What you need to know before you hire a marketing agency

So, you have a new product or project coming in and you need to get started soon. But you realize you are understaffed, and you clearly need more people to work on the new project. What do you do? Hire a small team of sorts for the new project? Or just look out and hire a marketing agency that would fit the bill?

This dilemma is not uncommon in the modern world. This article does not answer the question but sheds light on the aspects of each side of the coin.

The Pros

1. It is a quick fix

Hiring an agency takes a lot lesser time, than hiring a team of professionals. The usual flow is somewhere around this:

  1. Reach out and share the project details
  2. Invite pitches
  3. Assess and choose
  4. Negotiate (if needed)
  5. Close and get started.

Usually, this can be done in as short a duration as a couple of weeks. Hiring individuals though takes a longer time. The assessment of candidates itself would take at least around a couple of weeks, if not more. And then the chosen candidates have to resign, serve their notice periods and then join. You’re also never sure if they’ll join or shop for better offers until they actually join. So, about a couple of months on average for this.

2. The risk is lesser compared to hiring

Hiring is often a more complicated and intimate process for any organization. The person not only has to be qualified to do the job, but also should fit in the existing culture. Also, the assessment, if not good enough, shall lead to parting ways. Letting go of an employee and hiring again, is a much harder route to go through, compared to switching from an agency that didn’t work out.

3. You can tap into a broader experience and expertise

Agencies come with an experience of working across lengths and breadths of marketing because they have 10s of businesses as their clients. This can help in testing between things like different platforms, etc. faster.


The Cons

1. The understanding of the brand’s tone and communication is built only gradually

It’s true. Any external agency is at the end of the day, an external agency. It will take time for the agency to grasp the voice and tone of your brand. If you are only staring out or a startup though, this shouldn’t matter for you.

2. It might not be cost-effective in the longer run.

As Marketing Charts rightly points out, the cost is a top challenge with external marketing agencies. Marketing agencies are for-profit businesses. If proper deliverables and briefs are not set up, it can be more of costly than it is beneficial to your business.

3. Lack of business understanding

Your marketing agency is basically an extended team that doesn’t share the same workplace and conversations. So, naturally the understanding of the softer aspects of the business, the ins and outs would be missing. Also, this same team that works for you, works on at least one more client, in most cases. Hence with the divided attention, you can’t expect much depth in learning they’d take up of your business.


All being said, more often than not, I’ve seen companies try recruiting digital marketing agencies at least once. To see the kind of expertise and creativity they bring in. So if you are considering hiring one, do weigh out the pros and cons without a miss.

Happy marketing!