Who To Trust With Your PPC Management: In-House vs. Agency Marketing
In-house vs. agency marketing: which is the savviest approach to your PPC ad management?
If the circumstances are right, there is a solid business case for both in-house and agency marketing.
Choosing the right approach for your business will have a huge impact ‒ whether that means in-house, agency, or some strategic hybrid. There are many factors to consider and making the wrong choice can be very costly.
Read on for a detailed breakdown of the real pros and cons of partnering with a marketing agency vs. in-house PPC management, starting with the one big mistake you can’t afford.
Here’s the Biggest Misconception: What Does In-House vs. Agency Marketing Really Cost?
To begin, there is a major misconception about in-house vs. agency marketing that many companies fall victim to:
The cost of keeping their PPC advertising in-house vs. agency marketing solutions.
Cost is often the deciding factor for companies on the question of when to hire a marketing agency for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
And many business owners believe that hiring a marketing agency to do your PPC is inherently more expensive than doing it in-house.
But in reality, for numerous reasons, doing PPC management in-house is often far more expensive than outsourcing it to a capable agency.
- Maintaining a successful PPC advertising campaign requires experience and skill. Adding just one intermediate PPC manager to your staff will cost roughly $86,000 in salary, insurance, and benefits alone.
- That means that having a small internal marketing department of three or four employees will easily run you upward of $200,000 per year.
- Compare that to the cost of outsourcing your PPC management to an agency, which ranges from $20,000 to $200,000 per year depending on your needs ‒ and which gets you an experienced team managing and creating your PPC ads.
Plus, as with any employee, hiring an in-house PPC manager will cost more than just what you pay in salary, benefits, and insurance. There’s also:
- Recruitment costs. To find the right candidate, you have to set aside a budget that covers the costs of ads, networking events, and recruitment staff.
- Training and onboarding costs. Even the best new employees take time to adapt and reach full productivity.
- Equipment and software costs. An in-house marketing team will need software tools for analytics, ad creation, and more in order to do their jobs.
- Management costs. Spending time and resources managing and maintaining that person’s employment, from payroll to ensuring they produce quality work.
PPC advertising is an integral part of your lead generation strategy. It should be managed with the same care and attention as any other key part of your business.
If you are not able to dedicate the resources to this area, then it is almost always better to outsource your PPC management to a professional agency instead. Full stop.
Beyond Costs: Doing PPC In-House vs. Agency Marketing
Let’s put costs aside for a moment and look at other factors to consider when deciding whether to hire an agency or manage your PPC campaigns in-house.
When it comes to in-house vs. agency marketing, the TrafficSoda team has experience on both sides of the coin:
- We’re a digital marketing agency, and PPC management is something we handle for a number of clients across North America.
- However, there are times when we tell prospective clients that they would be better off handling their own PPC management, or outsourcing only a small part of it.
- And as a company that does most of our own marketing in-house, we are fully aware of the advantages and challenges involved.
In the following sections, we will examine the differences between working with an agency and hiring your own PPC team to help you decide the best choice for your business.
3 Benefits of a Professional PPC Management Agency
Marketing agencies that provide PPC management services are invaluable partners for small and medium-size businesses that want to increase traffic, leads, and sales online – but don’t want to spend $200,000/year or more on an internal marketing department.
1. Agency Expertise Gives You More Value
The best agencies give you access to a level of skill and expertise at a cost that is otherwise out of reach for most small and medium-sized businesses.
Many agencies give you access to team members specializing in many areas so you can take advantage of multiple marketing channels: Google Ads management, eCommerce PPC management, and more.
The benefits of agency experience include:
- Confidence in decision-making. Giving up some control can be scary, but a trusted digital marketing agency will give you the confidence that they have your best interest in mind with their ideas and execution.
- Advanced technology. Most agencies have an expert knowledge of the technologies they work with. They know the best ways to employ these technologies to reach their desired goals. You will gain access to advanced tools and bespoke services to suit your needs and requirements.
