Manufacturing Marketing Services: In-House vs Agency Team? The Pros & Cons.

Manufacturing Marketing Services: In-House vs Agency Team? The Pros & Cons.

Facing the unique marketing challenges of a manufacturing business, you may feel overwhelmed. You're busy with day-to-day operations and might often lean on hired experts or distributors for marketing. However, simply replicating your distributor's plan can blur your brand and cause missed opportunities for customer engagement.

If you've faced disappointment or confusion with marketing, you're not alone. One big question stands: should you hire an agency or keep your manufacturing marketing services in-house?

Today, we're breaking down the pros and cons of each option to help you make the best choice for your business. Let's help you answer that all-important question, “should I hire an in-house marketing team or outsource to an agency?”

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Exploring the Options: Marketing Agency vs In-house?

Let's delve deeper into the advantages and disadvantages of keeping marketing in-house versus outsourcing to a marketing firm.

You may be wondering how you will gauge the success of your marketing efforts. If manufacturing marketing strategies may not result in immediately trackable sales, what results can you expect to see from your marathon of marketing efforts? The strategies we have listed below all support two long-term marketing goals that should be a priority for all manufacturers. Both will generate new and repeat sales in the long run.

In-House Marketing: Pros and Cons

Pro: Complete Control

In-house marketing is particularly attractive to manufacturers who crave full control over their marketing endeavors. They can direct every detail, closely manage the timeline, and ensure that every effort aligns with their vision.


Pro: In-Depth Understanding

An in-house marketing team will inherently understand your products, markets, and customers. With a finger on the pulse of the industry, they can communicate your value proposition in a way that resonates with your target audience.


Pro: Quick Decision Making

Since in-house marketing teams operate within the company, they offer speedy communication and decision-making. Eliminating the lag time associated with external communication can significantly enhance your marketing agility.


Con: High Costs

Despite the benefits, having an internal marketing team can drain resources. In fact, hiring a full digital marketing team to create and implement your marketing strategy can amount to an average cost of $783,704 based on 2023 averages from

This includes a chief marketing officer, marketing specialist, content creator, graphic designer, SEO specialist, and analytics expert. For some manufacturers, this expense may be too hefty to bear.


Con: Risk of Overpromises

Often, manufacturers hire individual digital marketing specialists, each promising substantial results. However, these promises can often fall flat, leaving manufacturers with an underwhelming return on investment.


Con: Brand Consistency Challenges

Individual digital marketing hires can lead to inconsistencies, especially during transitions. These inconsistencies can potentially harm your brand and reputation.

Brand consistency is crucial for businesses, with 68% of businesses noting that consistency contributed to revenue growth of 10% or more!


Con: Keeping Up with Trends

An internal marketing team may struggle to stay abreast of evolving digital marketing trends and technologies. With the marketing landscape continually shifting, staying up-to-date can be a considerable challenge.

Marketing Agency: Pros and Cons

Pro: Access to Diverse Skills

Digital marketing agencies are external powerhouses of diverse skills and expertise. They provide manufacturers with access to a wide range of skills essential for comprehensive marketing strategies.


Pro: Cost-Effective

Hiring a digital marketing agency can be nearly 50% more cost-effective than an in-house team, with the annual cost averaging $258,700. This cost-efficiency can free up resources for other vital business operations.


Pro: Scalability

Manufacturing marketing services from agencies can be scaled according to your needs and budget. This scalability offers manufacturers the flexibility they need to adapt their digital marketing strategy to changing business landscapes.


Pro: Fresh Perspectives

Agencies bring a fresh perspective to your marketing efforts. They infuse your campaigns with innovative ideas and strategies, potentially unlocking new opportunities for growth.


Pro: Up-to-Date Expertise

Agencies are consistently on top of the latest marketing trends, technologies, and best practices. Their industry knowledge can equip manufacturers with cutting-edge strategies to navigate their marketing challenges.


Con: Reduced Control

Conversely, hiring an agency may result in a perceived loss of control over marketing operations. The extent of control is often limited to defining the overall strategy and approving final deliverables.


Con: Potential Communication Issues

Agencies often manage multiple clients, which can sometimes lead to communication and coordination issues. Manufacturers may need to proactively manage the agency relationship to ensure their needs are prioritized.


Con: Brand Representation

Ensuring that the agency fully understands and represents your brand and values is essential but can be challenging. You'll need to invest time in educating the agency about your brand to ensure authentic representation.

Not sure what your brand identity is? We think you’ll like our other blog, “Building A Strong Brand Identity: Your 10-Step Guide.”

Making the Decision: A Step-by-Step Process

When it comes to making the decision between in-house and agency for your manufacturing marketing services needs, consider the following steps:

Step 1: Assess Your Needs

Identify your specific marketing needs and goals. This step will clarify what you're looking to achieve with your marketing efforts.

Step 2: Evaluate Your Resources

Examine your available marketing budget, time, and internal resources. This assessment will help you understand what you can realistically support.

Step 3: Consider the Complexity

Think about the scope and complexity of your marketing tasks. This consideration will help you identify whether you have the expertise needed to perform these tasks in-house.

Step 4: Weigh the Pros and Cons

Reflect on the pros and cons of each option. This process will help you understand the potential benefits and drawbacks of each approach, allowing you to make an informed decision.

Vessel: Bridging the Gap for Manufacturing Marketing Services

Remember, marketing isn't just about selling products—it's about telling your story, defining your brand, and connecting with your customers.

So, whether you go in-house or hire an agency, choose the path that allows you to tell your story in the most authentic, compelling way. Your customers—and your bottom line—will thank you.

At Vessel, we understand the challenges that manufacturers face. That’s why we bridge the gap between in-house and agency marketing.

We combine in-depth knowledge of the manufacturing industry with a diverse team of marketing experts to provide tailored marketing solutions for manufacturers. 

Our unique model gives you the best of both worlds, providing control, expertise, and efficiency in your marketing efforts. 

Book a free strategy call today to see how our talented team can become like your own in-house marketing department, helping you get the marketing results you deserve.