What is your calling? Agency vs in-house marketing

Are you thinking about a career in marketing? If so, you’re probably pondering which type of marketing calls your name, what industry you would like to work in and which role is the one for you. However, there is one big question you may have forgotten to ask yourself – agency or in-house? While it might not be too important which path you follow immediately after graduation, as you progress within the industry it is important to recognise your long-term goals. The difference between agency and in-house is significant and changing between the two might not be as simple as you think.  

Agency – the advantages  

Every year, more and more corporations move their marketing in-house. However, that doesn’t mean it is always the way to go. Agency offers a world of possibilities that in-house doesn’t. Here are just some of the advantages of agency marketing:

Building your knowledge across multiple sectors

Agency life typically involves work across a number of projects with multiple clients from any industry - this affords you a real ‘hands-on’ approach across a variety of sectors. Your marketing expertise will develop everyday as you learn how to target different market-places. If you have strong multi-tasking skills and enjoy a diverse role then agency is the right side of marketing for you. 

Unlike in-house marketing, agency-side demands close collaboration with clients to deliver successful strategies and campaigns. Working with multiple brands at once can be complex and requires an assertive demeanor. After working for 1-2 years within a marketing agency, your collaborative skills will be out of this world.

Develop your specialist marketing skills

The production of high-quality marketing content requires a team of experts - the combined expertise that agencies have on tap remains a genuine asset when compared with in-house. Typically, you will be surrounded by individuals with a diverse range of skills, which allows you to try out different roles and figure out which is the one for you.  The time-served agency executive may have the opportunity to progress their career in a client-facing role, whether it’s managing a key client account or joining client services.

The agency world can be fast paced and there also tends to be high employee churn. If looked upon as an opportunity, the ups and downs of agency-work can be an excellent way to fast-track your way up the career ladder.

Growing your professional network

There are numerous marketing agencies throughout Scotland which ensures you are constantly meeting new people, whether it be business owners, marketers or company directors.  Making connections and growing your professional network will always serve you well as you never know when you might need a connection’s help or advice.

Wherever your marketing career takes you, it will always be an advantage to have chosen the agency route and being able to reference past work with big brand names will do your career no harm whatsoever. 

The big benefits of in-house

If the agency life doesn’t twist your arm, in-house may be worth further consideration. It is on the rise - here’s some of the reasons why:

Build engagement with one brand

In contrast to agency marketing where you gain an understanding of many different industries, in-house marketing allows you to gain a deeper knowledge of one brand. Pursue a rewarding career within an organisation that really values their product, culture and philosophy. A single focus on one project allows you to build engagement and really understand the company being represented. If you are looking to work for a brand you can really become loyal to, then in-house sounds like your calling.

Collaborate with the same team

Working client-side offers the opportunity to build genuine relationships by contributing towards the same team every day. Inevitably this brings people together and fosters a healthy working relationship - everyone in the team is engaged and morale levels remain high throughout projects.

When working on a project in-house, there’s no waiting around. Because you are all working in the same place, you can have a quick chat with a member of the team or notify a teammate of any new developments. With agency, you are often waiting for meetings and calls with multiple people slowing down the entire process - client work is a patient game.

If you are interested in a diverse role with fast career progression, then agency may be your first stop. Alternatively, if you are looking to develop your skills and build genuine relationships working on one brand, in-house may be the choice for you. Either way, recruitment agencies are able to help in your job hunt.

Check out our job board to find out about our marketing roles on offer!

Alternatively, keep on reading to find out how you can kickstart a career in digital marketing.