It’s a question many businesses grapple with – is it better to outsource paid digital marketing to an external agency or to build a specialist digital marketing in-house?

Getting to the right answer for your business can have huge implications for your chances of achieving long-term digital marketing success.

In this article, we explore the pros and cons of in-housing your paid digital marketing activities and shed light on the potential benefits it can offer.

Pros of in-housing your paid digital marketing

There are several potentially significant benefits to in-housing your paid digital marketing, including enhanced control and flexibility, cost efficiency, nimbleness and data security.

Enhanced Control and Flexibility

One of the key advantages of in-housing your paid digital marketing activities is gaining complete control over your campaigns.

By bringing these activities in-house, you can directly manage and fine-tune your marketing strategies based on real-time insights and market trends.

This level of control allows for greater flexibility in adjusting campaigns to meet specific business goals, ensuring a higher degree of customisation and alignment with your overall marketing objectives.

Faster Response Times and Real-Time Optimization

Paid digital marketing requires timely adjustments and real-time optimisations to stay ahead of the competition.

In-housing your paid digital marketing activities enables faster response times to market changes, allowing for quick adjustments, campaign optimisations, and the ability to seize emerging opportunities.

Real-time monitoring and analysis of campaign performance empower your team to make data-driven decisions and promptly adapt strategies for more effective results.

Cost Efficiency and Long-Term Savings

Outsourcing digital marketing can often be costly, especially when considering agency fees, markups, and commissions.

By bringing your paid digital marketing activities in-house, you eliminate the need to pay expensive external agencies or consultants on a continuous basis, resulting in significant cost savings over time.

Additionally, having an in-house team allows for efficient allocation of resources, ensuring that the budget is directed towards the most impactful marketing channels and campaigns.

Increased Knowledge Sharing and Skill Development

Building an in-house team of digital marketing experts not only benefits your organisation’s overall marketing initiatives but also promotes knowledge sharing and skill development within your workforce.

In-house teams have the opportunity to gain deep insights into the dynamics of your business, industry, and target audience, fostering a deeper understanding of your brand and customers.

This allows the team to more strategically apply digital marketing best practices to your specific business context as well as more easily share insights with other teams.

In contrast, agency staff have limited time to spend on each client and may not fully understand the nuances of your industry or business.

Improved Data Security and Intellectual Property Protection

Entrusting external agencies with your sensitive marketing data may raise concerns about data security and intellectual property protection.

By in-housing your paid digital marketing activities, you retain full control over your data, reducing the risk of potential breaches or unauthorised access.

This control safeguards your business’s intellectual property, customer information, and proprietary strategies, providing peace of mind and protecting your competitive advantage.

Cons of in-housing your paid digital marketing

Whilst there are many pros to in-housing your digital marketing from external agencies, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider.

Resource and Time Commitment

Establishing and maintaining an in-house digital marketing team requires investment in resources, including human capital, technology, and infrastructure.

Hiring and retaining skilled professionals, providing continuous training, and keeping up with the latest tools and technologies demand time, effort, and financial resources.

This commitment may not be feasible for all businesses, particularly small businesses with limited budgets.

Limited External Perspective

While in-housing your paid digital marketing activities provides control and customisation, it can limit exposure to fresh ideas and external perspectives.

External agencies often bring a wealth of cross-client experience, allowing for innovative strategies and out-of-the-box thinking.

Relying solely on an in-house team may result in a more insular approach to marketing, potentially missing out on valuable insights and creative solutions that external experts can offer.

Scalability Challenges

Scaling your digital marketing efforts can pose challenges when relying solely on an in-house team.

Rapid expansion or tackling diverse marketing channels may require additional resources and expertise that may not be readily available internally.

In such cases, outsourcing certain aspects of your paid digital marketing activities to specialised agencies or freelancers can provide the scalability needed to seize new opportunities without straining your in-house team.

Expertise Limitations

Digital marketing is a vast and multifaceted field that encompasses various platforms, skillsets and strategies.

Maintaining an in-house team that has expertise across all relevant aspects of paid digital marketing can be a daunting task.

It may be challenging to find professionals with expertise in every digital marketing niche.

In some cases, outsourcing specific areas of expertise, such as paid social video production or landing page development to external agencies can help bridge the knowledge gaps and enhance the overall effectiveness of your paid digital marketing.

Conclusion

In-housing your paid digital marketing activities offers several potentially significant advantages that can help you to achieve your business goals.

With enhanced control, flexibility, agility and cost efficiency, businesses with in-house teams can often plan and execute digital marketing strategies more effectively than those relying solely on external agencies can.

However, it’s also important to consider the potential drawbacks, such as the resource and time commitment required, limited external perspective, scalability challenges, and industry expertise limitations.

Ultimately, the decision to in-housing your paid digital marketing activities depends on your organisation’s unique needs, goals, and available resources.

Striking the right balance between in-house efforts and outsourcing specific aspects can help you leverage the best of both worlds, combining the advantages of control, cost efficiency, and expertise.

Are you thinking about in-housing your paid digital marketing? I have significant experience helping businesses to successfully navigate whether, how and which parts of their paid digital marketing they should in-house – from the initial decision through the entire transition period.

I can help with all aspects of the in-housing process, including:

  • assessing your existing organisational capabilities and gaps

  • defining the optimal digital team structure and interfaces with other teams

  • hiring and onboarding new team members and upskilling existing ones

  • identifying infrastructure/tools/reporting requirements, then assessing, selecting and implementing specific solutions

  • seamlessly project managing the transition.

Feel free to get in touch with me via the contact form below for a free, no obligation initial conversation!

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