Should You Develop a Digital Marketing Team or Hire an Agency?


For entrepreneurs, it’s difficult to decide whether it makes sense to create a digital marketing team from the ground up or hire an agency to do it for you.

The hesitation many have with the latter is that the agency won’t do as good a job as you can do yourself, but this fear is unfounded. It originates in the mentality of most entrepreneurs that want to do it all themselves and don’t want to relinquish control. First, this tends to rear its head with the initial employees and then with an unwillingness to outsource to third-parties too. It’s almost a curse of entrepreneurs, who must face their own demons in this regard and get through to the other side so that their business can grow.

Let’s now see whether it makes sense to develop a team internally or go through an agency.

What Technical Expertise and Experience is Required?

Digital marketing is a team effort. It would be extremely difficult to employ or train an employee to handle all the requirements and be successful. This means that developing a digital marketing capability means that a team is required.

Most digital agencies are staffed with a minimum of five people and often more. There’s copywriting, advertising strategists, digital artists, link building specialists and a host of other roles being filled.

You have to ask yourself whether you can bring all those people on-board, train them, equip them and get the results that you require. Maybe the team will work together well, or maybe they won’t, causing you to start from scratch.

Can Your Business Afford to Get It Wrong?

It’s worth asking yourself whether you can afford to end up with a failing marketing team?

The newer the startup, the greater the need to grow quickly while there’s some momentum, newness and youthfulness in the company. Positive sentiment is important to maintain. Lose that, and it could be all over for the brand.

Lack of experience working in digital marketing or as a team are the biggest risks.

Should an Agency Be Industry-Specific or Not?

There are some agencies which specialize in certain industries. For example, Just Legal Marketing specializes in marketing strategies for law firms. They have demonstrated experience in this industry, and law firms are encouraged to sign a deal with them because of it.

Whether to go with an industry specialist or a generalist agency is sometimes a matter of preference and other times due to relevance. When your industry is so different with where companies advertise, promote and reach out to potential customers, a generalist agency would be starting from scratch. In this case, it’s best to go with a talented agency that focuses on your industry alone. Otherwise, going to a generalist agency might be fine.

The choice of going outside the company or building a digital marketing team is an important one. Make the decision carefully, because it’ll have long-lasting consequences for your business.


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