Digital Marketing Agency vs. In-House Marketing: Considerations and Benefits

Digital Marketing

Deciding between in-house marketing or working with a digital marketing agency is a big decision for large and small brands alike. Your goals and budget obviously impact your decision, but there is much more that goes into the decision!

When we talk with brands who are considering partnering with us, we always pride ourselves on being honest and transparent about every facet of this decision. We want every brand to feel ready and comfortable to work with us!

Now, we’re sharing all of our insights here to help you determine whether an agency or in-house marketing is right for you!


Like we said before, there’s a lot that goes into determining working with an agency vs in-house marketing. We’ve found that there are three primary facets brands consider in the decision-making process — goals, budget, and bandwidth.


First things first, your marketing goals impact your decision to work with an agency or keep your marketing in-house. If your goal is to maintain branded coverage and decrease abandoned carts, you might be able to keep your marketing in house.

However, if you’re looking to actively scale your overall sales and drastically increase your advertising budget, working with an agency partner could be a great decision to help you reach your goals.


This consideration is often the biggest deciding factor for brands, and rightly so — working with an agency can seem like a large expense. And, truth be told, there are agencies that you pay to do work that is comparable to the work you could do in-house. However, when you work with an experienced and data-driven agency, you get what you pay for. So, when considering budgetary constraints, be sure to take into account the cost associated with having the full staff of experts who are strategizing, executing, and analyzing — the ROI should match the cost.

If you’re a small brand who’s just starting out, you might not have the budget some agencies require, in which case, it might be the right decision to hire an in-house marketing expert to get the ball rolling on your advertising efforts.

Bandwidth and Skillset

Your existing marketing team’s internal bandwidth and skillset certainly impacts this decision. Marketing teams are often small but mighty jack-of-all-trades, which means you likely have someone on your team with some advertising experience.

However, hiring one person to tackle all of your marketing efforts — including advertising, creative, email marketing, and organic social media — can mean each of these areas aren’t optimized to their full potential. We love scrappy marketing teams who make it work, but most brands encounter a time where they find they want to outsource some aspects to an agency partner.

Benefits of Working with an Agency

As we’ve mentioned, there are many benefits to working with a digital marketing agency. Here are just a few of the pros you should consider!


Digital marketing agencies have experts in nearly every area, from paid search to organic social media. This extremely specialized expertise allows them to go deep on each area of your marketing, giving you the opportunity to scale more quickly and effectively.

Additionally, agencies have access to new technologies, data, and trends that they use to grow their partners. They also serve as an intermediary between you and the platforms you’re on to ensure everything is running smoothly at all times.

Holistic Strategy

If you’re working with an omni-channel agency (like us!), your agency partner will be able to create a holistic strategy for your brand, ensuring all of your marketing efforts are working in tandem. An omni-channel philosophy ensures that all of your efforts are contributing to increased sales across the board.

This philosophy isn’t adopted by all agencies, so in the consideration process, be sure to ask if their teams communicate across departments, so everything is working together in tandem, from your SMS marketing to your Google paid search ads.

Free Up Internal Team

Partnering with an agency allows your in-house marketing team to focus more deeply on other efforts, such as developing campaigns, launching new products, and developing brand strategy. This, in turn, will only help your advertising agency in their work!

Additionally, this frees up your team to really dig into the data of all your campaigns—including evergreen and holiday—to better understand how you can improve your efforts. Oftentimes, brands overlook the analysis phase of advertising because you’re so bogged down with new campaigns, so an agency can help alleviate that.

Questions to Ask

Here are some questions we encourage our potential clients to ask when they’re debating keeping their marketing in-house or outsourcing to an agency partner:

  • What are our marketing/revenue goals?
  • What is our internal team’s bandwidth?
  • What is our budget? Is it realistic for our goals?
  • How would working with an agency support our in-house team?
  • Are we willing to relinquish some control to trust the experts at the agency?

Our Approach

Here at Blue Wheel, we take an omni-channel approach. We believe that rising tides lift all ships — so your back-end systems and advertising efforts all contribute to the success of your business.

We developed the Performance Commerce Effect to visualize how each stage of the customer journey impacts your business, and how we can help reduce friction and increase revenue from click to ship. To learn more about the Performance Commerce Effect, check out our recent webinar recording about how we determine brand health across the full funnel

If you’re interested in learning more about the Performance Commerce Effect or our omni-channel philosophy, reach out to our team today!

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