In-House Digital Marketing vs. Agency

In-House Digital Marketing vs. Agency Management: Which is the Best Choice for Your Business?

Weighing the merits of in-house digital marketing vs. agency management, we’ve gathered ten expert opinions from CEOs to co-founders. From using an agency with an internal liaison to scaling dictating in-house or agency choice, these leaders provide a comprehensive look at what’s best for businesses navigating the digital marketing landscape.

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In-House Digital Marketing vs. Agency: Agency Use with Internal Liaison

Between in-house digital marketing vs. agency, I always prefer an agency that’s heavily involved in your industry, with a caveat. There has to be an internal counterpart to any agency: someone who can be the agency liaison and help with approvals, direction, and advocacy. This will ensure success and accountability across the board.

In-House Digital Marketing vs. Agency with Chris Romero

Chris Romero, CEO, Hot Pepper Agency

Agency Benefits for Specific Projects

Between in-house digital marketing vs. agency, In my opinion, it depends on the type of digital marketing activities you want to run and the size of your business. If you’re looking for one-off projects, such as setting up an SEO audit, a PPC campaign, or creating content for social media, then using an agency can be a great choice. They have specialist knowledge in each area and will often have access to tools that could save you money down the line. 

On top of that, with an agency, there is no need to hire anyone in-house, so they can represent significant cost savings over taking on a full-time digital marketing manager.

In-House Digital Marketing vs. Agency with Micajah McGregor

Micajah McGregor, Chief Editor and Managing Partner, Fan Fest News

In-House Focus for Brand Investment

Choosing between in-house digital marketing vs. agency, the goal of every business should be to have this capability in-house. However, depending on the phase of the company, it is not always possible! While Cure was getting off the ground, it absolutely made sense to use an agency—efficient and cost-effective versus a full-time headcount. 

As we scaled and wanted the ability to make changes in real time, it made sense to bring this person in-house to optimize our daily business needs. The passion and determination of someone in-house, who thoroughly understands what is going on cross-functionally and is personally invested in the brand’s success, outweighs that of an agency every time.

In-House Digital Marketing vs. Agency with Laura Kendrick

Laura Kendrick, Chief Marketing Officer, Cure Hydration

Choose Based on Business Nature and Size

Choosing between an in-house digital marketing vs. agency depends on your business’ nature, size, culture, and growth stage. 

B2B companies, with complex products and longer sales cycles, benefit from in-house marketers who understand their specific audience and culture. B2C firms, facing fast-paced markets and vast consumer bases, may find the diverse skills of an agency more advantageous for their broad-reaching and dynamic campaigns. 

Startups, lacking the resources to recruit and retain top-notch talent, often turn to agencies for their breadth of expertise and flexible costs. In more mature companies, an in-house professional is often beneficial, providing sustained focus and brand-aligned growth. 

It boils down to the business model you’re cultivating and whether you’re investing in growing talent from within or in need of immediate access to expert support. The former builds proprietary knowledge and dedication, while the latter gives you a broad skill set from day one.

In-House Digital Marketing vs. Agency with Jeremy Rodgers

Jeremy Rodgers, Founder, Contentifai

In-House Versus Agency via Long-Term Impact

Between in-house digital marketing vs. agency options, have their pros and cons. Usually, in-house marketers better understand the business and the clients, have more explicit goals and KPIs, and are more committed and reactive when problems arise. 

On the other hand, agencies have more hands-on experience with different channels, have a strong network and access to influencers, and can decide between multiple agencies and spread out the tasks between them. 

Usually, it makes sense for smaller businesses to hire an agency or freelancer on a project basis—no need to keep someone on the payroll, no need to invest in various software, and the opportunity to terminate the agreement after the project. However, in the longer term, keeping the marketing function in-house increases the quality, strengthens the brand, and protects intellectual property.

In-House Digital Marketing vs. Agency with Merilyn Uudmae

Merilyn Uudmae, Content Manager, Teamdash

Simple Markets Favor In-House Managers

Choosing between in-house digital marketing vs. agency all depends on the business. An in-house digital marketing manager makes sense if you have a simple buyer’s journey that doesn’t require expert knowledge of several channels.

