Challenges of Moving Marketing In-House In 2023

The prospect of building an in-house marketing team is incredibly appealing if you want more control over your marketing efforts. But while increased control and accessibility are enticing perks, there are a number of challenges you should be aware of when deciding whether to outsource or move your marketing in-house.

Today, we’re addressing some of the common challenges of moving marketing in-house you should be aware of while weighing the decision of whether to do in-house or agency marketing.

If you have questions about agency marketing, we’re always here to help. WebFX is a full-service digital marketing agency that blends the expertise of digital marketing specialists with data insights from industry-leading marketing technology to create campaigns that positively impact clients’ bottom lines. Learn how you can team up with WebFX today by giving us a call at 888-601-5359 or contacting us online.

93% of WebFX customers are extremely satisfied with their digital marketing results.

“Working with WebFX, everything is very organized and strategic. We’re only a year into our partnership, and our expectations have definitely been met.”

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In-house marketing vs. agency marketing

In-house marketing relies on investing in an internal marketing team to develop, manage, and maintain your company’s digital marketing strategy. Unlike an external marketing team via agency marketing, in-house marketing consists of people who know your company, brand, and capabilities intimately.

However, marketing in-house comes with several challenges you’ll want to pay attention to.

5 challenges of moving marketing in-house

Building an in-house marketing team doesn’t happen overnight. It takes an immense amount of time, money, effort, and resources to plan and perfect, let alone put into action. Common challenges associated with building an in-house marketing team include:

  1. High cost
  2. Gaps in expertise and capabilities
  3. Talent acquisition
  4. Expert data management
  5. Difficulties keeping up with industry trends

Keep reading to find out more about why the challenges of moving marketing in-house make a lot of business owners stop in their tracks and rethink the idea altogether.

1. High cost

We’ll cut to the chase — moving your marketing in-house is expensive to maintain. From employee costs to investing in marketing technology, it’s a pricey undertaking.

Each person you hire for your marketing team (if you do hire people) is going to need to get paid. Below are the average salaries for a few different marketing roles:

  • Digital Marketing Manager: $60k+
  • Digital Marketing Specialist: $40k+
  • Social Media Marketing Specialist: $40k+
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist: $40k+

This, of course, doesn’t include benefit packages, retirement plans, and other perks full-time employees earn.

You’ve also got to take into consideration the money you’ll need to allocate for resources for your marketing team. Whether it’s customer relationship management (CRM) software or email marketing platforms, digital marketing technology plays an important role in assisting your marketing efforts.

All in all, it can cost an average of $250,000 a year to build and maintain an in-house marketing team. And again, this number will vary depending on how many people you hire and the technology you invest in.

2. Gaps in expertise and capabilities

While your team is no doubt experts at what they do within your target industry, in-house marketing adds another layer of knowledge and skills you need to master. If you haven’t done any sort of marketing before, doing it in-house for your own business can be difficult.

That’s why one of the challenges of in-house marketing is managing inevitable gaps in knowledge-related marketing techniques, strategies, and best practices. Taking the necessary time to learn what you don’t know about digital marketing (especially technical items like setting up GA4) is great, but it also means you’re taking time away from completing tasks for your actual business.

This can stretch you and your team thin, reducing the quality of your work if you’re not careful. 

3. Talent acquisition

“If in-house marketing is a lot of work, I can just hire more people to help me.”

We hear this a lot when businesses talk about moving marketing in-house, and while this is a solution to increased work and capability gaps, acquiring new talent can pose even more challenges.

Hiring new people takes time, even when you’re filling a position that’s already well-established within your company. Make it a new position, and you’ve got significantly more work cut out for you and your HR team.

It takes an average of 50 days to hire someone for a marketing position — that includes creating and outlining the job position and listing, attracting applicants, scheduling interviews, onboarding, and training them once they’re hired. It’s a massive investment of time, money, and effort to hire qualified candidates for your in-house marketing team.

4. Data management

Another common challenge of moving marketing in-house is the practice of collecting and managing data. You’ll be pulling in a lot of data from a lot of different places. Whether it’s basic customer information or web analytics, having a strong data management strategy in place is key to maintaining your in-house marketing efforts.

Without a data management strategy and tools in place, everything you collected will mean nothing. Unorganized data is hard to interpret, and without those key data insights, your campaigns can suffer. 

Customer and campaign insights help marketers monitor the success of their strategies and identify their strengths and improve their weaknesses. Without customer data, you could be dishing out money for a campaign that isn’t giving you a return on your investment.

5. Difficulties keeping up with industry trends

The marketing industry is ever-changing. Every day, new trends emerge, technologies evolve, and algorithms update. Even as digital marketers ourselves, we can honestly say that just staying on top of changes in the marketing industry alone is a tough task and one of the most common challenges of in-house marketing.

