This has been a topic of discussion literally for decades.  And for good reason…there is no single answer.  The best team is the team that meets the needs of the organization.

The most critical factor is resource allocation.  For active marketers with a variety of needs, building an in-house marketing department requires a substantial investment that adds to overhead.  Hiring specialists for each functional area…strategic planning, media, creative and digital specialist…means substantial salaries, benefit costs and increased payroll taxes.  The ability to lure top tier talent also can be an issue.  If these concerns can be resolved an in-house department can provide a hands-on immediacy and control that can benefit the organization.

Current trends point toward hiring an external marketing agency as a more effective and cost-effective way to build a marketing team for most companies today.  Benefits include:

  1. Monthly retainers are almost always less than the combined overhead costs of internal staff.
  2. Diversity of skills. It is the agency’s responsibility to build a staff of experts in all functional areas.
  3. Creative specialists prefer the open environment and varied project work that agencies provide.
  4. When the right agency is selected an organization can tap (and pay for) resources as they need them.  You can start small and grow without organizational change.
  5. Broader perspective. An agency works with multiple clients and can often provide insights that internal staff are not exposed to.

At R&A Marketing we take pride in seeking client partners that want a business relationship built on trust, mutual respect and camaraderie.  Since 1984 we have worked with retail furniture stores across the country and created partnerships that increased sales and profitability.   And we made a lot of friends along the way.

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