The Argument against Agencies


You can use marketing agencies to handle almost every aspect of your company’s marketing. But should you?

This is the second of a two part series on agencies. Yesterday, we tackled the argument for them. Now we’ll examine the case against them.

The Anti-Agency Argument

  1. Agencies cost money. You are going to pay more using an agency than handling the marketing yourself. Most agency work costs you a percentage of whatever you spend with that agency. For example, you might spend $10,000 in paid search, and pay the agency an addition 20% (or $2000) to manage it. So if you bring the work in-house, you save that additional expense.

  2. Agencies prevent you from learning. When you rely on agencies to do the work for you, you don’t acquire the skills and knowledge about marketing your products that you should. Every company that handles their own marketing is constantly learning the marketplace and setting themselves up for future success. Marketing is a core competency that all firms should be after.

  3. Agencies are not shareholders. I know that agencies will all say “we succeed when you succeed” when seeking your business. If you’re successful, you will spend more money with them, and that means they are more successful. It makes sense. But if you’re not successful, they still get paid. Unless you are able to pay an agency solely on performance, they will never have the same incentives as you.