Digital marketing success is a climb, and determining just how to scale that hill is not a decision to take lightly. Should you partner with an agency or build an in-house team? Should you hire freelancers or leverage AI technology?

As part of our Finding the Right Client-Agency Fit Series, here’s a peek at what we cover in our comprehensive guide as you consider partnering with a digital marketing agency vs. assembling an in-house team, leaning on freelancer work, or using AI to market and grow your business. 

4 Factors Behind the Search for a Fresh Digital Marketing Solution

Have you been wondering if it’s time to ramp up your strategy and look at hiring a digital marketing agency? If so, you’re not alone. When exploring your options, you may have already asked one or more of these questions: 

  1. Are our current digital marketing efforts generating the results we need?
  2. Do we have the resources and bandwidth to efficiently manage all of our campaigns?
  3. Are we reaching and engaging our target audiences effectively?
  4. Do our strategies evolve to keep up with the latest marketing trends and technologies?

These questions represent some of the most common motivators for seeking a new marketing solution. As you consider your goals, budget, and resources, there are also pros and cons to weigh for each approach. 

Comparing the Value of an Agency vs. In-House Marketing or Freelancers

From overcoming challenges with development to nailing campaign execution as you scale, strategic analysis of your needs can help you plan your next steps. 

The first thing you should analyze? What value really means to you and your business. 

As an exercise in cost-benefit analysis, it helps to consider other forms of holistic value that go beyond the price tag. Consider partnerships that:

  • Maximize gross profit in addition to increasing revenue
  • Reduce costs in the long run
  • Help you avoid unnecessary expenses
  • Protect against risks, setbacks, or market disruptions

Rest assured, we’re here to offer guidance to help you find the right marketing solution.

Investing in a Digital Marketing Agency vs. Freelancers

When you need short-term support on a project-by-project basis, deciding between a digital marketing agency vs. a freelancer depends on your needs. Freelancers can be appealing for their flexibility and lower costs. On the other hand, an agency can offer a larger talent pool and more growth opportunities.

Before contracting with a freelancer, consider factors like: 

  • The scope of your marketing objectives, including long-term needs and scalability
  • The different types of marketing efforts your agency needs and how they work together in your overall campaign
  • The shifting dynamics of your industry and marketplace

Hiring an Agency vs. a Corporate Marketing Manager or Team

With a marketing employee on your payroll, you have direct oversight and control over your projects. On the other hand, the costs of in-house marketing vs. an agency might make the latter a better value—hiring a single in-house marketer could equal what you’d pay an agency for a year.

In-house pros and cons

Consider weighing these additional forms of value as well: 

  • The workload capacity of a full agency vs. in-house marketing employee or team
  • Comprehensive services beyond SEO digital marketing
  • The control and flexibility a hub-and-spoke model could provide

The Power of Partnering with a Digital Marketing Agency

If your business needs a more comprehensive and specialized approach to digital marketing, outsourcing your strategy to a digital marketing agency could be the right call for you. With an agency, you can tap into a pool of talent, knowledge, and resources to craft campaigns tailored to your objectives.

Agency Pros and Cons graphic

Digital marketing agencies have the capacity to handle large-scale projects and stay up to date with industry trends and best practices. As you decide between a digital marketing agency vs. other solutions, keep in mind your company’s need for: 

  • Access to specialized tools, software, and teams to accomplish your campaigns
  • Your desired level of oversight or collaboration with a marketing team
  • Long-term value and potential for a high return on investment

Your strategy—whether it includes strong content marketing, PPC, or large-scale SEO—can also help you determine which route is a viable option for your business. 

The Role of AI in Digital Marketing

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has introduced a new dimension to digital marketing considerations. AI has emerged as a priority solution for the foreseeable future

AI Pros and Cons

Understandably, the use of AI tools in digital marketing campaigns often sparks questions, such as: 

  • What are the risks of using AI to create content or images?
  • Will I fall behind my competitors if I don’t use AI for content creation?
  • Do the time and cost savings of AI outweigh the value of traditional digital marketing solutions?

Most importantly: Does AI offer a digital marketing solution stable enough to support the weight of a full-scale strategy?

In short, AI is an impressive tool that can bolster your campaigns, but it’s far from perfect. 

AI can be incredibly useful for: 

  • Repetitive tasks
  • Audience analysis
  • Content optimization
  • Data-driven decision-making

While AI functions well as an automated assistant, it cannot replace the strategic and creative thinking of experienced marketers. 

If you’re exploring AI for your business, it’s important to keep yourself updated and carefully evaluate the potential risks associated with AI, such as privacy concerns, plagiarism, and intellectual property issues.

Interested in Big Leap’s policy on AI as an agency? Check it out here

Determining ROI: A Digital Marketing Agency vs. In-House Marketing, Freelancers, or AI

Which digital marketing solution offers the greatest ROI for your business? It really depends on your short- and long-term goals, your resources, and the solutions that align best with your objectives. For a deeper analysis of the factors that may influence your decision, head over to the full article.

At Big Leap, we know this can be a make-or-break choice for your business. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, need assistance, or just want to chat. Our team of experts is ready to help.