- New opportunities. The creative potential when you work with an agency is virtually limitless since you get an entire team of specialists with a wide range of skill sets who can be quickly called on depending on the project needs.
Agencies are experts in their field, they know how to create the best PPC strategy for your business.
2. You Can Ramp Up Advertising FAST (and Scale Back Just as Quickly)
Scalability is one of the biggest benefits of outsourcing your PPC management to an agency. Whether you want to boost your advertising during busy seasons or get more business in slower times, an agency can help.
In-house teams are limited in both resources and team members. Agencies have access to a larger number of team members with different skill sets that makes scaling seamless on your end.
Among the benefits of ramping up and scaling back quickly are:
- Outpace competitors. A quick response to changes in your market gives you an advantage over your competitors by targeting specific needs or segments of your audience.
- Get to market faster. Have a new business or product line? Hire an agency instead of building your own team until you have the time and resources to do so.
- Always on point. If you ever need to stop your ads or change your messaging quickly, an agency can handle it. There is no need to mobilize your internal resources. Remember how many businesses had to shut down or switch to curbside service early in 2020? Our team at TrafficSoda immediately jumped into action to ensure our clients’ advertising complied.
3. Your Agency’s Success Is Measured By YOUR Outcomes
Reputable agencies go out of their way to make sure that they deliver the best results for you and, in return, get more business opportunities with future potential clients.
You and your agency partners both know what’s on the line if they don’t deliver results. So, agencies work tirelessly to deliver.
There are many benefits to you from this dynamic, including:
- Fuel your growth. A good agency knows that they must deliver results and work hard for your business. You can trust an agency partner to deliver what you need to grow, whether it’s traffic, leads, or sales.
- Know what you’re paying for. In order to prove their results, a professional PPC management agency will meticulously track the performance of your ads and provide you with detailed reports. You see exactly what you’re paying for, so you’re confident you’re making the right choice.
- Constant improvement. Agencies are constantly evolving to stay competitive in the industry. With clients demanding more and better results, agencies have to find ways to keep up with that. It’s hard to maintain that kind of momentum in an internal team.
Marketing agencies are more than just a business that helps you with your marketing needs. They have the skillset to help you grow with your business with qualified resources, analytics and data, and insights.
3 Benefits of an In-House Marketing Team
For some businesses, building an in-house team to handle PPC advertising just makes sense. Internal PPC managers give you a greater level of control and a more focused approach.
1. Your In-House Team Knows Your Brand Inside and Out
You have a brand at the core of your marketing strategy, and your internal team knows it best. An in-house team is already immersed in and understands your company’s culture.
Your in-house team will already have more immediate and intimate knowledge of your brand and company culture, while it will take time for an agency to understand you. A PPC campaign aimed solely at branding rather than lead or sales generation may be better handled by an in-house team.
However, in the same way as your internal team takes time to get to know your brand, a good and professional PPC management agency will take time to get to know your brand as well.
2. Your Marketers Are Just Down the Hall
Because you’re all under one roof, having an in-house marketing team will save you from ever playing phone-tag with your marketers. It will be easier for your marketing team to coordinate with you and with other departments, allowing for greater collaboration and communication.
Since agencies aren’t next door, and you have to contact them by phone or email, it is essential that you find an agency that is responsive to your needs.
3. Your Team Works Only For You
Since digital marketing agencies have many clients, you might feel at times that you aren’t at the top of their priority list.
Your in-house marketing team focuses 100% on your business, not on other clients.
That said, it’s a mistake to assume that just because your team has singular focus means they’ll definitely achieve the results you need. You can still benefit from an agency’s experience even if they work with multiple clients.
When to Use an Agency and In-House PPC Advertising
While PPC advertising can generate significant business revenue, it requires a substantial investment of money and time.
