Is the grass always greener? Things to consider before moving from agency to in-house
Compare the advantages of working in-house vs working for a marketing agency and decide which is best for your career!
There has been a recent shift amongst marketing professionals from agency to in-house working. In fact, a recent study showed 69% of junior and mid-level marketers are seeking in-house roles compared to just 11% seeking work in agencies.
Often this is due to the perception that larger firms can offer better salaries, bigger bonuses, and greater benefits. But is the grass always greener on the other side?
Most of the time choosing between agency vs in-house roles will ultimately come down to which is the best fit for you and your career. We’ve outlined some of the differences between the two and some of the pros and cons to consider.
Whilst both in-house and agencies deal in the day-to-day business of marketing there are some major differences. In-house means you’ll be working within a single company and be focused solely on marketing their business and products. Agencies are typically smaller and manage marketing efforts for a portfolio of different clients.
There are many advantages that come with working in-house, such as:
1. Greater control over timescales and budgets
In-house teams have a greater say in how their marketing budgets are structured and have the chance to direct planning and be involved in coordinating the company's wider marketing strategy and creating cohesive messaging.
2. More autonomy in decision making
In-house marketers can offer greater push-back on marketing briefs as they are able to exert greater influence on a campaign’s overall direction due to their early involvement in the process. They are an internal party and have more opportunity and scope for questions or suggestions.
3. Better access to stakeholders
In-house marketers generally have greater access to key stakeholders meaning they have access to more information that can influence the direction of their campaign and a greater ability to communicate. They have access to the ‘big picture' and can move more quickly and with greater agility when problems arise.
4. Chance to develop industry expertise
Working in-house means you have the chance to develop a deep level of expertise in a singular industry and carve out a specialisation that can position you as a leader in marketing for that sector.
5. Broaden your skillset
A larger organisation offers you the opportunity to work closely with non-marketing functions and broaden your skillset beyond marketing to encompass areas as varied as project management, programming, operations and more.
- Stakeholders and colleagues may not understand the value of what you do, worse they may not have much interest in finding out!
- Much larger organisations mean you can sometimes get lost in the corporate shuffle.
- Providing campaigns for one business can be repetitive and may leave you craving variety and new challenges.
Working for an agency also has its advantages, including:
1. Opportunities to learn from a larger team of marketing experts
This is particularly useful if you are just starting out. At an agency, you’ll have a large team of marketing experts with skills as varied as SEO, PPC, social media and more and you’ll be exposed to a wider range of industry verticals and gain a broader understanding of marketing.
2. Easier to stay up to date with new trends
Agencies are all about standing out from one another and often work at the cutting edge of marketing trends. In an agency you’ll have exposure to new techniques and greater access to resources to stay on top of them.
3. Chance to work for companies across many industries
Agencies often take on a wide variety of clients in lots of different industries and have the chance to work on many different types of campaigns. All this variety means it’s unlikely you’ll ever get bored!
4. Working in a fast-paced environment as a unified team
Agency marketing is faced paced and often means you’ll be working to tight deadlines. This environment is extremely collaborative and fosters a sense of camaraderie. Working in an agency will make you a pro at team working and communication.
5. You have the opportunity to specialise
Working in and agency can give you the opportunity to specialise in a particular marketing function that you love the most, whether that is social media, design, SEO and copywriting, paid advertising etc as well as give you the opportunity to learn best practice from skilled colleagues.
- Agencies have less control over timescales and budgets and do not have final say when it comes to the direction of campaigns.
- Agency work can be high pressure and involve meeting tight deadlines. Some people thrive under pressure but if you’re looking for more structured working in-house may suit you better.
- Competition within agencies is common, particularly at bonus time, meaning what should be a collaborative experience can be extremely competitive. Sometimes this can be positive, but it may not be right for you.
Ultimately whether you choose to work for an agency or go in-house will come down to where you are in your career, where you best feel you can use your skills and what you are looking for in terms of career development.
Whether you want to work for an agency or move in-house DMCG Global helps to quickly connect digital, tech, creative and marketing talent with some of the best agencies and brands anywhere on the planet.
Our team of expert consultants have the industry knowledge and expertise to help you make smarter choices and reach your goals. If you’d like to elevate your job search and open up your opportunities on a global scale, get in touch with a member of the team, we’d love to hear more about you!
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