Working with a Digital Marketing Agency Vs. Hiring In-House: How to Build a Marketing Team and Why?
There are a lot of choices to make when it comes to marketing your business. One of the most important decisions is whether to hire an in-house marketing team or work with a digital marketing agency. Both have their pros and cons, and it can be difficult to decide which is the best option for your company. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of working with a digital marketing agency and how to build a marketing team if you decide to go the in-house route.
We are a marketing agency, so we might be a bit biased towards what we think is the best solution (which is, to hire us 🙂 But truth be told, there are certain advantages to hiring a well qualified in-house marketing team. If you can afford it.
Building a Marketing team
Let’s first look at what a good marketing team is, and what skills will the team members need to cover every aspect (or most aspects) of digital marketing:
- Graphic Design
- Web Design
- Social Media management
- Social Media & Google Advertising
- Video Production
- Copywriting / Translating
Right off the bat, it is clear that a well-rounded marketing team needs more than just a few members. And these are just the digital marketing skills. If you want to add traditional marketing such as TV, radio or print ads, you will need even more people on your team.
The other thing to consider is that each of these team members need to be experts in their fields. This means keeping up with the latest trends, best practices and having a deep understanding of how each marketing channel works. Algorithms are always changing, and we certainly spend at least 10% of our time honing new skills and updating our knowledge of what works best.
Benefits of hiring in-house marketing
How much does it cost to hire a digital marketing team
The costs of hiring a digital marketing expert in Hong Kong or Singapore can be very high. A good web designer might cost you HKD 30-40,000 per month while a web designer with coding skills might set you back HKD 40-50,000 per month. A social media expert could be around HKD 20-30,000 and a video editor / producer could cost anywhere from HKD 30-100,000 per month.
And that’s not including the costs of health insurance, office space and other benefits that come with hiring an employee. Not to mention the cost of equipment you will need to invest in to get started.
Now, we are not saying that you should never hire an in-house marketing team. If you have the budget and can find the right people, it can certainly be a great solution. But if you are on a tight budget or are not sure where to start, working with a digital marketing agency might be better. Especially at the beginning.
We sometimes see clients who underestimate the skills required to manage digital marketing and would trust an inexperienced student or intern to handle their social media, website maintenance and digital advertising. A fresh graduate in Hong Kong still costs at least HKD 13,000 per month, and their lack of experience and skills can actually end up costing the company more in the long run.
A digital marketing agency can be a better solution because you get access to a team of experts for a fraction of the cost of hiring an in-house team. And you don’t have to worry about managing the team or keeping up with the latest trends – that’s our job!
So let’s discuss the alternative solution to in-house marketing.
Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency
An agency will already have a team of experts that can handle all (or most) of your digital marketing needs, so by hiring an agency you are getting a whole team at once.
How much do companies charge for digital marketing?
When requesting for a proposal, you’ll soon realise that the quotes can vary greatly from one agency to another. This is because each agency has their own way of calculating their fees and there is no standard pricing in the industry.
The two most common ways agencies charge for their services are either:
– By retainer: You pay a monthly fee for a certain number of hours of work. For example, you might pay HKD 30,000 per month for 20 hours of work.
– By project: You pay a one-time fee for a specific project such as designing a website or setting up a Google Ads campaign.
However, a ballpark estimate for digital marketing services in Hong Kong would be around HKD 30-70,000 per month for a small business and HKD 50-120,000 per month for a medium to large business.
At MARK&TING, we like to work on a short-term retainer, but do not charge per hour. Charging per hour makes little sense, as some people work faster and some people need longer to complete a task. So instead, we charge for deliverables. This gives clients a nice breakdown of what will be completed by the end of each month, and it serves us as a monthly to-do list for that client.
We are also famous for delivering incredible value for money. We are 100% sure you won’t find a better rate for the same quality of work you are getting when working with us.
It’s not bragging if it’s true 🙂
Don’t believe it? Check our all-inclusive marketing package rates and see for yourself.
Agencies work with multiple clients, so they often have access to expensive marketing tools like stock images, marketing automation, analytical tools, normally out of reach for small businesses.
This means that you get to use these tools without having to pay the high monthly subscription fees.
Shameless plug: At MARK&TING, we provide unlimited access to stock photos, videos and music to all our clients.
The other cost advantage is that agencies can often negotiate better rates with service providers like Google, Facebook, video production companies and so on.
Instead of juggling several service providers, such as graphic designer, freelance website designer, and a next door videographer, you can get all the services you need from a single agency.
You might still need to hire an outside service provider for certain specialist services like TV or print ads, but for most digital marketing needs, everything can be handled in-house.
And because agencies work with multiple clients in different industries, they often have a good understanding of what works (and what doesn’t) across different industries. This means that you can avoid the common mistakes that businesses make when they venture into digital marketing without any guidance.
Outsource the headache
When you hire an agency, you are essentially outsourcing the headache of managing your digital marketing to someone else.
We see this all the time. A small company would ask one of their admins to learn to manage their wordpress site, or ask a junior staff member to be in charge of social media content creation. Or a solo-entrepreneur would try to design a flier or build a website themselves, only to realize that it’s a lot harder than it looks.
And even if you do have the time and patience to learn digital marketing, do you really want to? After all, your time is better spent on other aspects of running your business.
Hiring an agency means that you can focus on what you are good at and leave the digital marketing to us.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to deciding between hiring an in-house team or working with an agency. It depends on your specific needs and resources.
But if you are just starting out or are working with a limited budget, we would recommend working with an agency.