Digital Marketing Dilemma: In-House versus Agency

Today’s digital landscape has given small businesses more opportunities to grow than ever before. But those opportunities are so complicated and numerous it can be overwhelming.  Let’s explore the obstacles small businesses encounter when taking on digital marketing internally and how to know when it’s time to consider outsourcing to a reputable agency.

Challenges Faced by Small Businesses

Necessary Expertise and Resources

Crafting compelling content, optimizing websites for search engines, managing social media campaigns, and analyzing data requires a diverse skill set that can be difficult for a small business to pull in-house. It’s difficult to find any one person who can stay competent in all of these applications. These areas require specialized knowledge and continuous learning to stay updated with the latest best practices and industry trends.  

Time Constraints

Managing digital marketing internally can be time-consuming for small business owners who are already juggling multiple responsibilities. Designing and implementing marketing campaigns, monitoring analytics, and optimizing strategies demand significant time and effort. This diverts focus from core business operations and hinder overall productivity. One solution here would be to hire an employee responsible for marketing. Stay mindful of how much a single team member can adequately manage and how much management time a new employee requires. 

Scalability and Flexibility

The digital marketing landscape is ever-changing, with new technologies, algorithms, and trends emerging regularly. Small businesses often struggle to keep up with these rapid changes and adapt their strategies accordingly. In-house teams may fail to adapt quickly, especially during peak seasons or sudden market shifts. New social media platforms, security threats, and overall effectiveness change continuously. Failing to quickly respond to these changes  can mean lost revenue…or worse.

Benefits of Outsourcing to a Professional Agency

Access to Specialized Expertise

By outsourcing digital marketing, small businesses gain access to a team of professionals with diverse skill sets. These experts specialize in various areas, such as search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media management, paid advertising, website design, and analytics. Businesses can leverage the agency’s expertise to develop comprehensive strategies tailored to their target audience and growth goals, resulting in higher engagement and conversions.


Contrary to popular belief, outsourcing digital marketing can be more cost-effective than hiring an in-house team. Building an in-house team with comparable skill sets and expertise requires substantial investments in salaries, benefits, training, equipment, office space, and more. On the other hand, having an outsourced marketing team reduces overhead costs significantly. Some agencies also have access to certain media platforms where they can get better rates for usage and access data or features typically reserved for larger companies.

Advanced Tools and Technologies

Digital marketing agencies invest in state-of-the-art tools and technologies to deliver exceptional results for their clients. These tools, which can be expensive for small businesses to acquire and maintain, enable agencies to conduct thorough market research, competitor analysis, keyword research, and campaign tracking. By leveraging these resources, agencies can drive data-driven strategies and optimize marketing efforts more effectively.

Holistic Approach and Measurable Results

Professional agencies emphasize measuring the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns. They use robust analytics and reporting tools to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and provide clear insights into campaign performance. This enables small businesses to understand the return on investment (ROI) of their marketing efforts and make data-driven decisions. Additionally, outsourcing to an agency creates accountability, as the agency is responsible for delivering measurable results and meeting predetermined goals.

Unlock Growth

Digital marketing is a critical component of a small business’s growth strategy. However, the challenges of managing digital marketing efforts in-house can hinder success. Outsourcing to a professional agency overcomes these challenges by providing expertise, cost-effectiveness, advanced tools, and measurable results. Small businesses can leverage the agency’s knowledge and experience to maximize their digital marketing ROI while focusing on core business operations.

Still weighing your options? At Dave Creek Media, we believe in bridging the gap between what your customers need and the solutions you provide. Visit today to learn how we can help.

Jakob Michaelis

Jakob Michaelis is chief strategy officer for Dave Creek Media.

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