Digital Marketing Agency Or Manager?

Hiring a digital marketing agency, especially for a small or mid-sized business can make more economical sense than to hire a full-time manager.  In this article, I want to go over a few reasons why we believe this is a better course for a small business to take.

If you are like many companies trying to find the best way to market yourself and get new leads or sales online it can be a very intimidating area.  Do we need a social media strategy?  Can people even find us on Google?  Is our webpage mobile friendly?  How many people visit our web page?  Should I still be advertising in the “phone book”?

These are all questions that businesses are asking every day.  Unfortunately, these types of skills and expertise aren’t taught in many classes and finding someone that can fulfill this role for a company is difficult to find.  We know this because we are always searching for the right talent as well.

Digital Marketing Manager Salary vs Agency Cost

The median salary for a digital marketing manager in Calgary is approximately $92,000 per year.  Many of these positions are asking for experience and expertise in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google AdWords (SEM), Social Media, website optimization and platform specialization as well as website analytics.  This is a lot of areas for one specific person to specialize in.

A digital marketing agency will typically have a number of people who specialize in each expertise.  Quite often you can hire an agency to manage many if not all of these areas at a fixed monthly cost for their services.  To hire an agency to handle these areas may cost between $2,500 to $3,000 per month.

At the higher end of the scale, you’re looking at a gross salary cost of over $7,000 per month versus $3,000 to hire an agency.  That is a significantly lower annual and monthly cost.  On top of that, an agency doesn’t need 3 weeks vacation a year, will never take a sick day and doesn’t require you to cover benefits like dental.

Annual Salary $92,000
Annual Agency Cost $36,00

Manager Retention

A big risk to a small company with this type of position is retention.  Sometimes you may find a person with experience in digital marketing but if the compensation isn’t competitive you may run the risk that they move on to a different company.  If you’ve invested in the hiring and training process, a revolving door in such an important position can be a significant expense financially but also can hurt your marketing efforts with frequent stops and starts.  On the other hand, many small and mid-sized businesses find it difficult to justify the higher salary.  Even worse, they can end up taking a lot of marketing and management knowledge with them making it more difficult for someone to come in and fill in the gap.

When you hire a digital marketing agency, you don’t have to worry about them leaving you.  Most businesses have more than just digital marketing as a channel.  TV, print, radio, and others are all areas that fall under the marketing umbrella.  A digital marketing agency represents just this one specialty and can report directly to a marketing manager in larger companies. In addition, non-disclosure agreements are standard practice in the agency-client relationship.

Digital Marketing Agency Expertise

Changes in digital marketing happen quickly and often.  Some are subtle changes while others can be industry changing.  How many marketing managers know that Google made changes earlier this year that punishes websites that aren’t mobile-friendly?  Or that consumer behavior has changed in that if for every one second it takes for a website to load on mobile 20% of traffic will simply leave?

Digital marketing managers that work for your company are great at knowing your product, service, and company inside and out.  After all, they work there every day.  However, the bias is to stay more on top of what’s going on at the company and not necessarily what is going on outside the company in terms of the digital marketing world.  Simply trying to keep up with the many changes in the industry can be a full-time job in and of itself.

A digital marketing agency lives in that space.  When new developments happen a good agency can react quickly to adjust campaigns and take advantage of competitors that don’t.  Again, they are typically a team of specialized resources that understand the importance of how to get the message of the client out to the right people at the right time.

Interview Us

If you’ve been struggling with your digital marketing strategy, have had a rough time trying to find a good digital marketing manager or are having trouble justifying the salary cost of hiring a good one, please reach out to us and we’ll be happy to talk with you.  We have many clients where we play an important part of their marketing success but don’t actually have a cubicle or office with them.

The interview process should be fairly straight forward.  We want you to interview us about our skills and expertise and you’ll likely find that the services we provide fill the digital marketing role you’re trying to fill within your own company.

To interview us, fill out the form and let us know what you’re hiring for.

Find out more about what we do here.

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