Agencies, on the other hand, are more cost-effective, tend to produce better results, and offer the convenience of not having to manage PPC campaigns yourself.
We have outlined a few common business cases for both to help you better understand how they can benefit your business.
When to Hire a Marketing Agency for PPC Management
PPC advertising is a complex process that involves many strategies and tools.
You should hire an agency to do your PPC management if:
- You want a team with the most experienced people in the industry with specialized skills, and don’t want to build out a minimum $200,000/year PPC department.
- You want to be able to scale quickly, pause or pivot when required, without having to muster resources in-house.
- You value results and accountability. When your agency partner fails to deliver results, you won’t have a working relationship for long, so incentives are aligned and there’s a sense of urgency.
You can save time and money by having a PPC agency handle everything for you, and you will receive the quality of results only experienced and specialized teams can deliver.
When to Keep PPC Management In-House
In certain cases, it may be more efficient for the company to handle its PPC internally.
You may do better doing PPC advertising in-house if:
- You need local expertise. In a unique market, you might not want your ad campaigns managed by a third party who doesn’t understand local market conditions.
- You are a startup with venture funding. Startups that receive venture capital are usually expected to use that capital to expand their own internal teams, and you’ll have the means to acquire top talent.
- You work in a very obscure market. Some markets require unique marketing channels that are impossible to scale linearly. PPC aimed at government contracts or seasonal cycles, for example, may be better handled by in-house experts.
Keep in mind that this may not be an all or nothing decision. You can also use a digital marketing agency and an in-house team together, bringing some aspects of PPC advertising in-house or outsourcing others.
Drive More Traffic and Revenue with PPC Advertising
While both in-house and agency marketing have their advantages, most companies are far better off with one or the other. When choosing which method is best for your company, take the time to carefully weigh your options.
Our PPC advertising experts know how it’s done, and we have the track record to prove it.
Start with a FREE consultation and see how we get you results.
When & How to Outsource Your Inbound Lead Generation in 2023
If you want to grow your business, you need leads. Period.
But finding qualified prospects and nurturing the relationship isn’t easy.
Inbound lead generation takes serious time and effort. Not every business has the resources to do it right ‒ or at all, in the case of some small businesses.
Wouldn’t it be great if someone else handled it all for you?
Outsourcing your inbound lead generation lets you build your lead pipeline quickly and efficiently.
In our experience, businesses with small in-house marketing departments tend to benefit the most from working with a lead generation agency ‒ but there are times when larger businesses with a full marketing team can benefit greatly from working with an agency as well.
In this blog, we will look at whether outsourcing lead generation is right for your business (including why it’s not always the best choice) and what you need to do in order to get the best results.
1. Outsourcing Your Inbound Lead Generation: What You Need to Know
There are two types of lead generation: inbound and outbound. Inbound lead generation is about getting prospective customers to contact you, while outbound is reaching out to potential leads yourself.
Here, we’re talking about inbound lead generation.
The goal of inbound lead generation is to find and nurture qualified leads so you can convert them into sales once they’re ready to buy.
We already mentioned how outsourcing your lead generation saves you time. Instead of burning all your time hunting for new prospects to pitch, you can hire a lead generation agency to bring qualified leads right to you ‒ so all you need to do is close the sale and start the work.
You instantly free up hours of time to devote to other tasks that will help your business grow.
But time savings aren’t the only reason to partner with a lead generation agency.
a) Get an Entire Expert Team for the Cost of 1-2 Employees
A basic lead generation campaign typically includes:
- Digital Advertising
- Technical set-up
- Targeting and research
- Landing Page
- Web developer
- Email marketing expert
- Marketing asset
- Technical integrations, as needed
- Web team
Other things to consider are:
- Organic social media posts
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Public relations, like press releases
- Influencer marketing
It’s rare to find someone who is proficient in all those things in-house; which is one of the biggest reasons hiring a lead generation agency can be useful.
