CMOs: You Probably Don’t Need Most of Your In-house Staff


Your In-House Digital Marketing Staff Can Hold Back Your Campaign

While it may seem logical to hire an in-house team for your digital marketing efforts; most CMOs are surprised and disappointed when confronted with the ongoing time and expense it takes to recruit and maintain a successful department. What’s more, once their interests are tethered to in-house staffs, CMOs often find that they have lost the ability to be agile and responsive to the shifting nature of the digital marketing industry.

With the right agency, CMOs have the opportunity to get beyond managing channel specialists and align with a forward-looking partner who can bring in the right specialists on a prorated basis, without committing to a particular tactic by virtue of having hired specialized employees.

Benefits of Having an Agency Partner

In most organizations, staffers have specific tactical knowledge and career interests that cause them to focus on specific marketing channels. Therefore, CMOs usually find themselves managing teams of people who are invested in continuing certain marketing approaches.

In some cases, this is simply for the sake of continued on-the-job training and not really part of an overarching strategy which, if developed, might actually involve backing off, repositioning or eliminating a specific tactic that had been in-use.

Unlike in-house digital marketing teams, agencies have no reason to invest in ineffective tactics. Since they are comprised of diverse and integrated teams of professionals, agencies can tailor campaigns to invest in the things that work, while also providing a number of other key advantages, including:

Vetted hires: A good agency will employ a complete team of marketing pros who have already been screened and trained. These professionals will also already have the background and experience necessary to help your marketing efforts thrive, right out of the gate.

A comprehensive package: When companies hire a digital agency, they are paying one price for several individual positions, including – but not limited to – SEO specialists, social media managers, copywriters and graphic designers. When they choose to create an in-house staff, on the other hand, CMOs have to vet and hire each individual, and then wait – and hope – for them to learn to work together as an effective team.

Innovation: Digital marketing is a fast-moving industry that requires constant adjustments. Agencies have their fingers on the pulse of technology advancements, the next algorithm update and other evolving factors that propel and sustain your campaign’s success. This level of expertise and knowledge sharing isn’t usually a priority for an in-house team.

Less overhead and waste: While an agency provides customized, scalable service based on a company’s individual needs and budget; an in-house digital marketing staff requires a lot of long-term overhead. To acquire and maintain an effective in-house staff, CMOs must invest time and money in job ads, resume screening, candidate interviews and background checks. They must then onboard and train each new hire, while providing competitive salaries and continued training.

A bad hire can result in tens of thousands of dollars in waste, while severely stunting your campaigns growth potential. Even when they make good hires, CMOs usually don’t get their money’s worth, due to tremendous ongoing costs related to tools and salaries. This becomes especially clear when you consider the average salaries of in-house digital marketing staffers.

The Bottom Line

While in-house staffers function as individuals with siloed abilities and unique interests; a good digital marketing agency is a complete entity that tracks actual return on investment. This makes the agency accountable to overall business goals, and demands that it develop effective and evolving strategies to achieve them. This leads to more efficient, integrated campaigns that focus on the tactics that actually work, instead of those that simply work to justify an employee’s in-house position.

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