in those areas.
- Yearly salary vs. retainerThe average yearly salary of a marketing manager in the US ranges from $84,000 to $116,000 according to salary.com. Depending on your services and needs, the average agency retainer per month can range between $5,000 a month ($60,000 a year) to $13,000 ($156,000 a year).Now, think about that fact that your in-house team will probably require 2-3 people and you start to see where the cost really adds up. Not only will you have to pay your full-time employee(s) a full salary or an hourly rate (which will likely be high if you’re expecting them to take care of your entire inbound marketing strategy), but you’ll also have to pay for their benefits as well as other overhead expenses (officing, tech, etc.). An agency will provide you with an entire team to handle your marketing strategy at a lower total cost than hiring a single employee or employees for the year.
- Strategy all day, every dayIf you hire a single person to take care of your marketing efforts you leave your company vulnerable. If they get sick or need to take time off–what happens to your strategy then? While some things can be automated, other things like social media management require an immediate response. Don’t get us wrong, we want people to take their PTO, but when everything rests solely on the shoulders of one person it’s easy for things to go wrong or come to a screeching halt if they’re not active. When you hire an agency, there will always be someone maintaining or monitoring your marketing strategy and bringing their ever-expanding experience to you.
- Scalability As your company expands, your marketing efforts will need to keep up. If you have an in-house marketing team, they may have trouble adjusting your marketing strategy to keep up with the growth of your company. You’ll need to hire more personnel (which can be a lengthy process) and invest more money into hardware and software. This is something that you’ll have to keep doing the larger your business grows.
If you hire an agency you won’t have to worry about not being able to maintain your marketing efforts or change your strategy to keep up with company growth. This is because agencies are well equipped to scale along with your company.
The Too Long; Didn’t Read Version
We love in-house marketers! They provide value and insight and strategy but they can’t do it alone. Agencies are an aggregate of creativity, expertise, experience, and ideas. Going with an agency ensures consistent engagement and elevation of your strategy, as well as a consistency in campaigns, branding, voice, and reporting…and, it may just cost you less than an in-house employee in the long run.