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When To Partner With A Digital Agency: Outsource Or Hire Internally?

- By ambitiousnz
Publish Date : 2021-03-02 09:36:14
When To Partner With A Digital Agency: Outsource Or Hire Internally?

Knowing whether to hire a digital agency for your marketing or hire internally is a huge decision for all businesses. Many business owners get to a crossroads and realise they need to hire a team to help them get to the next level.

Digital marketing is more complex than ever before. With an increasing number of platforms and software at your disposal, how do you know which to use? What strategies to implement? And who you can trust to take on the work?

I’m sure we can both agree, you need a reliable team to take this off your hands to focus on your business.

Below we break each option’s pros and cons and provide an example of a business hiring timeline.


Hiring a marketing team internally means your business would employ a minimum of 3-4 full-time staff members on a salary. Why this many people? Simply put, one marketing specialist isn’t enough. There are so many complexities when it comes to digital marketing and you can’t expect one person to know and do it all.

Your team will need to have the following skillset:

  • A web developer (building landing pages & funnels)
  • A media buyer (Facebook & Google Ads)
  • Tracking expert
  • S.E.O specialist
  • Copywriter
  • Email Marketer

There is a lot of software and programs on the market. While it’s unrealistic for one person to have all of these skills you would be surprised how many times we see business owners expecting to hire just one person to fulfil all of these roles. As the saying goes ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’. Hiring an experienced in-house team requires time and a longer-term strategy.

Now the big question. Since you ideally need a minimum of four marketers on your team, how much will this cost? An intermediate marketing person can expect a salary of around $50k per year. At this rate, for four people, you’re paying $200k to support your marketing team. Additionally, they will require training. It is also likely that you would need a senior marketer that will cost a lot more than 50k per year to manage the rest of the team. This is something to take into consideration.

Another key point to make is if an internal staff member leaves, then they take the intellectual property with them. This leaves you to pick up the pieces and find another unicorn marketer to replace them.

While this may sound risky for most small to medium-size businesses, companies that are generating over $5m revenue per year could reap the rewards of investing in an internal marketing team. The benefits include faster implementation and easy access to important data.

Below we outline the pros and cons of hiring an internal marketing team:


  • Full-time team working directly on your business
  • Accessible in real-time
  • Build to the size of your requirements
  • Manage strategies and processes yourself
  • Ability to work on tighter deadlines


  • The yearly cost of paying for full-time staff (Paying their taxes, retirement scheme etc)
  • Hiring inexperienced people who don’t deliver results
  • Needing office space
  • The time required to manage and train the team
  • Software payments required for the work
  • Dealing with sick & holiday leave


As touched on above, hiring a digital agency NZ to take on all of your marketing can be a smart move for most small to medium size businesses. For the cost of paying for one full-time in house marketer, you can get access to a full team of specialists who have a proven track record.

You don’t need to worry about managing the team, organizing leave, or paying their taxes. You come to the agreement with the digital agency on a retainer fee each month and that is it. Everything is taken care of from creating the strategies, implementation on the platforms/software and dealing with any technical issues which could arise.


Depending on where your business is at, you may not be able to afford every single service the digital agency offers, however they should be able to identify one major thing you need to focus on and start from there. This is what we do in our free 45-minute strategy calls. We understand not everyone can commit to every strategy straight away which is why digital marketing agencies should grow with you.

Below outlines the pros and cons of outsourcing your marketing to an agency:


  • Access to a full team of specialists with a track record of success
  • Pay one retainer fee for all of your marketing (you do not have to pay their tax or other legal requirements)
  • Full done-for-you service (no management required)
  • A lot more affordable in your growth stage of business
  • Intellectual property remains with the agency so no progress is slowed down


  • Not having direct access to marketers and dealing with account managers
  • Time delays from other client work
  • Only affordable to existing business owners generating revenue


0-6 Months

Working by yourself or in a small team. Have to do all the work yourself since your revenue is low. The goal is to find consistent revenue from the client base. Unable to hire a digital agency or hire in-house staff.

6-12 Months

Built-up some revenue and may look at hiring a digital marketing agency for small amounts of work depending on what they can afford. Could still not afford a full time-marketer at this stage.

1-2 years

Has committed with a digital agency to take care of the workload in 1-2 services. If they are lucky, they have hired a part-time assistant or intern.

2-5 years

Have now built a relationship with a digital marketing agency that has proven to drive results for the company and are now doing all of their digital marketing. Owners have now hired managers and other operational team members.

5+ years

The business now has enough revenue and savings to consider migrating their marketing team to be in-house. Their existing agency helps with the migration process and consults its in-house marketing team in the future.


While every businesses growth is different, deciding on when to hire a digital agency is totally dependant on your finances and the involvement you require with your team. Some business owners love the hands-off approach, seeing the leads and sales flowing in from an agency while focusing on what they love in the business.

Others may want to be in the trenches, learning the in’s and out’s of digital marketing with their team. Having more control and complete access could be important for you.

After reading this information, you are still unsure if you should hire a digital marketing agency, then I would encourage booking in a free 45-minute strategy session with us. We can outline which areas in your marketing need attention and what levels of success you can expect. If you are not a good fit, we will be honest and tell you.

Source URL: https://ambitious.nz/

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