Digital Marketing Agency Vs In-House Expert – What to Know


Every business needs solid digital marketing to thrive, but should you hire an in-house expert or partner with an agency? This question plagues many Singapore companies exploring their online growth options. There are pros and cons to each approach that must be weighed carefully. This article will break down the key differences between utilising an in-house digital marketing resource versus outsourcing to a specialised agency.

The Current Digital Marketing Landscape

Digital marketing encompasses all promotional activities done through online channels. Some key elements include SEO, PPC, social media marketing, email marketing, content creation and website optimisation. Digital marketing is essential for modern businesses to gain visibility, engage with audiences and drive conversions across the buyer journey.

Singapore provides a digital-first market, with a high internet penetration. Mobile usage is ubiquitous. Many Singaporeans can simply discover myriads of new brands from digital touchpoints. Clearly, digital marketing presents immense opportunities for Singapore companies. Yet most lack the in-house expertise to plan and manage a holistic digital strategy. This gap leads many to consider bringing on a digital marketing resource or team.

Hiring In-House Digital Marketing Talent

Maintaining digital marketing fully in-house allows for control, integration and confidentiality. But finding the right talent is difficult. Candidates must possess a diverse skill set across many marketing areas. They should also deeply understand your unique industry and business goals.

Here are the key considerations when hiring in-house talent:

Recruiting Effort – It takes substantial time and costs to source, interview and hire the right candidate. You compete amid a tight digital talent pool.

Salary – Experienced digital marketers command premium Singapore salaries averaging $55K annually. Benefits and employment costs add up.

Skill Gaps – Most individuals specialise in a few disciplines like SEO or social media but lack crossover expertise.

Workload Tradeoffs – Marketing responsibilities detract focus from the in-house role. Priorities compete.

Limited Bandwidth – An individual or even a small team can’t scale to manage enterprise-level marketing projects simultaneously.

If your needs are relatively simple or you have extensive marketing budgets, in-house digital talent provides advantages. But for most Singapore firms, the challenges outweigh the benefits.

Why Outsource Digital Marketing to an Agency?

Partnering with a digital marketing agency mitigates the issues faced with in-house hires. Benefits of working with an agency include:

Instant Expertise – Agencies already have specialist teams across every digital discipline. No recruiting or training costs.

Objective Guidance – Agencies provide unbiased strategies based on campaign performance, not internal politics.

Campaign Management – The agency handles all strategy, creation, execution and optimisation for campaigns.

Cost Efficiencies – Agencies achieve economies of scale and have competitive pay structures compared to hiring individually.

Specialised Skill Sets – Each agency team member focuses on their unique area of expertise.

Latest Methodologies – Agencies stay ahead of trends and emerging tactics compared to in-house teams.

Scalability – Agencies can scale up or down as workload and needs change.

Risk Mitigation – Marketing agencies take on the burden of results, not the client.

For most Singapore firms beyond the early startup stages, partnering with a digital marketing agency makes strategic sense. The breadth of skills, scalability and risk mitigation provides optimal benefits at lower costs than building in-house.

Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Agency

Of course, not all agencies are created equal. Choosing an agency partner involves careful vetting and consideration. Be sure to evaluate agencies based on:

Relevant Industry Experience – Look for specialisation and proof points in your specific vertical.

Singapore Focus – The agency should have an intimate understanding of Singapore culture, regulations, languages and digital behaviours.

Services Offered – Do the core offerings match your internal needs and gaps?

Case Studies & Client Examples – Review examples of tangible results achieved for companies similar to yours.

Pricing Model – Ensure there is pricing flexibility and transparency tied to campaign performance.

Company Culture – Make sure the agency aligns with your values and work styles.

SEO/SEM Expertise – Given Singapore’s competitive digital landscape, strong search marketing skills are mandatory.

Communication – Ensure there are direct contacts and transparent reporting processes.

By taking the time to find the right agency partner, your digital marketing can scale rapidly at a controlled cost.

Strategies for Optimising Your Agency Partnership

Once you select a top agency for your needs, the work has just begun. To extract maximum value from the engagement, be sure to:

Provide Clear Goals – Work together to define your target audiences, business objectives and success metrics for digital initiatives.

Maintain Open Communication – Through regular meetings and project management systems, align priorities and optimise efforts.

Share All Relevant Assets – Grant agency teams access to websites, ad accounts, analytics, product info and other resources needed.

Act-On Recommendations – Trust your agency’s guidance and consistently execute proposed strategies.

Track Performance – Review campaign analytics and reports together to showcase progress and refine approaches.

By fostering collaboration and transparency, your agency relationship will become an invaluable part of your digital marketing stack.

Becoming a Data-Driven Organisation

Digital marketing success depends on using data to guide decisions. Agencies excel at leveraging data and analytics across campaigns compared to limited in-house teams. With expansive tool access and analytics expertise, agencies can:

  • Set up and integrate analytics platforms like Google Analytics across sites
  • Build custom reporting dashboards with key performance indicators
  • Track multi-channel campaign data in one place
  • Identify optimisation opportunities based on insights
  • Continuously refine strategies based on performance
  • Prove campaign impact on business goals

By partnering with an analytics-driven agency, companies can rapidly evolve into data-centric organisations. This unlocks enhanced visibility into digital initiatives and ensures maximum ROI.

Make the Right Digital Marketing Investment

Determining whether to hire in-house or use an agency comes down to priorities, budgets and needs. For most Singapore companies, partnering with a digital marketing agency is the most effective approach. It allows you to tap into specialised skills across every discipline to drive online visibility and revenue growth.

To determine if your business is ready to take its digital marketing to the next level with agency support, request a consultation with the experts at OOm today. We will conduct a digital audit to identify gaps and opportunities to strengthen your online presence. Contact us today and let us tailor a data-driven digital strategy designed for Singapore’s marketing success.

Zayd Dana
the authorZayd Dana