A tree removal service, for example, is likely to do SEO, Google Ads, possibly a little social media, and maybe some outdoor advertising. They don’t operate in a super-competitive market that would require deep expertise in each channel to compete.

A roofing company, on the other hand, would likely need to hire someone with an expert level of SEO and PPC knowledge to get results in a competitive niche like theirs—a person who will cost into the six figures.

An agency will probably have specialists with deep expertise in each area of a business’s marketing; expertise that is likely to be deeper than that of a generalist.

In-House Digital Marketing vs. Agency with Frank Olivo

Frank Olivo, CEO, Sagapixel SEO

Agency Teams Offer Expertise and Relief

In between in-house digital marketing vs. agency, An in-house marketing hire might have a basic understanding of marketing concepts and best practices, but hiring an agency gives you access to an entire team of experts.

Hiring one person to wear all the marketing hats in-house can also be stressful for them and, in turn, negatively impact the results of your marketing campaigns. When working with an agency, you’ll have an entire team of people to work with, each with their marketing specialties.

This will also simplify processes and organization in your business. You’ll have peace of mind knowing all the marketing efforts are happening in one place under one separate team.

Having an outsider’s perspective on marketing efforts from a team of trained individuals can be beneficial in hitting key trends and fresh marketing concepts.

An agency’s ability to focus on providing strategic marketing insights is a huge draw. They’re experts for a reason!

In-House Digital Marketing vs. Agency with Chelsea Evans-Flower

Chelsea Evans-Flower, Owner, Scott Social

Advocating for In-House Marketing Efficiency

If its in-house digital marketing vs. agency, I have been in the marketing world for almost 30 years, and I am a big believer that doing in-house is the best way to go. You spend more time learning that person’s business and going back and forth than just doing it yourself with the right tools. 

As a co-founder of, that was the problem we set out to solve, and we aimed to make it simpler for businesses to do their own marketing without tech skills and to make it super simple.

In-House Digital Marketing vs. Agency with Robert Downey

Robert Downey, Co-Founder, Simply Be Found

Hybrid Approach as In-House with Agency Skills

Between in-house digital marketing vs. agency, having been on both sides of the coin, the best choice is to have the following hybrid: an in-house marketer with agency experience.

The agency experience is fundamental for getting to a competitive level in marketing. Agency marketers move ten times faster than in-house marketers in both technical and strategic upskilling.

You can’t compare managing five to ten accounts versus one on any platform. The amount of use cases builds up, as well as accelerates the learning curve because of roadblocks or breakthroughs encountered.

The whole agency world is known for being quite fast-moving, yet sometimes toxic, and a lack of accountability can be the norm, along with terms like churn and turnover. Yet, large corporations need an agency partner. You’d be surprised by the amount of agency marketers that are looking for in-house marketing opportunities.

I would recommend that if you want to get the best out of your next marketing hire, grab someone from the agency world looking for greener, calmer pastures.

In-House Digital Marketing vs. Agency with Jorge Alberto Fuentes Zapata

Jorge Alberto Fuentes Zapata, Founder, Fuentes Zapata Co.

Scale Dictates In-House or Agency Choice

Between in-house digital marketing vs. agency It’s all a matter of scale. If your business can support an in-house marketing team, this is likely the best choice, provided that you can hire and retain high-quality talent. Ideally, an in-house marketer would be more involved in the day-to-day operations of the business than an agency. That can have some advantages in terms of messaging and product knowledge.

For lots of businesses, though, an in-house marketer is not a great choice. Even a small agency will have more experience and a wider set of skills than any single individual you might hire. Unless you can hire an entire in-house marketing team, you’ll often get substantially better value and better-skilled marketers by using an agency. Just make sure to hire an agency that communicates well and understands your business and its industry.

In-House Digital Marketing vs. Agency with Temmo Kinoshita

Temmo Kinoshita, Co-Founder, Lindenwood Marketing

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