Is In-House Marketing The Best Answer to Benefit Your Business Success?



What is In-House Marketing

How to Organize Your In-House Team

Designing Your Marketing Strategy

Cost Consideration of In-House Marketing

Compare the Hiring Costs vs. Return on Marketing

Factors To Compare In-House Marketing Vs. Agency

The Cons of In-House Marketing over An Agency

Business Delegation

The Hybrid Option

Partner Marketing Plan

The Agency Alternative


Online marketing is key to business success, from brand recognition to connecting with customers.

You have a choice between building an in-house marketing team or outsourcing your digital marketing needs to a marketing agency.

It’s a tough decision to make because each—in-house and agency—has its benefits and constraints. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons to decide which choice is best for your business marketing needs.

What is In-House Marketing?

An in-house marketing program consists of creating a strategy that focuses on promotional and promotional efforts, including advertising and event marketing, as well as branding and product marketing. Often, in-house marketing departments take on a lot of the responsibility of service and technical support, and customer relations.

Because of these choices the in-house team may prefer to avoid external support and outsourcing services.

You’ll need to organize your in-house team, develop an overall marketing strategy, decide on priorities, and delineate your budget. But it’s an area that, more than any other, offers both the most opportunity and the most potential for failure.

If you manage your marketing in-house, you’ll be in charge! Full-time marketing staff management is possible, but it requires a large management commitment.

woman giving a presentation

How to Organize Your In-House Team

When you decide to create an in-house team you need the personnel to perform the work. And, you also need to bring Human Resources up to speed with your requirements and salary considerations.

You’ll need at least one management role to determine your business marketing needs, oversee the strategy and make sure the team, once they are onboard, works in concert to fulfill your marketing needs.

In-house staff can be divided into two groups to fulfill your organizational needs: The Senior Management Team includes a chief marketing officer, a department manager, and a full-time or part-time marketing representative (marketer, salesperson). In addition, it may also include a business manager or financial officer or sales representatives.

Second, your Human Resources team may consist of a number of human resources professionals, assistant managers, and administrators. As you can see, there are quite a few people who must be organized and managed on a daily basis.

As you can see, creating an in-house marketing team requires overhead to meet your business basic marketing needs.

Designing Your Marketing Strategy

Your marketing strategy will hold certain assumptions about the nature of your business and your marketing priorities.

Your marketing strategy will reflect the nature of your business—for example, manufacturer, service, retailer, or wholesaler. You can look to the process of decision-making and value added to each level of the organization as you design a marketing plan for your business.

As you design your marketing strategy, answers will surface to the questions:

How much of your marketing dollars will be spent on direct marketing versus indirect marketing?
What kinds of programs will you produce for your customers?
What kinds of relationships will you have with your customers?
How will you position yourself in relation to your competitors?
How will you define a unique selling proposition for your product?
What is your competitive advantage
Who are your competitors?

Answers to these questions will help you decide where you want to spend your marketing efforts and your marketing dollars.

Then you need to determine what roles you need on your marketing team to fulfill your marketing strategy, working on it every day to produce and post content that speaks to your customers. In addition, you’ll need people to respond to comments and questions from consumers as they react to your marketing efforts.

Cost Considerations of In-House Marketing

Next, you need to assess how much an in-house marketing team costs. Here are some considerations to evaluate when making your decision to create an in-house team.

Recruitment Costs

To begin, consider the recruitment prices. In order to find marketing personnel you need to advertise. Advertising costs are involved as well as recruitment costs. It is necessary to have an HRM department or outsource recruiting.

women seating at meeting

Training Costs

Marketing teams have their own unique needs, and a marketing team may need training prior to launching. It takes about three months for any employee to get fully on board with a company. If $50k is the average annual salary, you pay out $12,500 in payroll costs for those first three months for each new team member.


The pay ranges from $42K to 50K per year for a basic marketing salary. The average range starts from $42K and ends at $83K per annum. That is for one individual. But, you will need multiple personnel to build a diverse team.

Additional Benefits

50K was a basic salary estimate, but in addition you’ll have employee benefits. In September 2020, employers in the private sector spent $10.72 per hour on benefits. Rounding out the numbers, You will pay $90K per year for each marketing position.

Subsequent Training and Retention Costs

Of the team, you may end up with one bad hire. You will have already spent three months of time and budget on training. Now you’ll have to start over with a new hire. In addition, you’ll want to keep your marketing team up to date with courses and training as the online marketing world evolves.

Compare the Hiring Costs vs. Return on Marketing

Your calculations should include comparing the hiring costs versus your expected return on your marketing efforts. This will help you determine the true cost of hiring an in-house marketing department over time as opposed to doing it yourself.

If you’re not going to get enough return on your marketing efforts to justify spending on hiring a dedicated marketing staff, then it’s probably a bad idea.

Factors To Compare In-House Marketing Vs. Agency

Your analysis is incomplete if you don’t compare establishing in-house marketing with other options, such as hiring a marketing agency. Here is a short comparison between both.

Access To Latest Tools And Platforms

A marketing agency has the latest tools and must-have technologies needed for different marketing practices. On the other hand, you will have to invest a great deal in your in-house marketing team.

Communication Ease

It is easy for your in-house team to communicate with each other (intra-department) and with other departments in your business (inter-department). In-house teams can arrange brainstorming sessions as needed. Using an agency, you will need to schedule meetings to coordinate brainstorming, review current plans, and evaluate results on an ongoing basis.

Workplace Politics

Workplace politics can pollute the whole organization. Conflicts arise when mindsets collide. Conflicts such as these cause confusion and affect the quality of work. On the other hand, a marketing agency has only one main goal in mind—developing an effective marketing strategy for your company.

