Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency Vs a Marketing Employee in House

By Carolin Hyzyk

Marketing a product, service, or business has never been easier than it is today. With access to social media and mobile phones, anyone can publish content instantly and potentially reach thousands of people at a very low cost. BUT at the same time, it’s now more difficult to execute an ‘effective’ marketing campaign. It’s becoming harder to get people to CARE. To break through the NOISE.

There are different platforms which people can use to effectively market their business. Execution is critical and these are some of the mistakes we see businesses make in digital marketing;

Message; Is your message compelling enough?

Storytelling; People love stories. Make your customer the hero of your story.

Your Audience; Targeting every person in your country/city might not be the best approach. Narrow your audience

Consistency; You built your business around product/service consistency. Are you constantly exposing your business online?

Sales Funnel; Digital marketing is also about taking advantage of every opportunity to make a significant connection with your customers. Is your website landing page working hard for you?

When it comes to finding out how a business should market its products and services or itself, an important decision business owners make is the choice between hiring an in-house marketing team or a digital marketing agency.

In this article, we’ll explore the three determining factors you need to consider to make the correct decision for your digital marketing exposure which will improve your business. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what an in-house marketing team and a marketing agency can do for your business. And you’ll be able to see which of the two best fits your business goals.

Things to Consider When Hiring for Marketing

Any wise business owner will look as their businesses expenses and profit before making any important business decisions. Before we get into the numbers, let’s briefly talk about what you can get from a digital marketing agency and an in-house marketing team.


If you decide to hire an in-house marketing team, you’ll get your own employee/employees. Small businesses generally hire one marketing manager. This employee will be responsible for the strategy and execution of all the marketing,  whether it’s Facebook and Instagram ads, Google or YouTube ads, search engine optimization and copywriting. The problem with this is that platforms and digital advertising tactics change constantly. Can your one person ‘solo marketing team’  keep up with the trends and adaptations on all these platforms?   You also need to keep in mind that digital agencies spend years perfecting a system where execution is at the core of what they do. Most business owners, on the other hand, struggle to give clear instructions to their marketing team because that is what they lack, the digital marketing knowledge. This can result in lost time, money and frustration. A digital marketing agency is basically a full team, where you have experts in every area of digital.

Understanding Company Culture

Organisations we now work with, have explained the difficulties they had finding a digital marketing agency who could fully understand and share their company’s culture, products and services. This is why a lot of business owners prefer hiring an in-house team. We, at Keen, spend a lot of time understanding our client’s products and services, their company culture –  while analyzing the market. That’s the only way we can help businesses tell their story in a compelling way.

Cost and ROI

When it comes to costs, a digital marketing manager salary (with a minimum of 2 years experience) starts from €20,000 p/a. This doesn’t include additional costs like Facebook and Google ads costs,  website development and graphic design for ads. The cost of hiring a digital marketing agency varies, and is also dependent on the packages that you go for. When you choose this method you are only paying for the time and/or project in hand. With a monthly retainer of €1,000, a digital marketing agency will create and execute an effective digital marketing plan with business growth in mind. This will include exposure on the most visited platforms like Google, Facebook, and Instagram. That’s €8,000 in the agency’s favour. What’s also great about digital marketing agencies is how you only pay for work which is done, which results in a better ROI


Continuity is very important for a business to keep progressing in the right direction. Right now in Malta, lack of skilled labour is one of the biggest challenges businesses are facing. The culture has changed a lot, and this has also been influenced by foreigners coming to work and live in Malta. Now, more than ever employee turnover is at an all-time high. Employee turnover has a negative impact on a company and losing your experienced digital marketing specialist will have an impact on your company’s growth, sustainability and profits. This is something that every business owner must keep in mind.

The Bottom-line

So which one should you choose? There isn’t really a simple answer to this, but you can get the best of both worlds. One smart decision you can make is to hire an in-house marketing expert that can coordinate with an outsourced digital marketing agency. Over the past 10 years we have worked with hundreds of customers and this is by far the most effective strategy for small to medium-sized firms.

Get access to the full team of Digital Marketing Experts here at Keen. If you are interested in driving more leads and sales to your business we’d love to give you a demo of what we can do. Get in Touch Today!