Should You Hire a Digital Marketing Agency or Work In-House?

Aman Mehta
4 min readAug 14, 2022

Promoting your company is a never-ending job and a never-ending challenge. What share of your revenue do you spend monthly on your marketing process, and are you satisfied with ultimate ROIs?

While a lot of companies cover their marketing processes in-house, today,

more and more businesses are switching to a more cost-effective approach: outsourcing. Modern SMBs and enterprises prefer delegating their marketing strategies or partial tasks to third-party vendors, be it freelancers or a digital agency.

What is the reason behind this trend? Why has outsourcing gained momentum nowadays? Let’s compare what you get from hiring an in-house marketing team versus collaborating with a marketing agency. And let’s define what solution will work best for you.

What Is Outsourcing?

If you’re not familiar with this business model, let me explain it to you. We can generally describe outsourcing as the following:

“Hiring for a Service Instead of Hiring People”

Here are a few more insightful outsourcing stats and facts:

– Increased efficiency and in-depth expertise are the main reasons why businesses choose an outsourcing model

37% of small businesses currently outsource one or more business processes.

– In 2021, most companies strive for cost reduction when deciding to outsource marketing activities.

– Agility and flexibility are the top priorities of the companies that outsource their marketing in 2021.

The Cost of Keeping an in-house Marketing Department

Let’s find out how much having a marketing team under your roof costs your business on average, depending on the number of employees and digital channels that you want to cover.

Cost breakdown by roles

Below is a standard list of specialists you have to hire to build a powerful marketing strategy and their average salaries per month. The numbers greatly vary by country, industry and expert’s level of proficiency. We took an overview of the specialists with three years of experience working in the IT sector in the post-Soviet market (based on the and data).

Additional expenses you can’t skip

– Hunting and hiring: Expect to pay half the employee’s monthly salary for the HR service, which is $400 at least. And that’s for one candidate only. And there’s no guarantee the worker meets your requirements and passes the trial period.

– Onboarding and training: On average, it costs to onboard an employee (including workplace, equipment, training courses and other organizational expenses).

– Software costs: Depending on the set of tools and subscription plans you choose, marketing software can cost $15–500 per month for one channel (for example, a monthly subscription to one of the most popular SEO tools, Ahrefs, costs starting from $99/month). A software kit should be carefully selected for every one of your marketing directions.

– Paid ads costs: On average, small businesses monthly spend $10,000 on paid ad campaigns, which aren’t always profitable. For medium-sized and large companies, this figure can be higher.

– Retention costs: The investment in employee retention can be different depending on the company’s financial capabilities and general HR approach. A replacement can cost you an employee earning a median salary of $45,000 a year. Simple math: this number will be around $3,500 for workers with an $800–1000 wage. That is, it can mean risking $35,000 at least for retaining a 10-member marketing team.

The cost of hiring a digital marketing agency

Although you may think that working with a top-notch agency costs even much more than keeping in-house workers, real numbers will pleasantly surprise you.

If you work with me, you eliminate the need to maintain a scalable in-house marketing department as we provide full-service marketing, starting from the initial marketing planning and strategy development and ending with the implementation of digital campaigns in different directions.

Let’s calculate the expenses for covering the same scope of tasks that we mentioned in the previous part.

We provide full-cycle content marketing services, which include topic research, brief composition and keyword selection based on your SEO positions, as well as writing and editing. All this for $100/post. A client can also choose an additional design service for $25/4 images.

To make our offer truly beneficial for the customers, we provide discounts for bulk orders: 4 SEO-based posts ordered at once cost $350; 10 posts cost $800. A standard blog posting frequency is four posts per month for young companies and around 8–20 posts for enterprises.

As you can see, ordering a content package from me is even cheaper than producing content in-house (you pay salaries to the content writer(s) — $1000 or $2000, SEO specialist — $1000, editor — on average $300, designer — $1200).



Aman Mehta

Armchair Philosopher | Location Independent | Amateur Photographer