Marketing Agency vs. Hiring In-House: Which is Best For Your Business?

January 2024
January 2024

Mark E. Ting

Hey, I'm Mark E. Ting. Your CMA marketing maestro. Always here to help, 24/7. I love all things content, SEO, design and development. I also have a penchant for lions and fast cars.

Marketing. Design. Development. It’s all key to business growth, lead generation and market domination. But you need a team to do it. So, when it comes to your brand, what’s the best choice to get the job done: hiring an external agency or building an in-house team?

Let’s take a look…

Why You Need A Marketing Team

If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound? Now ask the same about your brand. The answer, of course, is simple: if you want to break boundaries, make waves and disrupt the norm, you need to start making noise.

After all, you can have the best product or service in the world, but if nobody knows about it, then nobody is going to talk about it. Of course, you’re already wise to this. That’s why you’re here, reading this, ready to kick ass and chew bubble gum. 

How To Assemble Your Marketing Team

When assembling a marketing team, you have a number of choices at your disposal:

Option A:

  • Build a full in-house team
  • Augment your in-house team with externally hired resource 

Option B: 

  • Build a team of marketing suppliers from a range of freelancers and agencies
  • Pick a full service agency that can do it all like CMA – yeah, that is a big hint, hint

Like a mountain, both options come with upsides and downsides. Given that we work with some of the best in-house teams in the world, we can tell you first hand that building a full internal resource has plenty of long term upsides. Having a fully owned team generates increased transparency, cost communication, fewer marketing needs, agility, brand compliance and collaboration across the board. 

Put your seatbelt on though. You’ll still hit a brick wall from time to time when it comes to needing extra capacity. Likewise, you might require specific skills that you don’t need to hire on a daily basis. Side note: if you do need a ninja with the voice of Celione Dion, we have one in the back ready to roll – his name is Karl. Top bloke. And that’s why having a super responsive and heavily tooled agency, such as CMA, in your backpocket helps.

Of course, building an in-house team is easier said than done. Here’s a few of the challenges to help inform your business decision making. 

Cost and Time Considerations for In-House Hiring

It takes time to build a team. A lot of time. There’s trial and error. You’ll need departments and multiple skills. Then you need to find the right people to bring these departments together into a workflow smoother than a Terry’s Orange. Take paid media, for example. A typical workflow might look like this. 

  • Strategy Team: To define your paid advertising campaign business goals, KPIs then your customers goals – who are they? What type of content are they looking for? Where are they hanging out online? 
  • Creative Team: Ideating and outlining paid campaigns that resonate with your audience and business goals. What’s the big idea? Are we running social ads, carousels, videos, display or search? It could be a combo of them all. 
  • Content Team: Within the framework laid down by the Strategy and Creative Time, it’s time for your content creators to get to work.
  • Design Team: With the ingredients laid out, your design team – which will include graphic designers, digital designers and video editors – start baking the cake. 
  • Editorial Team: Somebody needs to taste the cake before you go live. 
  • Paid Team: Armed with a strategy, content and designed assets, the paid team will implement your paid campaigns. With audiences created and goals set, these then need managing – ideally on a daily basis – with iterations made along with way and budget control at the forefront of proceedings. 

Reports will need generating and presenting to the decision makers in your company. What went well? What went bad? What can we learn? What’s the next steps? How can we maximise these campaigns and retarget those buyers that have shown interest? It’s likely that these paid campaigns would also cut across to your organic social media – which too needs a team. And, what about customer lifecycle management? If we onboard new customers from these campaigns, how can we retain and grow that relationship? 

You get the picture. 

Additional considerations include: 

  • Hiring Costs: Recruitment expenses, such as job advertisements and agency fees, can add up.
  • Compensation: Salaries and benefits for marketing positions, like Marketing Manager, Graphic Designer, Web Developer, etc., vary based on experience and location.
  • Training and Onboarding: Additional resources are needed to train new hires and get them up to speed.
  • Time to Build a Team: The hiring process can take several weeks to months, delaying marketing initiatives.

It’s crucial to consider other hidden costs, such as benefits, training, not to mention office expenses and equipment when calculating the overall budget for building an in-house team. 

Salary Overview For Building An In-House Marketing Agency

So, how much would it cost to build your baseline in-house marketing team? To give you a flavour, here’s a review of average UK annual salaries for various marketing roles. 

RoleAverage Salary UK
Brand Strategist
Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
Content Marketing Manager
Social Media Manager
Graphic Designer
Web Developer
CRM Specialist
E-commerce Manager
SEO Specialist
Paid Media Specialist
Data Analyst
Customer Support
Project Manager
£35,000 – £55,000
£35,000 – £50,000
£35,000 – £50,000
£30,000 – £45,000
£25,000 – £40,000
£25,000 – £35,000
£30,000 – £45,000
£30,000 – £45,000
£30,000 – £50,000
£25,000 – £40,000
£25,000 – £40,000
£30,000 – £45,000
£20,000 – £30,000
£35,000 – £50,000
Total Annual Cost:£420,000 – £625,000

Please note: that the salary ranges are approximate and may vary based on factors such as experience, location and size needed for the team. Additionally, the total annual cost will depend on the number of employees hired and their respective salaries.

The Advantages of Hiring An Agency

Because CMA was voted the greatest agency in the world by 101 out of 100 in-house marketing managers, it would be remiss of us not to include ourselves in these examples. With CMA, for example, you get instant access to skilled marketing, design, development and CRM professionals. Like a light switch, we’re ready to turn things on in a moment’s notice. This empowers your business with scalability devoid of the complexities of recruitment, saving both time and resources.

Here’s a few top level considerations:

  • Cost-Efficient: CMA’s services are often more cost-effective than hiring and maintaining an entire in-house team.
  • Time-Saving: CMA can start implementing marketing strategies immediately, saving time on recruitment and onboarding.
  • Access to Top Talent: CMA’s team consists of skilled professionals in various marketing disciplines, delivering high-quality results.
  • Scalable Solutions: CMA can flexibly adjust resources based on your business’s evolving marketing needs.

CMA’s Dynamic Marketing Team

CMA’s versatile marketing team is a powerhouse of creativity and innovation. With a carefully curated blend of talents, we’re equipped to take your brand to new heights. Your team might look like: 

The CMA team is backed by a comprehensive support network. In addition to our core team members, we have a diverse pool of experts with unique skill sets ready to lend their support. From data analysts who uncover valuable insights to customer support specialists who ensure seamless interactions, our extended team enhances our capacity to deliver exceptional results. 

The Best Of Both Worlds

Like bread buttered on both sides, many multinational brands have a mix of both in-house and external expertise. We recognise the diversity in business needs and offer flexible engagement models. Whether it’s augmenting your existing team with our expertise or managing entire projects, we adapt to your preferred working style.

It’s always your way on the highway when we work together.   

And there you have it, folks 

The epic showdown: Agency vs. In-House. DIY has its benefits. Sure, swinging a hammer can be fun, but wouldn’t you rather sip a cuppa while the pros handle the heavy lifting? That’s where CMA comes in, like your marketing fairy godmother, ready to bibbidi-bobbidi-boo your brand to stardom. We’re the secret ingredient in your success recipe, the ace up your sleeve, the… well, you get the picture. So, why not give your brand the CMA touch? 

Get in touch with us and let’s turn your business into the talk of the town – minus the headache of doing it all yourself. Ready to make some magic together? We thought so. 

Mark E. Ting

Hey, I'm Mark E. Ting. Your CMA marketing maestro. Always here to help, 24/7. I love all things content, SEO, design and development. I also have a penchant for lions and fast cars.
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