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Is it Better to Hire In-House or Outsource Digital Marketing?

Who handles digital marketing at your company? At most companies, just one person, sometimes even the owner, is solely responsible for digital marketing at their company, yet many CEOs say finding new customers, driving sales and building brand awareness are top concerns.

As the market becomes increasingly over-populated, it’s never been more challenging for businesses of all sizes and in all industries to stand out and gain a competitive advantage. That’s why savvy business owners are opening up to the idea of digital marketing as an effective way to generate new business for their organization, with most companies planning to up their digital marketing spend this year.

Regardless of if you’re building from the ground up or looking for new ways to grow, there’s no question your business needs an expert to handle digital marketing. It’s just a matter of whether you should hire in-house or outsource digital marketing. Let’s explore your options.

In-House vs. Agency

To gain more visibility and generate more quality leads, business owners need to decide whether it’s to their advantage to outsource digital marketing to an agency or keep everything in-house. Below, we compared in-house costs, technology and skillsets to a digital marketing agency.

How much does it cost to hire a marketing agency vs. in-house?

Hiring an in-house team for your digital marketing efforts is a timely and costly process, so you’ll want to make sure it’s the right move for your company. After all, the average cost-per-hire sits at about $4,000, not including salaries, benefits and taxes. On average, in-house marketing associates and managers are paid between $63,230 up to $132,230 annually—and that’s just for one person. Hiring multiple team members can really add up. While you might pay the same price over a year of working with a digital marketing agency, you’ll also be paying for an entire team of experts, rather than one or two people.

Keep in mind that it takes an average of 42 days to hire a quality member for your team—and you’ll surely pay the price if you fail to find the right fit. In fact, the average cost of a bad hire is nearly $17,000. Most companies can’t afford that kind of setback, especially when you’ll have to repeat the hiring process and invest even more time and money.

With agencies, on the other hand, you’ll avoid costs like recruiting fees, onboarding and training costs and expenses due to bad hires. Since agencies have already gone through the employee screening process and training period, your marketing efforts will be handled by qualified digital marketing pros who come “game-day ready.”

Essentially, you’ll pay less to work with more experienced professionals whose skillsets are more relevant to your specific needs. Depending on the scope of your digital marketing needs, monthly retainer contracts for agencies can range from four to five figures.

What kind of marketing tools will you need?

Simply hiring an in-house marketer often isn’t enough. You’ll need to arm them with the right tools to succeed. When it comes to digital marketing, you’ll find there’s a tool for everything. There are digital marketing tools for scheduling social media, analyzing website experience, reporting analytics, the list goes on. The cost for your organization to use these tools can quickly add up to thousands per year. That’s not even factoring in the time and cost to train your employees on how to use them.

With an agency, you’ll have access to the digital marketing tools you need. In most cases, the cost is already covered when hiring a digital marketing agency. Not to mention, the experts on an agency team come well-versed in how to use the tools. They’ll know how to leverage the tools to get the most bang for your buck with paid media, how to be more productive using marketing automation, which keywords will get you a higher search ranking, etc. It’s like Christmas Day for marketing.

Do you want a generalist or a specialist?

When you hire just one in-house employee, the scope of the job description will likely hit on all points within the digital marketing spectrum. This person will need to be a generalist, or a jack-of-all-trades, having a hand in content creation, a leg in marketing automation, a social media wizard, a website expert, etc. Not only are these “unicorn” employees hard to find, but for the in-house employee, it can be overwhelming trying to manage all the digital marketing functions of an organization. What often happens is that certain areas fall by the wayside and keeping up with industry trends goes right out the door.

As a key decision-maker in your company, you understand the power of delegation and that it can be better to divvy up tasks to different people rather than stick one person with all the responsibility. That’s what it’s like when you work with a digital marketing agency. Agencies are comprised of specialists in every facet of digital marketing. They’ll be experts whose sole purpose is to drive traffic via social media, others who will be dedicated to optimizing your website for search, you get the point. When you work with an agency, your organization will be able to delegate these tasks across an entire digital marketing team of experts. With vast experience in their given departments, these specialists will be up-to-date on everything from search engine algorithm changes to advancements in technology.

Hire a Digital Marketing Agency

When you build a business, you don’t want one person that “kind of” knows how to do everything. As they say, “jack-of-all-trades, master of none.” You want specialists who are experts at sales, finance, IT, operations, etc.

That’s why Aztek’s team is made up of experts in every area of focus related to digital marketing, including SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (pay per click), marketing automation, social media, web analytics, and content. As a Cleveland-based digital marketing agency, we have over 20 years of experience driving quality leads, sales, and awareness for hundreds of organizations throughout the Midwest. Even if you decide to hire in-house, we have helped clients provide strategic digital marketing direction and will work in conjunction with your in-house marketing team.

In addition to our digital marketing services, Aztek also provides web design and development to deliver well-designed and easy to use websites and applications to go along with your digital marketing efforts.

Contact us today to see how we can help your organization drive sales and build brand awareness through our digital marketing services.