• Simon Towndrow

In-housing your marketing function - 5 reasons to be wary

Updated: Sep 30




One of the hottest topics in marketing set to continue throughout 2020, we look at some of the reasons you might want to pause before you ditch all of your agencies.



1 - Lack of wider marketing experience


Having your ‘own people’ is great, but one of the big advantages of the agency world is that they deal with multiple clients often across different sectors - most of the challenges you face are comparable across clients and ones they’ve already faced.


They’ll also have strategists, adops geeks, ex-Googlers and all sorts of people who felt like an expensive overhead until you hit a crisis. The value of an agency when they pull together a large group of experienced marketers or strategist may be hard to quantify but it’s impossible to recreate in house.


2 - Lack of specificity


By grouping resources together, agencies drive economies of scale across the business - from media buying, to industry tools - and not forgetting those niche ‘expensive-sounding’ team members mentioned above. Be careful when in-housing that you don’t end up asking the team to spread their skills too thinly - there’s a premium for experienced data scientists for a reason.


3 - Flexibility


Whilst you might be able to turn around day-to-day tasks quicker inhouse, scaling up or down is likely to be far slower. Full-time employees take time to find, hire, train - agencies often run with *some* spare capacity, or are able to manage their workflow across clients if needed - all of a sudden those cost savings don’t look such good value



4 - Staying on top of the latest trends


Marketing, and especially digital, changes all the time. Take for example a recent Google update in Jan 2020 - removing rich snippet duplication in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) which had a significant impact on a lot of content-heavy sites. Are you certain your 2 person search team knows how to adapt to it and change your strategy? What about comparing the ability of a large agency with 50 SEOs all debating it/using their networks, testing and learning across 20 clients?


5 - Fresh Eyes


Whilst having a new account exec every few months is a pain, rotating more senior team members between accounts is a proven tactic to ensure things don’t get stale. A new perspective can be invaluable and is far easier to deliver from the agency side.


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