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Agency vs In-House: Which is the Best Choice for Your Digital Marketing Strategy?

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 4 years ago
  • Author:by Xcede

​In an increasingly digitised world, no brand can afford to overlook the importance of their digital marketing strategy. However, when it comes to optimising your digital approach, many marketers have a difficult decision to make – should I choose in-house or agency support? In the past, this was a much simpler decision, larger organisations would choose to work with one of the established agencies while smaller and upcoming brands would look internally or to a smaller-scale agency for support. Today, with digital awareness growing and a range of user-friendly tools at the disposal of in-house teams, the question is more complex. We look at some of the considerations for organisations choosing between in-house and agency, below.

Brand Awareness

You have a unique culture, vision, and set of values that define who you are as a brand and that should underpin every aspect of your digital messaging. It’s likely that an in-house team will have a deeper and closer connection to these values and that this connection will be reflected in your campaigns. That’s not to say that there are not very good agencies out there who are invested in what you stand for, but it’s a key consideration in a competitive marketplace.

Access to Technology

The pace of change in digital marketing technology is staggering and it can require a significant investment of time and money to stay up to date. Agencies may have easier and wider access to the latest technology and tools which can help you to deliver more effective campaigns.

Access to Data

Data is now one of the most sought-after commodities in digital marketing. Allowing marketers to target and personalise key campaigns. Keeping this process in-house allows an organisation to retain control of vital data streams and leverage this data across multiple platforms and campaigns.


It’s expensive to hire experienced digital talent, especially in London. Choosing an agency often means that organisations can access incredibly high-quality talent for a set monthly fee. However, in the long term, developing and nurturing in-house talent could be more cost-effective.


The biggest draw of agencies for a long time was specialist expertise. Digital marketing knowledge was contained within a limited field and accessing this knowledge meant going to an agency. However, a new generation of user-friendly tools is making it easier for in-house teams to succeed in digital marketing and this DIY mindset is beginning to migrate to larger organisations.


If you need to launch a campaign quickly then agencies can often offer greater speed than in-house teams. This may be particularly relevant for new brands, brand transformations or start-ups. If you need to move fast when it comes to your digital marketing approach, an agency may be the right option for you.

Work-Life Balance

Marketing agencies have a reputation for a culture of long hours and reduced flexibility. While this is certainly not the case for every agency role, it is driving some talented candidates to prioritise in-house options for their next career move. This means there is some great digital talent in the market and it’s looking for a home in your organisation.

We are seeing a growing trend towards in-house digital marketing across all industries as knowledge of SEO and digital marketing strategy flourishes. This move has been supported by success stories from big names, with William Hill being a notable brand that has hit the headlines in recent years. However, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to digital marketing and it’s vital that businesses consider their marketing approach alongside their strategic goals before making this important decision.

Looking for digital marketing talent to grow your in-house or agency team? Or searching for your next marketing career move?  Explore our digital recruitment sector page to find out how Xcede can support your digital journey.