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The Truth About In-House Marketing vs Hiring an Agency

You want to 10X your new business leads – who doesn’t? But do you build an in-house marketing team or hire an agency?


Manufacturing businesses typically have two options: hiring an internal marketing team or working with an external agency specializing in the industry.

Both have advantages and disadvantages, but ultimately your decision needs to be made based on which option best fits your company’s current marketing needs.

So let’s break down both sides of the argument so you can make an informed decision when choosing who to work with.

We’ll explore the pros and cons of hiring a dedicated team internally versus outsourcing to an external agency that specializes in marketing for manufacturing companies.

By looking at both options carefully, you can decide which might be best for your organization and its marketing goals.

So let’s dive in…

Build It – And the Results Will Come! (Maybe?)

When building an internal marketing team, you have full control over the direction and messaging of your marketing campaign.

You can tailor content to fit with existing company culture, values, and goals – allowing a cohesive brand message consistent with the overall brand identity.

You also have access to expertise specific to your industry that may be unique to your business or organization.

But building out your in-house team is time-consuming, to build and then manage them all.

Building an (effective) internal marketing team takes months or even years before they begin to deliver optimal results. That requires significant resources!

First, you need to develop job descriptions for the roles you want to fill, then recruit qualified employees who fit these roles.

Once hired, these marketers must receive training to become fully functioning team members.

And after doing all that – overseeing any campaigns, projects, and initiatives requires a substantial amount of management.

Pros  Cons 
  • Aligned with company culture and goals
  • Long-term strategy development
  • Increased control over direction and messaging
  • High cost
  • Time-consuming to build and manage
  • Limited expertise in specific areas
  • No proven track record as a team

Hiring an Agency – The Lazy Option or a Smart Move!

There’s no argument that hiring an external marketing agency is much less labor-intensive.

Agencies typically provide all necessary staff and resources to quickly begin working on your marketing project. That makes them an ideal choice for manufacturers that need immediate assistance with their marketing efforts.

Since agencies specializing in industrial marketing are already well-versed in best practices within specific sectors, you know they will deliver excellent results.

An agency’s work with previous/current clients demonstrates its ability to deliver tangible results – so there’s no guesswork involved!

But, there may be other aspects you need to deal with, such as relinquishing some control over the marketing direction and messaging. Are you a control freak? Then an agency probably isn’t the best fit for you!

You must also be sure to hire an agency that aligns with your company culture and goals. Otherwise, there could be potential conflicts that arise.

If all goes remarkably well and your business growth skyrockets – you still need to accept a degree of dependency on your chosen agency for long-term strategy. But if it’s delivering solid results – shouldn’t be a problem, right?


Pros Cons
  • Access to specialized expertise and experience
  • Immediate results
  • Cost-effective
  • Leverage external connections with industry professionals
  • Increased reach and visibility
  • proven track record in delivering successful campaigns
  • Lack of control over direction and messaging
  • Limited alignment with company culture and goals
  • Dependence on agency for long-term strategy


Finding the Right Fit for Your Manufacturing Company

Here are some typical case scenarios that we deal with frequently.

Which is the best option for a manufacturing company that wants fast results from marketing?

As with any decision, it depends on the individual organization’s needs and goals. To help you decide, let’s look at some aspects in more detail.

Hiring an External Marketing Agency:

– Access to experienced professionals who already have expertise in the industry.

– Ability to access diverse skills and resources that may not be available in-house.

– Increased scalability, allowing for rapid growth or change without being forced to invest heavily in personnel and tools.

– Cost savings, as you don’t have to pay for training or equipment you may need with an internal team.

– Access to cutting-edge tools and technologies, as agencies typically invest in the latest technology for their client’s benefit.

Building an Internal Team:

– Control over processes and operations, as you can customize everything to your organization’s needs.

– Increased accountability, as it’s easier to enforce standards and procedures when everyone is under the same roof.

– Proximity, as team members can come together quickly to address any issues they may encounter.

