It’s the age-old question. Whether you’re a new innovative startup or multinational retailer, it can be one of the biggest marketing decisions your business makes. So what really is the difference between a design agency vs in-house team?
We look at some of the pros and cons for both to help you decide what is right for your business.
Skills & Expertise
As a business owner, it’s expected of you to wear multiple hats. Sales, operations, managing your accounts, chasing invoices. It can be difficult without any first-hand design and marketing experience to understand exactly what skills you are looking for in this department. If you know exactly what your business is missing then hiring a talented employee to manage that role could be a great choice.
Hiring a marketing manager may mean you still need a graphic designer or a social media executive. All-rounder employee’s that are able to cover multiple bases can also command a substantial salary to match.
It is understandable that any new employee or agency will take some time to grasp your brand. With an agency part of the parcel should be the speed in which they are able to deliver results.
In-house teams may take longer to gel, but over time can arguably develop a deeper understanding of the business and the exacting requirement to drive it forward.
It can never be underestimated just how much information and understanding employees can pick up internally. But finding the right person can take a lot of time and resources away from business operations, with potential recruitment agency costs too.
In summary here are a few of our key advantages and disadvantages for you to take away.
Advantages of Agencies
- Design agencies can offer a diverse set of skills covering the range of expertise needed to really drive your brand. From digital skills such as social media and SEO to print expertise in graphic design and reprographics.
- Agencies can bring lateral thinking with tried and tested strategies to help build successful brands.
- If an agency has worked with clients in similar fields it can bring a wealth of experience to help grow your brand in a specific sector.
- Good design agencies will hit the ground running, with no employee training even running alongside your business autonomously if required.
Disadvantages of Agencies
- Agencies have a diverse book of clients all with similar demands and varying budgets! Always make sure they are on target and reaching their KPI’s identified from the outset.
- Some agencies can be very forthcoming with their creative ideas and you may feel out of your depth. It’s always right to come to a mutual decision you are comfortable with.
- It may take many meetings to explain exactly what you are looking for. Be sure to be clear and brief your agency correctly from day one to get the very best out of their expertise.
Advantages of in-house teams
- 24/7 availability and undivided attention to your business
- In-house design and marketing professionals live and breathe the business.
- If you have a big annual budget to create a well-rounded team it can be quick to implement projects to match changing market demands.
Disadvantages of in-house teams
- The combined cost of in-house salaries, equipment, training and resources can quickly stack up. Especially in creative fields with specialist equipment and skilled workers.
- It can be possible for fresh ideas and motivation to dry up after some time with in-house Companies can become very stuck in their ways and rigid with their creative work.
- All businesses will know how hard it is to recruit and keep hold of the right talent. If you don’t have the right mix of people and skills it may be impossible to get the same quality of work as a creative agency.
As a creative agency, we may hold some biased towards outsourcing your design and marketing. But that’s not to say we don’t believe in building an experienced in-house team if you have the finance and resources behind you.
For smaller SME’s and startups the benefits you may glean from a multifaceted agency can provide a great deal of knowledge and experience that you simply haven’t got the time to bring in-house. It can seem like a hefty investment at first, but good creative agencies prove their worth and deliver results to drive your brand and bring in sales.
Ultimately your business is your baby and you have to decide where best to spend for the greatest return.