Take search engines for example. With SEO, algorithms can make or break your strategy. One day, your website is ruling the search results. But with an algorithm update or two, you could see your website falling to the second or even third page of results.

As trivial as “staying on top of trends” sounds, it’s an incredibly important task that all digital marketers do every day. If your in-house team already has knowledge and capability gaps to begin with, they may not know what to look for in industry trends or how to translate them into action. In the long run, this can put your team at a disadvantage.

How marketing agencies overcome these challenges

Unlike in-house marketing, partnering with a marketing agency can make your journey into the marketing world stress-free and render the previous challenges obsolete. Check out how working with a full-service agency instead of building an in-house marketing team can benefit your business.


When comparing the cost of in-house marketing vs. agency marketing, agencies take the cake. Agency marketing is much more cost-effective than in-house marketing for a few reasons. First, with agency marketing, you’re only paying for the services your company needs, whereas with in-house marketing, you’re paying a specialist. 

For example, you may need digital marketing services, which can cost $2500+ a month or roughly $30k+ a year. That’s much less than what you’d pay if you had an in-house social media marketing specialist who has a $40k+ salary.

And keep in mind — unless you hire a general digital marketing specialist to do everything, you’ll need to hire experts in various digital specialties to get the most from your campaigns. 

When you work with an agency, you’re working with industry experts who live and breathe digital marketing and have industry-leading marketing technology on hand to help them create scalable campaigns for you. That means less work, stress, and money for you compared to if you were managing an in-house marketing team.

Diverse, experienced teams

Partnering with a marketing agency means working with an experienced partner that can help you get the marketing help you’re looking for.

Marketing agencies range from full-service providers, like WebFX, offering expertise in a variety of marketing strategies, to agencies that have specific areas of expertise, like social media or SEO.

For example, WebFX is a full-service agency that’s home to 500+ digital marketing specialists with experience in SEO, pay-per-click (PPC), social media, web development, and more. We’re no strangers to helping diverse clients grow their online presence, having worked with clients in 154 different industries.

Expert data management

Data management isn’t a practice to be taken lightly, and digital marketing agencies like WebFX know this all too well. Customer and campaign data should always be stored and organized where you can always find and interpret it.

Instead of spending valuable time and effort trying to figure out the best way to collect and organize data, partner with a digital marketing agency that has data management strategies and practices already in place. 

Talent acquisition? Not your problem

When you decide to work with an agency rather than build an in-house marketing team, the only talent you’re recruiting is the agency you choose to partner with. 

The only effort you have to invest in this hiring process is the time and effort needed to do your research and find the best digital marketing agency for you. Below are a few tips to keep in mind when looking for the perfect agency for your company:

  • Determine the services your business needs
  • Outline a marketing budget
  • Research each agency’s talent and experience
  • Read past client reviews on the agency’s website, and look into reviews from other sources like social media or Clutch
  • Find out how the agency measures success

Always up-to-date on industry trends

While staying up to date with industry trends is one of the challenges of moving marketing in-house, it’s not an issue with marketing agencies. Part of being a digital marketer is being aware of the trends and changes in the industry.

When you partner with a digital marketing agency like WebFX, you don’t have to worry about scouring the Internet for the latest and greatest trends in marketing each day to stay ahead of your competitors because we’re already doing it for you! While you focus on your normal day-to-day business operations, we’re keeping your marketing strategy afloat. 

BONUS: Marketing technology on hand

Speaking of marketing technology, let’s dive into that a bit more. While those at marketing agencies are no doubt masters of their craft, digital marketing specialists also have marketing technology to help them implement smart marketing strategies that are built on data.

marketingcloudfx tools and integrations

From CRM software to revenue marketing platforms, different marketing agencies bring different technologies to the table with them. When you partner with WebFX, for example, you’ll gain access to our industry-leading revenue marketing platform, MarketingCloudFX.

Fueled by 1+ billion data points, MCFX helps our clients stay on top of how their campaigns are performing and gives them the tools they need to position themselves for long-term success.

nutshell CRM dashboard

If that’s not enough for you, WebFX is proud to partner with Nutshell, an all-in-one CRM platform that makes customer data management simple and stress-free. 

We’re masters of our craft.

WebFX is a marketing and design industry leader.

Not sure about in-house marketing? Try WebFX, a full-service agency

The challenges of moving marketing in-house aren’t worth the stress and money. Instead, partner with WebFX, and industry-leading agency that’s helped businesses large and small grow their online presence through data-driven marketing strategies optimized for their target audiences.

Say goodbye to the challenges of moving marketing in-house by partnering with an agency that’s helped generate over $3 billion in revenue for clients through innovative marketing campaigns. Team up with WebFX today by contacting us online or give us a call at 888-601-5359 to speak with one of our specialists.

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