For the first time in my digital marketing career, I am now working in an agency having previously worked only in-house for many years. The change has been noticeable and there are a lot more opportunities in an agency than I had previously thought. Here are some of my thoughts on what you should consider when deciding which sector to work in.
One of the main differences between in-house and agency is that with in-house, you will know the ins and outs of the company, work all the time on that account and tailor according to business needs such as seasonality and new product launches.
While the role you do will become very specialized, you will be exposed to the overall marketing strategy of the company. With this you will likely work alongside different departments such as sales, commercial, business development and finance.
Working In-House can give you a greater understanding of a business all working together.
Working in an Agency
The immediate benefits of working in an agency is that you can find yourself working across different industries. The range of new clients can help new staff experience many different aspects of marketing, media and advertising. It also helps to set different types of strategies for different needs. This can give you the freedom to try new ideas out.
The variety of clients is beneficial for your experience as it allows you to work with different campaigns and budgets.
Not all agencies are the same. They generally fall into two camps, one that specializes in particular products and those that focus on campaigns (lead-gen).
The Decision between In-House and Agency
I believe that experience in both In-House and Agency can be beneficial as it allows you to work on many sectors of the industry.
Experience in In-House can give you more detailed experience that can transfer over to other businesses and help you work with many new clients that are in the growth stage.
From the outset some people are more suited to agency work than in-house. Agency work can be better suited for people who enjoy different challenges and managing multiple types of projects.
Depending on the business, working In-House can be at a slower pace with limited new products and bid management. It also tends to have a larger support network and has more structured work.
Agency work can be better suited for people who prefer a faster and varied pace of work. It also requires more planning and organisational skills as work can vary from day to day.
Working in an agency also lets you work with diverse clients, potentially both the public and private sectors and charities.
An agency will employ lots of creative minds with different specialisms and skill sets. This can make it easier to stay on top of cutting-edge technologies and trends.
At the start of your digital marketing career, it is simple to move between the two sides however once you are more established many companies will be reluctant to employ someone from the other side of the divide.