Updated on October 11th, 2018
We have covered some key factors to consider when making this decision below, starting with the benefits of hiring someone to take the role in-house compared to an agency, what you should consider in the selection process and some tips on managing the relationship once the decision has been made.
In-house vs. agency
Before starting the agency selection process, we recommend that you consider if it may be worth bringing in one or more members of staff to take the role.
One of the benefits of this is that a dedicated marketing team will become extremely knowledgeable and familiar with the business by being on the premises every day.
This means that they may be able to make strategic decisions that fit in with the goals of the business more easily than an agency, which will have multiple clients in many different industries.
The counterpoint is that an agency will have a pool of experience and skills that a small in-house team would never be able to match.
You will have access to specialists in the marketing channel that you are interested in, as well as design and web resource that may be necessary.
If you decide to hire, you may find that a general marketing knowledge is helpful, but that you still need support for technical or specific skills.
A good example of a specific agency is Bing Digital, which has many marketing capabilities but is a Magento web development specialist.
Selecting your agency
Once you have decided that an agency is the best choice for your needs, you can then begin selecting. A few things may be important to you, and location will most likely be key.
A local agency may be perfect if you are trying to market locally too. They will have knowledge of the area which will help create a strategy that appeals to the market.
In addition, this will mean that you will be able to get regular meetings and contact with your contacts at the agency.
Another consideration is what industry the agency specializes in. For example, if you work in the pharmaceutical industry, there are several agencies that work only in this industry.
This means that as well as the marketing skills, you will also get additional knowledge and contacts – this may be a fantastic benefit to your business and you may get additional business just from these connections.
Once you have found several potential agencies, we recommend creating a project for each to complete, similar to what you may do when hiring a new member of staff. This gives you a good idea of how the agency works and if you will have a good relationship with them.
You will also be able to pick a company based on their actual work rather than the case studies on their websites, which while important may not give a real representation of the company in practice.