Deciding between an external marketing agency or an internal marketing team comes down to your company’s specific needs, budget, and goals.

But, generally, hiring an agency will get you the results you want faster. There’s no time lost hiring, training, or waiting for the team to gel together and become a high-performing marketing team – the agency has already achieved all that.

I want better leads from my marketing efforts – which approach should I choose: internal hiring or an external agency?

The decision between internal hiring and external agencies depends on many factors, such as the size of your organization, budget, timeline, and resources.

For example, your organization is small or new to the market with limited resources and budget. An external agency may be a better option for quickly ramping up your marketing efforts.

An external agency will be able to provide experienced professionals with deep knowledge, ample resources, and specialized tools and technology targeting lead generation.

When relying on an internal marketing team, you may have more control over the quality of work produced. But the team will be starting from scratch, and don’t overlook the budget required for hiring personnel.

An in-house team can quickly become overwhelmed with tasks and deadlines, making it challenging to manage the workload. You’ll need to invest in training and providing the right tools, systems, and technologies for them to perform their duties effectively.

When you hire an external agency, they can quickly become familiar with your business while bringing a fresh perspective that you just won’t get with an in-house team.

As a result, the creativity and innovation that an agency can bring to the table often outweigh any potential downside of working with them.

An agency will probably have even better tools, systems, and technologies than your internal marketing team, so you won’t need to worry about investing in additional resources.

I want to create an in-house marketing team – how do I go about it?

  • First and foremost, consider the scope of your in-house marketing team. What skills, resources, and expertise do you need?
  • Then create a plan for recruiting and training your team to acquire those qualities.
  • Establish processes and guidelines. It’s time-consuming but will save headaches in the long run.
  • Define tasks and responsibilities within the team. You don’t want to have an overworked or underutilized group of employees, so ensure everyone is clear about expectations and goals.
  • Budgeting is also a key factor when hiring an in-house marketing team. Know what you are willing to pay and how many people you can afford.
  • You may need to set up an HR team that ensures employees are paid promptly, have access to benefits, and receive ongoing training.

What should I avoid doing when developing an in-house marketing team?

  • Avoid hiring too many people at once. Without an established marketing infrastructure and processes, it can be difficult for many employees to all work together effectively.
  • Don’t overburden your team with tasks outside their skill set or job description. Doing this will lead to inefficiency and even burnout of your staff.
  • Avoid trying to do everything yourself. Your internal team may not have the expertise or resources necessary to realistically get the desired results, especially in complex campaigns and projects.

How should I go about hiring a marketing agency that will bring great results? 

While hiring an external marketing agency may not be necessary for all manufacturing companies, many benefit from outsourcing their marketing to specialists.

Here’s how to set yourself up for success and avoid common pitfalls.

  1. You want to ensure that the agency has a proven track record of delivering results and is familiar with your industry. They should have experience in all areas of marketing, including digital campaigns, content creation, analytics, and more.
  2.  They should be able to demonstrate a deep understanding of your target customers – and use proven methods to reach out to them. The agency must have access to current market trends and data to enable designing the most effective campaigns for your company.
  3. You want an agency that is flexible and willing to work with you to create custom solutions that target your goals. Your agency should be able to scale with you as your business grows and changes over time.
  4. Make sure the agency is prepared to commit to a long-term strategy for growth. Their commitment means they will be invested in seeing results from their work, not just executing tasks on a short-term basis.

Find an agency you can trust to create a strategy and stick with it – and you will ensure sustainable success for your manufacturing business.

What should I avoid when hiring a marketing agency in the manufacturing sector?

  • Don’t be tempted to go for the lowest-priced option. You may end up with an agency lacking experience in the manufacturing sector that can’t deliver results.
  • Ask questions about their process. If they don’t have a clear strategy for how they will execute your project, you should look elsewhere.
  • Beware of agencies that make big promises and guarantee results. No one can unconditionally guarantee success, so be wary of any agency that offers this.
  • Check their client portfolio and reviews to ensure they have a track record of delivering successful campaigns in the manufacturing sector.

