In-House vs. Agency: The Path to Boosting Your In-House Marketing Team

More companies are bringing their marketing back home and rebuilding in-house marketing departments.

It’s a trend that’s been underway for years: Instead of outsourcing critical marketing activities to agencies (such as audience analysis, segmentation, content creation, or design, to name a few), businesses of all shapes and sizes are trying to rely on themselves—and resort to agencies only when they need coverage above and beyond what the in-house team can provide (generally during busy seasons or during product launches).

Bringing marketing in-house isn’t for everyone, and the approach your firm takes is going to be dependent heavily on your preferences, Management’s goals and strategy, your team’s strengths and weaknesses, and the technology available to help shore up gaps in your strategy.

Start With Soul Searching

To build an effective in-house team that breaks your reliance on outside agencies (except in strategic instances or dire circumstances), your team will need to do some serious soul searching.

Honestly consider your team’s true capabilities—not what your team claims they can do well or poorly, not what they think they excel at or struggle in, but their actual abilities.

That can be tough to achieve, and it can feel a lot more like a team-building retreat than something that affects the bottom line. But the reality is that many teams just don’t have a true understanding of what they can and can’t do—or, worse, they’re covering up for inadequacies.

But ask yourself what’s worse: seeing a few feelings get a little hurt, only to come together as a team with a solid understanding of what you need and what you don’t, or pretending that your situation is better than it is, only to watch the in-house experiment fail?