Will you be better off with an advertising agency or an in-house team? What will drive greater app growth while optimizing operations?
Having provided user acquisition platforms for both agencies and advertisers – and having acted as a performance user acquisition agency for some of the largest brands in the world – we know there isn’t a right or wrong way. There’s just the way that’s best for you.
Here are 5 key aspects to consider, and how both advertising agencies and in-house teams can help your app succeed, depending on what matters to you most.
Changing Industry Requirements
Choose in-house if you have the resources for continuous employee training. With the advertising and app industries changing so frequently and so widely (remember the days we only had a couple of primary channels?), you’ve got to constantly keep your team on the cutting edge of knowledge and technology.
The benefit is that employees often see professional development as an employee differentiator, so you are likelier to attract and retain top talent.
Choose agency if you just need to get going or if you don’t have the resources to keep up with all the changes, then develop or find training for your team on an ongoing basis yourself. Some agencies do that for you – they continuously train their teams on new channels and strategies. Others go deep and specialize in certain aspects.
If you need access to effective influencers *and* you want to build your app’s own TikTok community, hire an agency that has already achieved proven results for each goal, and see results faster. One of the top reasons for that is that agencies tend to have much more operations volume in one channel (in comparison to a single advertiser), thus get direct account managers introduced by the platform or social network themselves. For example, as a certified marketing partner of TikTok, we received in-depth data, best practices and faster supports from the platform. To understand the real value of a technology agency, you can read in our latest article by Zoomd VP of media.
Broad and Deep Perspectives
Choose in-house if you want a greater cross-silo collaboration. When your marketing people collaborate with sales, customer success and product people, magical things can happen. They gain a deeper understanding, better data, and end up driving better results, because they understand your app’s customers better.
You can create intentional collaborations with agencies, but the advantage of in-house teams is that they interact informally with other teams, whether it’s at lunch or on the company’s happy hour Zoom call. The personal relationships could make collaboration simpler, and some ideas might pop up spontaneously in day-to-day conversations.
Choose agency if you want proven strategies that have worked for apps like yours – or if you want the benefit of cross-industry experience. Folks who work at agencies typically work with many more app companies than the in-house marketer that “only” changes companies every 2-3 years.
It’s a different type of experience. The in-house marketers go deeper into one brand, while the agency marketers get a broad perspective. They can see how app users in both your industry and in complementary industries have responded to certain marketing initiatives, and what works in other industries that your audience might not already be used to seeing, allowing you to differentiate your messaging further.
Hiring and Compatibility
Choose in-house if you want to decide who you work with. First, you might care about certain skills that your agency doesn’t. Maybe your agency hires very creative people who design stunning campaign assets (link to assets article once it’s published), but you need someone on your team who’ll prioritize diversity and inclusion, or empathy toward your app users.
Second, maybe your agency’s team members check all your professional checkboxes, but you want someone who’ll just be fun to work with. When you hire advertisers yourself, you have more control.
Choose agency if you want access to a pre-vetted pool of industry pros, who have experience taking apps and campaigns to the next level. The hiring process can be extensive and expensive, and partnering with an agency that’s already done the heavy lifting can make your life easier and save you money. Make sure you meet with the people who’ll be working on your campaigns, to ensure compatibility in personalities and work process preferences.
Choose in-house if you want greater control over your schedule and over your team’s availability.
You can tell an employee you need a project ASAP – it’s your company and you decide what to prioritize – but if you need a deliverable within two days, and your agency is already fully booked with commitments to other clients, you’ll need to find an alternative solution for that deliverable.
Choose agency if you want to grow fast. Agencies already have team members, plus relationships and partnerships with freelancers. They can likely add people to your app’s campaign quickly.
Alternatively, hire 2-3 agencies at once. You make 2-3 hiring decisions and book entire teams instead of 2-3 people.
Customization to Your Needs
Choose in-house *and* agency for the best mix for your specific situation.
Have some in-house advertisers to ensure your app campaigns remain on-brand across partners, and to simplify cross-silo collaboration. Simultaneously, partner with agencies that specialize in areas that complement your team’s strengths, have broad experience to help you differentiate yourself from the noise, and have the ability to help you scale fast.
Here at Zoomd, we have performance marketing solutions to help you whichever way you choose. If you need an agency that specializes in meeting ambitious user acquisition goals, we’ve got your back. Prefer to do it yourself? We recently started providing access to our proprietary AI-based platform. You gain the benefit of 500,000,000 daily data points, leverage what works on one channel to inform campaigns on other channels and increase your app growth efficiency. See what’s possible here.