Digital Marketing Agency vs. In-house Digital Marketing Team. How to choose?

Digital Marketing Agency vs. In-house Digital Marketing Team. How to choose?

You’ve defined what going ‘Digital’ means for your business. (If you haven’t read- “How to define ‘Digital’ for your business, you can read it here.)

Now you want to execute the strategy planned. How should you go about the execution? Whether to outsource it to a Digital Marketing Agency or to build an in-house team for the same? Let’s talk about the Skillset, Monetary Costs, and Control you will have over the project in both the models.

You will find the answers to “How to select the right digital marketing agency?” and “How to build an in-house digital marketing team?” at the end of the blog as a bonus.

Skillset required

Having the right skill set is important to get the job done. Whether you’re looking to build an in-house team or to outsource digital marketing to an agency, a key decision factor would be the skillsets of the two.

Communication Skills

Be it sending out an email, writing a caption for your social media posts or talking to prospects over social media, communication skills will top the list just as for traditional marketing.


If we’re talking about digital marketing, the first thing on the checklist to ensure proper execution of the marketing goals would be to have the knowledge of how social media can be used for business and even the use of other tools like websites, software, etc.

Tech Savvy

Yes, knowledge would cover 80% of the execution but one cannot execute based on bookish knowledge. It depends on how comfortable he/she is around using these tools & technology.

For eg- Did you know you can send out WhatsApp Messages to your excel database? This will save you hours of your time sending those messages manually to the 1000+ contacts on your phone.

Yes, I know you can create a broadcast list, but that doesn’t deliver your messages to contacts who haven’t saved your number on their phones.

And here in India, SMS Marketing aka Whatsapp Marketing will fetch you a higher conversion than email marketing.

Now if we talk about the skillset in terms of outsourcing the work, the digital agency will take care of all your requirements.

And in terms of skills, the two can co-exist too. For example- If your business needs a website, you let a professional website developer handle that bit and then self learn the maintenance bit and take care of it in-house. (P.S You can let me know if you have any website requirements :P)

Monetary Cost

Once we’ve visited the skill, we can now look at the Monetary cost and compare the two. If you’re outsourcing your firm’s digital marketing and you’ve selected a good agency, expect the monthly budget to take up a lot of your marketing budget. And let it, at least on an experimental basis, see how your prospects respond to this model and see if it works out for you.

The costs here will depend on your requirements. Technical requirements will demand a higher fee. For example- Developing a Website. And I hope you’ve accounted for the paid advertisements on digital platforms. It’s an investment in accomplishing your marketing goals which in turn will help you accomplish your business goals.

Digital Marketing Agency vs. In-house Digital Marketing Team. How to choose?

The monetary cost of having an in-house team would be the monthly salaries you pay to your employees depending on the value they add to your firm and the paid advertisement expenditure.

Here too, you can tailor-make a model where you’re getting the website made by an outsider due to lack of skill and have a team member self learn and manage/maintain the website. This will save you the maintenance costs.

Moving to; Control-

In both situations, you will have control over your firm’s marketing but the in-house team will provide you better control as compared to the agency.

Digital Marketing Agency vs. In-house Digital Marketing Team. How to choose?

Your SEO content will do much better if taken by an in-house team because of the expertise in the industry. Of course, the team member will have to self learn SEO along with content development.

Your graphic designer will be more flexible to do that extra edit as compared to the limited edits per graphic by your agency (depends on the terms of the agency)

And for your team, your brand is a Priority whereas, for the agency, the brand may have other clients whose work needs to be done too.

How to select a good Digital Marketing Agency?

Once you have a list of the digital marketing agency options available, start by looking at their portfolio, see which agency’s work will speak volumes for your brand. This will help you shortlist the ones that align with your firm.

Address a direct question to the agency- “I know you’re doing a good job at what you do, but if you had to point one weakness of your agency what would it be?” See what’s their response to this. If they claim to be flawless because every firm believes that or at least pretends to be perfect in front of their customers, don’t stop there.

Look at the testimonials/reviews and try to get in touch with their clients and ask them the same question. They will point out what issues they have faced with the agency and see if that’s not too big a deal for your brand and then go for it.

How to build an in-house team?

Once you’ve defined what ‘digital’ means for your brand, and you have your marketing goals aligned with your business goals, list down the skillset you need to get on board for your brand to achieve these goals.
Once the list is ready, you can hire employees suitable for the job who have the required skillset.

Picking between the two ultimately depends on your requirements. But I hope these points gave you a base to call your shots. If you like what you read, feel free to share this with your connections and on social media.

If you’re someone who’s in the marketing field, and you’re still learning on the topic of Digital Marketing, let’s learn together. Sign up for my free newsletter and get these sizzling hot reads delivered to your inbox and I promise I won’t spam your inbox) You can follow me on Instagram as well, you will find me on @harshteck I post story updates of my blog posts there and on other social media platforms as well.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Anubhav

    Very informative as well as helpful

  2. Shirley

    Good Article !!

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