The Pros and Cons of Using In-House Vs Agency for Your Website Redesign


In house vs agency

As recently as a few years ago, it was the norm for a B2B marketer tasked with a large website project to hire a digital marketing agency to perform the work. In fact, most companies at that time didn’t have an option to manage the agency work themselves.

But times have changed, and it’s more important than ever for organizations to take an active role in managing their digital strategy, campaigns, social media and resources. It’s now common for companies to hire at least a few full-time employees (or, in the case of larger companies, robust in-house agencies) as a part of their digital marketing team to exclusively manage their movements on the web.

In-house vs Agency: which is the right choice?

But even as companies become more self-sufficient, the fact remains: Hiring an outside marketing agency still brings unbiased perspective and top-of-game expertise to every digital marketing project, and in many cases, that breath of fresh air makes all the difference.

Recognizing the respective merits of in-house and agency creative resources, the question becomes: Which should you have working your upcoming website project? The simple answer is both.

With increasing frequency, B2B companies are finding success with a hybrid model that combines digital agency prowess with in-house expertise for the best of both skill sets. But before we delve into the benefits of this dual-channel approach, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons.

The Value of Using your In-house Team

In-House vs Agency: The Value of Using your In-house Team

Companies that choose to scale large website projects themselves instead of bringing in digital marketing agency help generally do so for one reason: Cost. And it makes sense. The reality is, it’s expensive to tap into a creative agency’s deep talent and brand experience pools, and the cost can easily exceed the salary you’d pay one of your permanent, full-time employees.

Additionally, since in-house teams only have one client—you—they can focus exclusively on your needs, challenges, and overarching vision, free from outside clients and projects vying for their time and resources. Here are a few more benefits of sticking with your internal web-building resources:

  • In-house teams can react more flexibly to your company’s needs.
    Unlike their digital agency counterparts, in-house teams don’t have to parcel out resources based on known client work. And they don’t have to spread resources across multiple clients, leaving them more agile to respond quickly to changes within the organization and the project itself.

  • In-house teams have an in-depth understanding of your business, brand and culture.
    Your full-time employees have had more communication and interaction with stakeholders, more experience with your company’s products, campaigns and solutions, and more time to acclimate and deepen relationships with their fellow colleagues than an agency could possibly have. While that in-depth understanding and intimacy is not essential for all digital marketing projects, it certainly never hurts.

  • In-house teams have more control and ownership.
    Being able to review and tweak designs, development, and copywriting in real time can make for a smooth process from start to finish, especially when compared with the typically more rigid QA/QC and client review processes of digital agencies.
They can focus exclusively on your needs, challenges, and overarching vision, free from outside clients and projects vying for their time and resources.

In-House vs Agency: The Case for Hiring a Digital Agency

On the other end of the spectrum are digital agency professionals, who operate in a fast-paced, ever-changing industry where it’s not unusual to have dozens of diverse clients and disciplines at play simultaneously. The pace of agency life is critical in molding highly adaptable creative talent that is well-suited to manage large, complex, and evolving website campaigns. An outside agency could also be a better fit for your project, since:

  • Digital agencies are not influenced by office politics.
    Because agency designers are exposed to a variety of brands, creative trends, and design inspirations, they have the freedom to think “outside the box,” challenge assumptions, and venture broader ideas and opinions than their in-house counterparts, who tend to be more comfortable and committed to conserving what’s already in place.

  • Agencies tap a wider range of talent, skills, and experience.
    Simply put, this means agencies can usually deliver projects faster, and in many cases better, than an in-house team who has only encountered one type of client work for the duration of their tenure. Having worked on many similar projects means they’ve already learned a lot of lessons your in-house team may not have had the time or opportunity to learn.

  • They are more likely to be up to speed on trends and technologies.
    It’s an undeniable fact that working with many diverse clients at one time pushes the limits of a designer’s training and capabilities. That’s why digital agencies—at least the good ones—are committed to putting their creative professionals well in front of the curve when it comes to industry trends and best practices.

Hybrid In-house & Digital Agency Teams Produce Better Results

The Bottom Line: Hybrid In-house & Digital Agency Teams Produce Better Results

To reap the full benefits of this divide-and-conquer approach for your business, it’s important to decide from the get-go which members of the group are best equipped to tackle each task. For example, the creative agency team in a hybrid model is often better suited to solve UX problems and deliver creative design solutions, where the in-house team is much more adept at performing stakeholder and customer research or developing on-brand assets, social media, building pages, and content edits.

Being clear on roles and goals from the outset make it that much easier (not to mention faster and cheaper) to achieve your desired end result.

But while diverse skill sets will prove critical in managing an effective digital marketing strategy, they’re hardly the only benefit of using a hybrid approach. Keeping in mind that cost is often the number-one consideration in website creation projects, hiring agency experts to work as an extension of your team can save you time and money by:

  • Giving your company control of the process from start to finish, resulting in less management time and fewer revision loops.
  • Eliminating the need to spend on hiring and onboarding.
  • Using your investment to tap into greater skill sets.
  • Providing broader access to marketing tools and technology, minus subscriptions and training costs.

It’s more important than ever for organizations to take an active role in managing their digital strategy and resources.

In a truly hybrid relationship, both inside and outside employees are positioned where they need to be in order to maximize their respective skill set and expertise. With that understanding, the new team can approach projects transparently and collaboratively, with more productive working sessions and better communication across groups.

And, of course, what’s good for the creative strategy is good for the bottom line. As many B2B industry marketers are coming to understand, bringing in qualified agency experts to support your existing team serves to streamline each process, stretch your investment dollars, and produce better outcomes for everyone involved.

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