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We are Christina and Peter Pilarski, founders and leaders of CIPR Communications. We’ve spent the last three series of our podcast on in-depth discussions of marketing strategy and marketing budgets. In the fourth series, we turn our attention to one of the most important and most controversial questions in the world of marketing: whether to keep your marketing in-house or hire a digital marketing agency.

We asked several companies what their primary considerations were when deciding on an in-house team or an agency. Their responses came down to two common fears: fear of making the wrong decision and fear of securing buy-in from their team.

Leveraging all your marketing resources

The critical thing to remember is that successful digital marketing is carried out by a team – one that includes a variety of experts and specialists. The most successful teams are likely to include both in-house staff and agencies or other third-party contractors. When companies decide to recruit in-house marketers, they often don’t realize the full extent of the resources they will need. We have seen many job descriptions for in-house marketing managers – or even junior marketers. Most of them include long lists of skills that no individual – regardless of how well educated or experienced – actually possesses. To get all the skills they are looking for, companies would have to recruit large in-house teams at a long-term cost that is unlikely to be affordable or sustainable. Even marketing agencies like ourselves, who make digital marketing our business and primary focus, sometimes need to outsource parts of our work to third parties in order to ensure that we can leverage all the expertise and resources at our disposal to get the job done.

The point is, that the solution to the dilemma between in-house and agency is not clear cut. The focus shouldn’t be on deciding on one over the other but on putting together the right team for your marketing goals. That ideal team will most likely consist of a mix of great internal resources, as well as the services of a first-class agency and the network and tools that it has at its disposal.

In our fourth series of podcasts, we will look at what goes into making up that team, and how to balance and leverage its various in-house and outsourced components to create and implement powerful marketing strategies.

Building your team


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