For the price of one or two employees, you get the skills and knowledge of a complete team of lead generation professionals.
And that’s not all…
b) Gain Valuable New Perspectives on Your Business and Market
Here’s what we’ve noticed working on hundreds of campaigns for companies across North America:
Many in-house marketers know their business a little too well.
The longer you spend working in-house, the harder it gets to think like a customer. And it’s really tough to write compelling copy and campaigns when you’re stuck inside of that box.
Outsourcing your lead generation to an agency lets you avoid this pitfall entirely.
Best of all…
c) Reduce Costs and Increase Profits
Hiring an agency to do lead generation for you can actually save you money in the long run.
When you outsource, you don’t have to spend time training and managing anyone or buying all the essential tools they’ll need to do the job right.
Outsourcing the work can help your budget go farther and be more cost effective, driving a higher return on investment without all the legwork.
Your internal sales team can even work alongside an agency for faster ramp-up and increased lead efficiency, putting your business growth goals in reach!
2. When Outsourcing Inbound Lead Generation is Worth the Investment
From our experience as a digital marketing agency focused on acquisition marketing, there are three factors that contribute to a successful lead generation outsourcing relationship:
- You’ve developed your brand with an in-house marketing person/team.
- You’ve set clear lead generation goals for the near future.
- You know what a quality lead is to you, and you have a process for defining them.
Generally, outsourcing your lead generation to a digital marketing agency works well when your business has a small in-house marketing team, or even a single marketing person.
This team should have already established brand guidelines that can be used alongside more targeted lead generation campaigns. Generating leads while you’re still nailing down your brand is more challenging and less efficient.
A small, busy marketing team cannot handle lead generation on top of all their other duties (see the list above), and hiring and training someone in-house specifically for lead generation work is an expensive and time-consuming investment.
A lead generation agency fills that gap more cost-effectively.
Hiring an agency that specializes in lead generation is also the best option if your business is looking for a quick turnaround. What might take an in-house team months to implement can be handled by outsourced digital marketing professionals in just a few weeks.
That said, it’s important that you have SMART goals in mind for your lead generation before you hit the launch button. You shouldn’t be making it up as you go along, or drastically changing course in the thick of it. Effective lead generation starts with clearly defined objectives.
Finally, it’s important to make sure your process for qualifying leads is set in stone before hiring a lead generation agency. This process is crucial to setting up lead generation campaigns that will bring in qualified leads rather than low-quality ones.
3. When NOT to Outsource Your Inbound Lead Generation
In our experience, businesses with small in-house marketing departments tend to benefit the most from working with a lead generation agency.
Full-time marketing teams may not need support all the time or as consistently as smaller teams, but can often benefit greatly from partnering with an agency on an as-needed basis. If you need extra help with a lead generation campaign in-house, or need training, consultation, or feedback, a lead generation agency can be your best friend.
There are also cases when fully outsourcing lead generation might be a good idea for larger companies. If you’re launching a new product or expanding to a new market, for example, you benefit greatly from hiring a lead generation agency who has experience in that market.
Another situation where outsourcing your lead generation may not be the best option is if you just don’t have the budget for it yet. A good lead generation campaign can be expensive, and an ineffective campaign can cost you more than none at all.
If your business is still in its infancy, consider starting small with an email campaign, building your community through social media or ads linking to your website as a first step.
Should You Leave Your Inbound Lead Generation to the Experts?
Outsourcing lead generation can be a great investment for your business. It saves you time from training or hiring your own team, produces better results, and gives you more flexibility as your business scales and adapts to a changing marketplace.
You should hold off on hiring a lead generation agency if you’re still working on branding, goals, and a process for qualifying leads. And if you have the resources and time to invest a portion of your in-house digital marketing team to lead generation, you should!
To learn more about lead generation and talk to a digital marketing professional, contact our team here at TrafficSoda. We’ll help you find the perfect balance between outsourcing lead generation and in-house lead generation for your business.