Marketing Teams: In-House, Agency and the power of Hybrid

Graham Carroll18th October 2023 - Graham Carroll

Marketing Teams: In-House, Agency and the power of Hybrid

That choice. Hire a specialist marketing agency or build your in-house team?

In this piece, I talk about the benefits of the two options and how you can have the best of both. We’ll also look at some recent stats for context.


Here are some of the advantages of having your own full-time in-house marketing team.

Organisational know-how

In-house marketing teams are dedicated exclusively to your brand or business, so naturally, they will know your products, services, and audience. Having this full-time knowledge and focus is key.

A 2021 survey by PwC found that 77% of European consumers consider trust in a brand as a buying factor, highlighting the importance of maintaining consistency of message and communication. In-house marketing talent is key to this.


In-house teams are always available, allowing for immediate responses to changing market conditions or unexpected challenges. This can be particularly important in fast-paced industries where timely decision-making and execution are critical.

Control and Alignment

Having an in-house team gives you complete control over your marketing activities. You can directly oversee projects, ensuring they align with your company’s vision and values.

This control can be especially crucial when your marketing efforts involve sensitive information or require a high degree of customisation.


Cost is a factor, but it swings both ways and there is value with different options depending on your circumstances.

Unilever announced back in 2017 that it saved approximately 30% on its agency fees by taking some of its advertising in-house and reducing the remit of its agency teams.

In-Housing vs Agency

Agency Benefits

Here, are some of the main advantages of partnering with an agency team.

Expertise and Ideas

Marketing agencies are often home to a team of specialised professionals with diverse skills. This breadth of expertise lets them stay updated with the latest marketing trends, strategies, and technologies.

For instance, in the European context, a survey conducted by the Digital Marketing Institute in 2021 found that 70% of marketers believed that keeping up with digital marketing trends was the biggest challenge they faced.

Marketing agencies can alleviate this concern by providing a pool of experts who specialise in various aspects of marketing, from SEO and content marketing to social media advertising.

Cost Efficiency

Hiring and training an in-house marketing team can be a significant investment, especially for small to medium-sized businesses.

In contrast, partnering with a marketing agency allows you to access a team of experts without the expense of hiring and retaining full-time employees.

This can be particularly advantageous for businesses with limited budgets.

Scalability and Flexibility

One of the key benefits of using a marketing agency is scalability. Agencies can easily adjust their resources to meet your changing needs.

Whether you’re launching a new product, entering a new market, or need to ramp up activity during a specific period, agencies offer flexibility without the commitment and risk of hiring.


If you are a small company with a small team, there’s a limit to what you can accomplish because of the limited skill sets. For this reason, in-housing can be quite challenging.

Big businesses, on the other hand, have the human resource capacity to handle significant marketing activities.

However, after reviewing various agency prices, some large companies may prefer to cut costs by hiring an agency to handle their marketing.

Should they decide to stick with an in-house marketing team, managing a large team can become a challenge of its own.

With a huge internal marketing team, company leaders have to break silos for easy management. This could slow down communication.

marketing stairs

Ultimately, the decision between using an agency and building an in-house team depends on your specific needs and circumstances.

We would say it, but the expertise, cost-efficiency, and scalability offered by agencies are important to the success of your marketing strategy. However, the in-depth knowledge, immediate availability, and control you get from your in-house team are equally important.

The Hybrid Approach

The hybrid approach, where in-house talent and agency support combine, strikes a perfect balance.

By leveraging the strengths of both teams, you can maximise impact.

Advantages of a Hybrid approach

In Bannerflow’s most recent published in-housing report, 30% of respondents said that they had chosen a hybrid model.

Building a strong partnership between an agency and a company’s in-house marketing team gives the best of both worlds and has the potential to transform an organisation into a marketing powerhouse.

Hybrid benefits include:

  • Data-driven decision-making without providing external parties access to a company’s sensitive consumer data.
  • Access to industry experts without the need to persuade them to become permanent employees of your company.
  • Benefiting from top-tier agency marketing tools and insights that might not otherwise be in reach.
  • With both in-house and external perspectives the collaboration processes make for a better strategy.


Thanks for reading.

If you are unsure about how to build your digital marketing or UX design team, get in touch with Friday. We won’t bite you. I swear.

Also, we are currently working on a short survey for brand and marketing leads, product owners and senior people involved in marketing. If you would like to be involved in the survey, get in touch with me before the end of October 2023.

Graham Carroll
Graham Carroll

Graham is a co-Founder and Head of Strategy at Friday Agency. He writes mostly about Strategy, Content and UX here, and he talks, lectures and sometimes shouts about these things too.

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