Organizational Culture, Values, and Vision

Marketing teams at the company spend all of their time in their organization and are well aware of their culture, values, and vision. Marketing agencies must deal with many clients at once, and they aren’t always able to adapt to every organizational culture.

woman using white Ipad

The Cons of In-House Marketing over An Agency

In-house marketing teams usually have less access to the latest tools, and workplace politics can hinder collaboration and productivity. Organizational culture, values, and vision needs to be considered when employing in-house marketing as it is normally a long-term decision. Unclear career paths for employees can also be an issue for employers in the long term.

Here are some other disadvantages of having an in-house marketing team.

Expense. An in-house marketing team is more expensive than a marketing agency. In-house marketing does not offer an attractive option if you don’t have enough resources or if your startup (small business) is just about to launch.
As you progress and scale, hiring a marketing agency to handle your marketing needs might make more sense.

Common Perception. An in-house marketing team will handle only one organization and its products and services. But, over time, this perspective can become limited. Many in-house marketing teams fail because they fail to think outside the box.

Limited Experience. A marketing agency deals with multiple clients with different goals and audiences simultaneously. They develop hands-on experience in different markets and industries. An agency builds an extensive knowledge base in marketing strategies and tactics. The in-house team is restricted to a specific company and their internal experience.

Marketing Effectiveness. A marketing agency takes a holistic and intelligent approach to business and customer needs. The agency is more effective in doing field analysis and research and building strategic plans that utilize data and real-world information. People are creative, ambitious and have a strong work ethic. The in-house team tends to be over-burdened with internal obligation and is less likely to take on new projects.

Business Delegation

When an employee is part of an outside marketing agency, they can be directed toward a new customer while the opportunity is developed. Unlike an in-house employee, they no longer have to deal with their peers and superiors within the in-house marketing group. They can feel like an all-star for having the ability to be a leader in their trade and very successful in their chosen career path.

Although on an in-house team, ultimately, the new employee becomes successful and financially stable. The key is that the employee must be properly developed throughout the entire process. Often times, new marketing managers are hired who have a good grasp on the industry, but they are not trained properly on how to become a manager and overcome their own limitations.

The best candidates are those who come from marketing or business management functions within large corporations. They have been successful in their previous employment and have a vast amount of soft skills that benefit the specific industry as well as the individual. But, these skilled professionals will demand appropriate higher salaries.

The Hybrid Option

Some businesses use a hybrid option. In addition to the in-house marketing team, they coordinate with a marketing agency to complete their marketing goals.

This combination can be used to maximize performance and flexibility.

In-house marketing managers provide the strategy while they outsourced content and execution to the agency. This type of plan helps the brand image remain consistent with the business values, which will ultimately produce a better result. At the same time, it reduces the internal cost of an entire in-house team.

Co-sourcing allows your company to retain control of marketing assets. Additionally, you have the ability to adjust to the business’s evolving marketing needs.

Partner Marketing Plan

A partner marketing plan is complementary to the main in-house marketing plan. It can encompass several levels of more granular planning.

By utilizing more granular plans, you can tailor a specific plan to every member of the team. For example, you can have a more operational type of plan for content creators. Every member of the team is better managed by having one direct contact who can provide a more enhanced service to their clients.

For example, maintaining a firm presence in social media becomes imperative to your professional growth. This requires a team to create visuals and write content for posting on social media.

In addition, for social media marketing to be effective, you need to monitor and respond to all consumer replies and comments to direct them toward using your business as the solution to their need.

Outsourcing this operational focus, will reduce costs while building brand awareness and connecting with your consumer base.

Co-sourcing allows your company to retain control of marketing assets. Additionally, you have the ability to adjust to the business’s evolving marketing needs.

man and woman writing on whiteboard

The Agency Alternative

Hiring an agency reduces the cost and headaches of building an in-house team. It allows you to gain access to the latest tools, platforms and trends in marketing, develop your talent pool, and lead the work it’s doing by hiring the right people.

A Team of Marketing Experts

A marketing agency has SEO experts, graphic artists, social media experts, sound designers, copywriters, and more to meet your needs. An agency owner only hires the best minds in the industry. All of the experts must have passion, skills, adaptability, drive, and customer service. You will get a dedicated team without the expense and time of fielding them yourself.

Leverage Your Time and Invest in Your Business

An agency allows you to do what you love and improve your business in order to produce the results you want. You’ll have time to train your current employees to excel in their field and invest in programs that will help them learn how to increase your company’s value. The agency will handle marketing for you, allowing your employees to focus on their career paths and provide a culture of openness and growth.

Relevant Marketing Efforts

In today’s world, marketing moves as rapidly as technology does. Marketing and science go hand in hand as to how quickly they have to adapt. If marketing agencies are to succeed, they must stay relevant. They have to follow each trend daily and learn what is trending, and be able to offer the best technology available. With a marketing agency, you can take the pressure off of continuing education, and you have the most reliable and trending information available.

Weigh the Factors for Your Business

As you can see, the decision to create your own in-house marketing team, work in a hybrid combination, or hire a marketing agency depends on many factors.

Remember, a marketing team can cost thousands of dollars, but an agency is imperative in current market conditions. However, the benefits to choosing can help your company to succeed, and the common reward of advertising and marketing brought on by having a growth marketing team and running your own campaign is well worth the expense.

The truth is if you have the skills, the time, and a plan, you can have success without an agency.

If you have a great product and you want to start in marketing, consider all the factors when deciding whether to use an agency or hire your own marketing team.

At Erfolk we understand marketing strategy and can help you evaluate where your business is now and where you can go in the future to build success. We know how to leverage our skills to help your business connect with the right consumers.

We look forward to hearing about your next marketing project. Schedule your call with us now.