Are digital and social media marketing agencies worth it?

People often want to know if hiring a digital marketing agency is profitable. A business needs ‘money out’ to be less than ‘money in’ and this article focuses on that dynamic when it comes to hiring a team.  If you’re torn between doing digital marketing yourself or hiring one of the many digital and social media marketing agencies to operate on your behalf, there are a number of critical aspects to consider, like your budget, level of expertise and access to resources.

In this post, we explore the pros and cons of what your options are so that you can decide if it’s better to hire a digital marketing agency, or to do your digital marketing in-house. Let’s explore whether hiring a digital agency is worth it…

Hiring a digital marketing agency

If you hire a digital marketing or social media marketing agency, they have the team, knowledge and resources to do all of the digital marketing and social media advertising for you, and it’s (hopefully!) in their interests to maximise your ROI.

Here at TDS, we’re a digital marketing and social media marketing agency. We work with big brands and SMEs, who hire us to meet their marketing objectives. 

But, of course, we’d be biased in saying that you should hire TDS..! So, instead, we’re going to explore what you should consider when choosing an agency that’s right for your business and help you weigh up your options.

A man in with a blue suit jacket and white trousers presenting a graph with increasing bars and a dollar coin over the last one to highlight more profit - are digital and social media marketing agencies worth it?

What to consider when hiring a digital marketing agency

A quick search for digital marketing agencies will bring up lots of hits and service providers. Some agencies specialise in a certain industry or niche areas, while others work with a broad range of clients operating in different industries.

And some agencies focus on one or two aspects of digital marketing, like copy, SEO, data tracking and analytics and/or social media. 

While each of those aspects of digital marketing are paramount to success and being competitive, it’s important to consider how results and performance will be defined, tracked and measured. 

If the digital marketing agency you’re partnered with doesn’t set clear goals with you, how will you measure success? And how will you track campaigns along the way to ensure everything is on target? These are all things to consider when hiring a digital marketing agency. 

Here at TDS, we’re technical digital marketing and social media experts who specialise in data tracking and analytics. We utilise your customer data to power ads and campaigns.

You should also look at how transparent and collaborative a marketing agency is. Good agencies will send you regular reports on activities, successes and areas for improvement, and will invite you to collaborate. They should continuously be looking at ways to optimise campaigns and ensure everything is on track to reach set targets.

Benefits of hiring a digital marketing agency

They will save you time 

Doing digital marketing yourself or setting up and managing an in-house marketing team requires a significant amount of time. If you’re a start-up or SME in the growth stages, you’re probably wearing many hats. But if you delegate your marketing responsibilities to an agency, you free yourself up to work on what you do best, and other, important aspects of your business. 

Potential for higher levels of ROI 

To deliver the most effective digital marketing campaigns, you’ll need a multidisciplinary team of experts and specialists — which means added hiring, training and management responsibilities, which requires substantial levels of marketing spend.

Instead, if you outsource your marketing to a good agency, with a team of knowledgeable experts who have access to all the necessary and costly tech and tools, there’s more potential for greater levels of ROI.

Access to a team of marketing experts

When you hire an agency, you offload your digital marketing to a team of marketing specialists, who should be experts in things like analytics, social media, PPC and organic growth. For you, that means you don’t have to spend time and money hiring. Instead, they do all the work for you, and work with you to reach your marketing goals.

A good agency will carry out lots of research into your industry and have a clear understanding of who your customers are. They’ll have experience working with different clients and be up-to-date with current marketing trends, consumer behaviour and marketing strategies. 

Offer a fresh, outside perspective of your business and industry

By hiring a marketing agency, you’re bringing in marketing experts who can approach your business and industry from an objective point of view. A good agency will have access to all the marketing tools required to conduct a full analysis of your business and industry, and factor in their findings when it comes to making a marketing strategy that’s competitive, and has a clear roadmap of how to reach success.


In-house digital marketing

If you choose to create, track and measure digital marketing campaigns yourself, you have complete control over the entire process, including the following:

  • You decide on the direction of your marketing efforts, and create all of the campaigns, web pages and ads yourself.
  • You decide on all branding aspects, such as the copy, style and tone of voice.
  • You can quickly change anything you like, at any point in the process. 
  • You set up all of the technical aspects yourself, like your data streams and analytics platforms so that you can track and measure performance.

If you’re not a digital marketing expert, you can learn lots about digital marketing online, or by reading a book, like this one.

You might decide to try set up and configure the technical side of your social media ads yourself. This could mean sending data streams from your online assets, like your website to your ad accounts. But if you haven’t done this correctly, you run the risk of spending lots of money on ads, and not getting the results you want. 

It’s important to realise that unless you’ve got lots of digital-marketing know-how, a team of experienced digital marketing specialists and developers behind you and — the time — then it might not make business sense to do all of the above yourself.

Crucially, you should think about what your goals are, and what’s the most cost-effective and efficient way of achieving those. 

Potential drawbacks of hiring a digital marketing agency

Hiring an agency to do your digital marketing can come with drawbacks. Here are some of them:

  • You don’t control every aspect of your marketing campaigns. Instead, your marketing agency is responsible for creating and managing the entire process.
  • The cost of hiring an agency often means monthly retainer bills, which make up a significant chunk of your marketing budget.
  • Decision making can take longer. If you want something to work differently, or you want to change the direction and focus of your campaign, you have to communicate with the agency you’ve hired.

However, remember that you hire an agency to carry out digital marketing on your behalf, so not having to manage everything can in fact be a great advantage. You should weigh up the cost of hiring an agency versus the cost of doing your marketing in-house. When you take into account salaries, benefits and time, you may find that it’s more cost-effective and efficient to outsource.


We’ve highlighted that there are a number of important things to look at when hiring a digital marketing agency, and you should choose the right approach and strategy which has the best chance of success.

The digital landscape is a highly competitive, and often complex entity. You will need to be skilled and resourceful enough to succeed. If you feel that you’d be better off hiring a digital marketing agency, contact us today for a consultation, and we can explore your business and marketing goals together.

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