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John Bonini

By John Bonini

May 10, 2013


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Is it Cheaper to Do Inbound Marketing Myself or Hire an Agency?

John Bonini

By John Bonini

May 10, 2013

Is it Cheaper to Do Inbound Marketing Myself or Hire an Agency?

Let's be honest, the (professional) world revolves around one thing: money. We love to make it, but don't love to spend it.

Whether you decide to do your marketing in-house or hire an agency, it's going to cost you money.  Much more gets factored in than you might imagine. Take alook at today's article and see the what lies behind the cost of an effective inbound marketing campaign.

Will it save you money to do it yourself? Or maybe, just maybe, your wallet will thank you for hiring an agency.

Is it Cheaper to Do Inbound Marketing Myself or Hire an Agency?

Implementing the inbound marketing methodology to your campaign sounds great and all, but it all boils down to one thing; cost.

What is it going to cost me?

It all comes down to how aggressive your business goals are and what you’re expecting in terms of return on investment.

An inbound marketing campaign is just that, an investment.

Rather than viewing it as a cost, either for your in-house team or an agency partner, consider everything that goes into building a successful campaign:

    • Strategic Planning
    • Campaign Development
    • Convert Leads
    • Grow Sales
    • Marketing Analysis

Rather than a one time, set it and forget it type approach that so many marketing strategies and agencies offer, the inbound marketing methodology is a full-service, 12-month approach that consistently generates more qualified leads and grows your business.


Consider your marketing budget.

Got it?

Now consider everything needed to execute a successful inbound marketing campaign. Obviously the staff and talent is a no-brainer, but what else do you need?

Some sort of marketing analytical software like HubSpot or Google Analytics.

A great CRM in order to execute a more productive sales process.

These are essential.

Now it’s time to hire your staff. It’s important to consider everything that goes along with hiring a staff.

An employee with one skill set may cost you $50k, along with payroll taxes, benefits, office space, a computer, and also the supplies and tools needed to support their job, you’re looking at a significant portion, if not all of your marketing budget being spent trying to hire all of the specialists needed to carry out an effective inbound marketing campaign.

This includes:

    • Marketing Director
    • Graphic Designers
    • Web Developers
    • Content Writers
    • Social Media Experts

There aren’t many companies who have the resources available to both hire and train the type of experienced talent needed from a marketing standpoint in order to achieve your business goals.


The flip side of spending over $150K on just a couple of experienced employees is to reallocate your budget toward partnering with an inbound marketing agency.

According to CNNMoney, on top of an employees base salary, it actually costs the company 18%-26% more after benefits and taxes.

So an average designer making $50k can actually cost your company $63k. Add in the fact that you would need a marketing director to helm the campaign, making on average $75k, and you’re looking at well over $150k for just two employees.

Here’s how it breaks down:

$75k employee = $94,500k

$50k employee = $63k

2 employees – $157.5K

Add in the associated overhead costs with hiring an employee – $300 for a desk, $1k for a computer, phones, software licenses (especially for designers), and basic supplies– and you’re easily looking at an additional $2k per employee.

And what happens when an employee is sick? Takes a leave? Or goes on vacation? Does your marketing campaign simply go on hold? It’s essential to never let your campaign “go dark,” as this interrupts any progress you’ve made in increasing brand awareness and ranking high in search engines.

In contrast, a 12-month retainer contract with an inbound marketing agency at $10k/month would cost your company $120k.

Full service inbound marketing agency – $120k

In short, you’ll be getting much more from your marketing budget than any smaller staff could provide.

You also won’t be paying any payroll taxes or benefits on an agency, and they have access to their own hardware, software, and marketing tools that have already proven to be effective for other clients.

Therefore, it can actually be more cost effective to partner with an inbound marketing agency than to hire an in-house staff.

Still not sure if you should hire an agency or not?

For more answers on whether you should keep your inbound marketing campaign in house or hire an agency, check out our newest Ebook.  You'll find all of the answers that you're looking for!

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