In-House Vs Agency; Which Marketing Strategy is Best for Your Business

A digital marketing agency contrasted against an individual marketing specialist

When you are a new business, or have been trading for a while and are looking for a fresh means to boost sales, a digital marketing expert is what you need. They’ll handle all parts of your marketing, from social media and content creation to PPC ads management. The question is, which type of marketer is better suited for your needs?

With an in-house marketer, you have someone working full-time and accessible at all working hours. They’ll come to know the business first-hand, and you can enjoy full control over their workload. However, it can be expensive and restrictive to have a dedicated in-house marketer on your payroll, especially if you don’t have the budget for this. You are also limited to the knowledge and skills of just one person.

Agencies are by far a cheaper option, offering flexible hourly or task-based packages that you can change based on how much budget you have available. If you choose the right agency, you could get access to a number of experts in different fields. 

As an award-winning UK digital marketing agency and business consultancy, we understand that both in-house and outsourced professionals have their unique advantages and disadvantages. Today’s blog is not going to focus so much on direct comparisons, but on ways to help you determine which will be better for your business. Read on, and understand what makes InSynch’s take on this comparison so unique.


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The Short and Sweet Summary

Let’s get all the direct and relatable comparisons out of the way first. Some of these points may vary, but a competent agency will rarely act in contrast to the comparisons outlined. 

In House


Higher monthly costs that scale up with marketing employee experience. Lower monthly costs and flexible packages that scale with your needs.
Increased workloads if there is no dedicated marketing staff member. Workload is given to the agency, allowing your staff to focus on business operations.
Additional costs through subscriptions to professional marketing tools (SaaS). Uses in-house tools, with SaaS costs absorbed. 
New ideas and suggestions are often limited to your own knowledge. A wider variety of ideas, brainstormed by a qualified team with plenty of experience.
Bad ideas typically go uncontested. A professional relationship allows ideas to be evaluated through experience and trust.
Guaranteed full-time dedication towards marketing. Works efficiently to achieve marketing goals in a limited amount of time.
First-hand access to key information useful in case studies and promotional material. You need to have good communication and provide key information when requested.
Better control over timescales and communication. A scheduled communication structure can keep meetings and plans professional.
Upskilling staff is your responsibility. Always upskilling their staff’s marketing experience without impacting you.
New strategies like influencer marketing need to be built from the ground up. Has their own strategies and networks on hand when you want to engage in it.

How Much Responsibility Do You Want to Manage?

Many of the points previously highlighted under in-house aren’t direct negatives. It’s better to think of them as considerations and responsibilities that you will have to manage if you decide to keep marketing in-house.

It’s not impossible to ensure that ideas are not stifled, and that staff are constantly upskilled. It’s simply extra workload on you or your HR department. Some of the most successful UK companies like Tesco and Specsavers use in-house marketing teams.

That said, big companies aren’t shy about hiring digital marketing agencies for specialist work. Even Disney, the media powerhouse itself, employs agencies. For them, it’s not a matter of whether they have the money or the staff capacity, it’s more about reducing workload so they can focus on their projects.

For example, what if you want some influencers to promote an upcoming product? Why spend the time finding, auditing, and negotiating with them when you can hire an agency like InSynch with an influencer marketing specialist? We already have the experience and established connections working in this area and can provide you with a list of potential influencers in a short timescale.

You can free up precious time and resources to concentrate on your core operations by outsourcing to an experienced agency. Agencies take the majority of the responsibility off your shoulders and spread it amongst a team of highly experienced individuals.

We manage the full spectrum of digital advertising and brand awareness under our Total Digital Marketing service. From emails and social media to online adverts and influencers. Essentially, we have the ability to become your dedicated digital marketing department.


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Do You Require Flexibility With Budgets and Workloads?

If you want the likes of a social media and SEO specialist working in-house and full-time, with pension costs this will easily cost £4000 a month, and that’s before you add on software subscriptions, insurance, and equipment.

This may be doable for larger businesses, but what if you’re a smaller or seasonal business? Are you closed during winter? What if the holiday season marks your biggest increase in sales? Or what if your business is undergoing massive structural changes? It’s difficult to upscale or downscale your marketing when you have a person on a permanent employment contract. 

We have many seasonal clients at InSynch who take advantage of our option to change packages or pause during off-peak times. Similarly, we’ve had clients that experience a period of growth and have helped them upscale their marketing to match. All we require is reasonable notice, and your package can be modified to better fit your needs.

To summarise, an in-house marketer is better suited to larger businesses with strong cashflow and few periods of “inactivity”. An agency suits businesses where the workload or cashflow are very dynamic.


Do You Need a Low-Risk Fresh Start?

Your sales are dwindling, leads are low, and management are dissatisfied. Obviously, this calls for a reboot of your business strategy and approach. Getting an experienced marketing agency to take a fresh approach to your online presence is perhaps the most low-cost, low-risk approach to this end.

This is one area that InSynch separates itself from other firms. We provide business consulting advice, helping you understand where you are, what is definitely not working where you need to go, and ways that can be achieved. 

By joining us on a package, you’ll gain access to the skills and knowledge your business needs to move forwards. All you need to get started is a 1-2-1 consultation with one of our digital marketing experts. 


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