Lead Generation: In-house or Agency?

The basics of Lead Generation

Lead generation is a marketing phenomenon. Given that 61% of marketers find it their biggest challenge, it’s something that you need to get right in order to have that advantage.

Generating leads for your business is no small feat – a HubSpot study from 2017 found that the average cost per lead was just under $200, so you’ve got to make sure that whoever you attract is within the best fit for your business. And if you look at what your revenue potential on that lead is, you could have a set of new loyal customers if you play your marketing cards right consistently.

There are many avenues to get that marketing advantage, but it all comes down to several factors. These factors will ultimately drive your decision to keep or build your marketing in-house or compel you to outsource the work to a marketing agency.

Benefits of using an Agency

Lead generation doesn’t always strictly have to be for the long-haul. We say it may be best in order to keep costs down, but realistically for the short-term using an agency could save you precious marketing budget.

To run a marketing team focused on lead generation you need to have all areas covered. After all, effective lead generation is more than the sum of its parts when you factor in the brand recognition and awareness that you first need to sustain. In itself, that could be a relatively costly thing to consider.

While there’ll be the challenge of bringing the agency up to speed on your brand and currently marketing activities, they typically have higher skilled workers. This is more the case in agency life than in-house, as they have dedicated workers who have small areas to look after. So you’ll be getting the best Subject Matter Experts out there, but at the expense of time and additional costs. It’s best to take a look at a range of agencies to really get a wider option range. But remember that in this case, time isn’t money, and it may be that you have to spend extra to get the best service.

But it can be far more cost effective than bringing it all in-house. Once you’ve accounted for recruitment and training, there’s a lot at stake if those employees don’t work out.

Benefits of having it in-house

If you’re wanting to use lead generation for the long haul, you want to have the best pieces of the puzzle in the palm of your hand. Once structures of lead generation are in place, you can effectively manage it in-house (we cover that in another blog, Top 5 Lead Generation Strategies). But considering that the top priority businesses place on marketing teams is generating leads, these sorts of strategies are likely here to stay. With that, you need to assess how dynamic your business is and the willingness of your team to be reactive to new directions. The more adaptive your business, the more time spent attributing your success to how well you can align your lead generation.

Reliance on your marketing team is much more of a priority when your business demonstrates dynamism. After all, you need to ensure that your marketing team works with and alongside you. An advantage of having that dedicated in-house team means that you can make it your own. If you’re ever-changing, investing in a marketing agency for the long haul can prove tiresome. You’ll have to be continually addressing changes with your agency, rather than implementing infrastructure and processes that work for you in the long run that accommodate your everchanging direction. And that’s without considering the cost of keeping an agency on board for anything long term. With constant changes come hidden costs in your agency statement of work, which could amount to a significant cost that could be spent better elsewhere.  

Even if your business environment isn’t continuously changing, creating a well-oiled machine to churn out highly qualified leads can only be a good thing. Perseverance and a little effort can go a long way in driving out a process internally, and with the right people behind the wheel you can begin to see your profits soar – all without the aid of an agency.

The Verdict

We’ve seen the pros and cons for taking your lead generation both in-house and agency, so what’s the verdict? The truth is, having an effective strategy and function in place may require you to practice a combination of both.

If you’re looking for an end-to-end strategy with only a few employees in your marketing team, an agency may be the perfect complement. When you compare the average cost of an agency project to a full-time employed member of the team, you’ll find that the agency option looks a lot more cost effective considering the part it will play in your overall marketing roadmap. Knowing that you have someone to manage the project aspect of the task can be a good compromise if you don’t want to look to bringing it completely in-house. But again, it’s very dependent on the outlook of your business and the intent behind implementing a lead generation strategy. It’s not only a marketing decision, but your sales teams need to be onboard and in the loop on such endeavors. Besides, sustaining a lead generation strategy is much easier to uphold in-house once the structure and thinking power behind it has been formed, so you need to take a look at what exactly you need to maintain in order to keep it cost effective. This is one benefit of having a strategic partnership with Imani Advantage, we can be your outsourced marketing team and help train your future employees to build your internal team!