What makes an external marketing agency the better choice for businesses in the manufacturing sector?

  • Expertise: An external marketing agency can bring in professionals with specialized skills and knowledge to create campaigns tailored to your business. They better understand the landscape, trends, and target audience.
  • Results-oriented approach: A good agency will work collaboratively with you to define objectives, create a strategy and ensure it is implemented and tracked effectively. They will also consider any challenges that arise and quickly adjust their strategy accordingly to ensure maximum impact.
  • Cost efficiency: By using an external agency, you save on the expense associated with hiring in-house marketing employees who may not have the specialized knowledge or expertise. You will also avoid costs associated with training, infrastructure, and software.
  • Flexibility: Working with an external agency gives you the flexibility to increase or decrease the level of effort depending on your needs, allowing you to allocate more resources to marketing efforts when needed and scale back when a lull in demand arises.
  • Accountability: An external agency is accountable for its work, making it easier to track the progress and monitor the performance of each campaign. An agency can also provide objective feedback based on their experience derived from years in the industry.

Choosing the right marketing agency is essential for businesses that want to maximize their opportunities and marketing ROI in today’s competitive landscape.

Can I Do Both? 

Is there any merit in hiring an internal marketing team and outsourcing some specialized functions to an agency? Do I get the best both of both worlds? Or do I just get a whole lot of headaches?

The answer (in most cases) is a resounding yes! You get the best of both worlds.

An internal marketing team can provide you with dedicated resources and actionable insights on how to market your business more effectively.

At the same time, an external agency can provide valuable perspectives and specialized skills that may not be available in-house.

An external marketing agency can help you stay ahead of the competition by providing fresh insights, new strategies, and quick responses to changing requirements.

With their extensive networks of resources and contacts, agencies can quickly respond to dynamic market trends so that your business is always one step ahead.

And a marketing agency can provide expertise in specialized areas such as SEO, PPC, email marketing, and more.

By outsourcing the implementation of these tasks, you can save time and resources while allowing your in-house team to focus on other key aspects of your business.

An agency can also provide additional support and guidance when launching a new product or service.

They have experience working with different types of businesses and can offer valuable insight and advice that can help you maximize the success of your campaigns (what worked well for another client may also be suitable for your proposed campaign!).

Finally, a marketing agency has solid experience in effective strategies for reaching and engaging your target audience.

They understand how to create content that resonates with customers and which channels are best suited for connecting with them.

By leveraging their extensive knowledge and experience, they can help you create a comprehensive marketing plan to make your business stand out from the competition.

A cautionary word – if you like the idea of using an internal team and an external agency – we’ve found that clear and effective communication is the key to success.

Avoid misunderstandings; ensure everyone is on the same page and willing to collaborate. Otherwise, you may never reap all the potential benefits because of conflicting opinions or a lack of collaboration.

The bottom line is, generally, external agencies are more cost-effective and can provide a higher level of expertise than in-house teams.

Investing in an outside agency is an investment in your manufacturing company’s future success, as they bring a fresh perspective and can help you focus on the bigger picture. As experts in the sector, they bring insights and ideas often overlooked by an internal marketing team.

Whether you’re looking to increase brand awareness, drive sales or build customer loyalty—an external marketing agency is your best bet for achieving your marketing objectives.

At YoungCeasar, we believe that industrial marketing should be both precise and bold. We’re experts in creating strategies that make an impact and get results for our clients, and we handle everything from strategy development to creative production and campaign execution.

So contact us to see how we can help you achieve your manufacturing business goals!

Or as renowned marketing strategist Jay Levinson said:

“Marketing without strategy is like shooting without aiming”. 

Make sure your marketing strategy pays off—call us today!

You can trust YoungCeasar when you need innovative and effective industrial marketing strategies for manufacturing companies. Our record speaks for itself!

Get in touch with our experts now – and let’s start crafting your success story!