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Hiring a Marketing Manager Vs. Agency – Doing The Math

By Alex Kleve
Updated August 10, 2020
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Alex Kleve
Alex Kleve

I help projects and content-entry go smoothly at Hook Agency as a Project Manager. Hook Agency's specialty is where visual design and SEO combine to help get you better leads.

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Most small to mid-sized businesses have a decision to make between hiring internally or outsourcing their marketing with an agency.

It’s not an easy decision to make with especially with many different things coming into play.

You have to take into account the cost, where is your business currently at, and what makes the most sense for your business.

The Cost

Let’s get into this right away. What is the salary of a marketing manager? Well, that all depends on their experience level.

When you have someone coming in with three years or less of experience, you’re looking around $45,000 to $55,000 per year.

If you’re looking to bring on a marketing manager that has more experience, say 5+ years of experience, you will probably dish out around $70,000 per year.

Internal marketing doesn’t top out at the Marketing Manager position though. There are also higher up roles such as a marketing director and vice president marketing that can cost you anywhere between $80,000 to $120,000 per year.

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Pricing will also vary depending on the size of the company as well. Many organizations will have multiple directors, multiple managers, and maybe one or two Vice Presidents depending on the branch of marketing, so the pricing there will flatten a bit because of the different layers that are on the board.

What is the cost of an agency? This will depend greatly on the type of service that you are looking for and can range between $40,000 to $100,000 per year. There are also freelance and very small agencies that will be a little cheaper around $15,000 – $20,000. But just remember that you get what you pay for with these.

What should businesses be doing?

Under $1 million: You should be learning how to own your own marketing. There are a lot of things that you can do for this such as making videos, posting on social media, taking advantage of Google my business services, and many other options out there. At this stage of your business, you should be doing the scrappy things in order to get you to where you want to be.

$1 to $3 million: If you’re a company that’s not in need of a heavy amount of leads and are only in need of 20ish solid leads per year to win, then a marketing manager may be your best bet.

However, if you are a company that is built from getting more leads and that is how you generate your business, than an agency will probably be the route to take for that. The best way for you to get more leads is through an agency that focuses on SEO. They are able to bring more people and traffic onto your site and get you the leads you’re looking for.

Another route you could take if you are a small to medium-sized business looking for high lead generation is by going after the sales team first. Once you build a sales team, you can then look to support them through internal or external marketing that will help to support them and their efforts.

How can a marketing manager increase its value?

The baseline of marketing, which a lot of people don’t always see, is to generate leads in order to support sales. If you’re in an organization, your first goal is to support sales first by giving them the content that they need in order to push prospects in the right direction and drive them down the sales funnel. The main focus is on enabling the foundation for your sales team for support.

As a marketing manager, you will always be in high demand if you can enable your sales team by making their job easier and providing them with what they need to be successful. Just be careful that you’re not creating things that they’re not going to end up using because it’ll happen.

Should you hire internally or externally?

There is benefits to both, but it will typically be better to start off with someone internally when you are taking your marketing to the next step.

When you hire a marketing manager, one thing you will get is brand immersion. You have someone internally who can direct the strategy and deep dive into the industry to find what works and what doesn’t. This allows them to be able to engage quickly and direct their effort to the things that work.

After that, you are able to scale out bit by bit and supplement with agencies to fulfill the needs you have. If you are a marketing manager, be that sales enablement person. The closer you can get to the deal the better. When you are continually searching for what is getting you closer to the deal, you are able to sort out the bad leads and focus on the tactics that are getting you the quality leads you’re looking for.

How do you stay focused on the things that work

Building your trust and authority.

You need to build trust with the people that are in authority that you understand what needs to be done and you know what it is going to take to get there.

You want to then show you’re an authority in the space by showing that you have been a student in the space and create your authority by creating a plan. This way if someone comes to you and says they have a better idea, you are able to show why your plan is the best route to go.

You should be able to test things to find what works and what doesn’t work. As the marketing manager, you want to be that sales enablement person. The closer you can get to the deal the better. When you are continually searching for what is getting you closer to the deal, you are able to sort out the bad leads and focus on the tactics that are getting you the quality leads you’re looking for.

This will help to build up trust and authority with the work and methods you are doing.

If you’re trying something new, stand your ground and be confident in your actions. If you don’t try new things every once in a while, you’ll never know what might bring you more success.


 

Watch this quick video to see how savvy businesses save time and hook better leads:
 

 

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Alex Kleve
Alex Kleve

I help projects and content-entry go smoothly at Hook Agency as a Project Manager. Hook Agency's specialty is where visual design and SEO combine to help get you better leads.

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