In-house contractors vs. outside agency: What exactly does your marketing need?

By Bob Van Rossum
Trends and insights

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The marketing space is dynamic and unpredictable, to say the least. Frankly, digital is changing so quickly for marketing teams, only the agile and skilled are able to keep up. It requires full-time attention and demands specialists who are dedicated experts in specific areas in order to be effective.

As digital evolves and the needs of your enterprise do as well, you will need to have the flexibility to quickly change where you are investing. Whether it’s analytics, SEO, social media, content or paid search, your priorities in these areas will increase and decrease over time to maximize your digital ROI. For instance, you’ll want to focus on content at a certain point to improve SEO, or invest in more paid search to drive leads to your business almost instantly.

Simply put, the state of marketing is hardly ever stagnant, and you need the right support to manage necessary adjustments effectively. As a CMO or marketing leader, you’ll often find that these adjustments call for support that isn’t long-term.

Benefits of working with marketing contract recruiters 

Years of experience as top marketing contract recruiters, we know how easy it is to send all this extra work to your agency. Your agency relationships are very important for organizational success. You need them for strategy and diversity of thought you don’t get inside one organization. However, when it comes to execution and implementation of digital marketing campaigns, typically your agency will be too slow and too expensive.

It is completely logical – you want your agency for strategy but don’t need to pay a premium to get stuff done. In addition to cost savings, having digital marketing contractors onsite greatly improves the speed of communication, which is critical in digital. The ability to receive real-time data and feedback directly from customers is very valuable for senior marketing leaders. When you add the cost savings and the improvement in communication and feedback up, you get a much more nimble and effective marketing team. Utilizing in-house marketing contract staffing allows you to shape your marketing org chart and integrate critical roles into your team on an as-needed basis.

Let’s review some of the benefits you’ll see from working directly with marketing contractors who are an extension of your internal team.


Before you create an effective marketing strategy, you need to have a team of adept marketers who have the right skills to execute and achieve your business’s digital marketing goals. To drive rewarding results, your team must first understand your digital marketing plan and be able to execute it in real time. More importantly, by having contract digital talent on-site, you get a better view of the customer which leads to greater insight.

A key advantage of an in-house marketing staff is that these contractors are resources dedicated to one client and are on-site so they gain a key understanding of your business, your brand and customers. They’re involved in the daily activities, processes, and conversations that go on within your company, and are firsthand experts on your product and company culture — all key things that can be a challenge if your work is being done at a distance by a shared resource. This type of understanding makes communicating your brand mission, vision and message with your customer easier and more effective.


Time is of the essence in marketing, especially in today’s digital world. An agency’s outside perspective can add a lot of value to strategy. When you get down into the weeds of implementing digital marketing tactics, the distance between you and your agency slows down the flow of information in both directions. The communication and dialogue that’s needed when making necessary daily changes are delayed when your agency isn’t directly on-site.

The ability to test and make changes in real-time changes results in faster speed to market, higher quality results and optimized execution.

With marketing contract staffing, you’re additionally not spending as much time communicating with your marketers because they can take charge of seeking out information on their own within your organization. In-house contractors don’t have to be handed everything and can take ownership of gathering the data and insights they need quicker than an agency can. This ultimately takes the burden off you as a CMO or marketing leader, allowing you to focus on other key priorities including overall digital strategy and driving ROI.


Marketing contractors are a cost-effective solution compared to an outside agency, especially if you have short-term needs or projects that require high expertise that need to be completed. Once you find marketing contractors who have the specific skill set you need, the cost of investing in these highly-specialized marketers is much less than outsourcing your needs to an agency.

As marketing contract recruiters, the marketing executives we work with often get a hidden benefit from working with top digital marketing talent. It enables them to learn more about digital and how to use it based on having experts on-site.

What marketing contract roles do you need on your team?

You need flexible talent solutions to meet your goals and keep your team on the cutting-edge of marketing. Depending on your unique marketing needs, the level of talent you need will range from senior-level manager to a coordinator or specialist.

Wondering what top skill sets organizations are looking for in today’s digital space? Let’s take a look at the common areas of expertise our clients ask us to find for them on a contract basis and the key skills needed to be successful:

  • Digital Project Manager
    • Management of digital campaigns and projects from concept to completion
    • Planning, tracking and measuring deliverables and results
    • Directing and managing project team members and tasks
  • Digital Marketing Coordinator
    • Planning digital marketing campaigns and strategy
    • Measuring and reporting performance of all campaigns against KPIs
    • Evaluating emerging technologies
    • Optimizing user experience
  • Content Marketing
    • Creating strategic and compelling content that drives engagement
    • Maximizing brand awareness and exposure for optimal experience
  • Paid Search Media
    • Managing and implementing paid digital marketing search campaigns
    • Paid social and targeted advertising
    • Monitoring and improving paid search performance
  • Digital Demand Generation
    • Creating a customer-centric strategy and managing the lead management process through digital channels
    • Tracking and measuring sales funnel metrics
    • Managing data collection and analysis to further drive awareness and interest in products or services
  • Social Media
    • Delivering optimal user experience through social channels
    • Boosting brand awareness through social exposure
    • Driving social ROI
  • SEO
    • Optimizing site for visibility on search engines
    • Boosting search rankings by optimizing keywords and metadata

Closing words

Keep your agency for strategy, and get more done in less time with on-site digital marketing contractors. Typically, you can pick two of better, faster, cheaper. Utilizing digital marketing contractors is one of the few times you can have all three.

Additional reading:

This article originally appeared in MarketPro. This article was written by Bob Van Rossum from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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