Startup Guide: Digital Marketing Agency vs. Hiring In-house


We get it – building a startup means throwing the work-life balance away. And like most new businesses, you might have the same dilemma: should you hire your marketing team in-house or should you get a marketing agency to solve your marketing woes?

The truth is, it all depends on what type of business you have and the type of entrepreneur you are. There are entrepreneurs who know how to strategically do their marketing and there are also entrepreneurs who don’t even know where to start with their online footprint.

There are pros and cons in both scenarios. And in this blog post, we’ll discuss both of them.

The Pros and Cons of Building Your Marketing Team

By hiring your own marketing team, you’ll get the absolute power and creative freedom over everything. And it’s easier to communicate if you’re working with your team in an office setting everyday.

Hiring a digital marketing head and building your team from scratch can be nerve-wracking. But hiring fresh talents and giving them the creative freedom and the necessary resources to execute their own ideas has its own perks as well. They are not afraid to try something new, instead of sticking to the usual marketing process that we’re used to.

At Funnl Digital, we’ve seen this happen from time to time. A young, fresh-faced marketer comes in with grand ideas that even us – with years of experience under our belt – are stunned. When we give them the go signal to execute it, incredible things happen. With the right guidance, it was almost magical.

However, hiring in-house requires incredible amount of time and effort. If you’re used to doing everything in your business, managing and handling your marketing team will slowly become a burden. We’ve had a lot of clients who are so frustrated with how their marketing turned out. And when we dig deeper on what went wrong, lack of experience and market research are the most common factor.

The Pros and Cons of Hiring an Agency

Hiring an agency that fits your marketing vision and work culture will lift a big chunk of weight off of your shoulders. Agencies already have trained professionals and an established process. They can execute well without much supervision. All you have to do is focus on your startup and business development.

With that said, the disadvantage of hiring an agency is giving up control. Again, this is especially hard if you’re used to doing everything in your business. But partnering up with an agency requires trust. This doesn’t mean that you’ll have to blindly say yes to everything they do even if you’re quite opposed to it. You are still free to experiment with your marketing but this time, you’ll have the proper guidance.

What Startup Business Owners Should Look For

There is no winner and loser in this category. In-house marketers and marketing agencies can co-exist – in fact, companies with this type of synergy has the most successful marketing campaigns executed with minimal miscommunication issue.

This is probably one of the most overlooked factor. Whether you’re building your own digital marketing team or hiring an agency, you should always consider your work culture. The professional or the agency you chose to work with will greatly impact your work culture. If you don’t seem to align in terms of your vision, there’s no way you’ll be aligned in terms of what you want and what they think you want.

Pro tip: We have this ongoing joke in our paid advertising team. Paid advertising professionals should come from engineering backgrounds. The impeccable eye for data, being organized and linear, all of the positive traits of a good paid advertising strategist resides in that young engineering fresh graduate. And we’ve proven it time and time again.

Or better yet, find a digital marketing agency who gives you the flexibility in terms of pricing and will train and help you find the right marketing people should you chose to hire in-house. At Funnl Digital, we take pride at our agile process and how we pursue our #HumanizeMarketing tagline. Our work culure is built on empathy.

If you chose to sign up to one of our packages (it’s 100% flexible, btw), we’ll give your startup a little surprise.