In-house, outsource, or hybrid?

Nikki Dunbar
Nikki Dunbar

Nikki Dunbar, founder of Nix Collective, asks if an agency is the missing piece to your marketing puzzle.

Marketing is a cornerstone of any successful business. It’s the bridge that connects your product or service with potential customers and ultimately drives sales. However, one of the critical decisions businesses face is determining the best approach to executing their marketing strategies. Should you build an in-house team, outsource to an agency, or opt for a hybrid model?

In-house marketing

An in-house marketing team means you have employees dedicated solely to your company’s marketing efforts who will have a deep understanding of your products, business and brand, with an intrinsic understanding of your company’s culture, products, and goals. This intimate knowledge allows them to create highly tailored marketing strategies that align perfectly with your brand identity.

Another advantage of having a team on site ensures seamless communication and swift execution of marketing plans. An agile, in-house team can also maintain a consistent brand voice across all channels, with messaging that remains aligned with the company’s vision and values.

However, building an in-house team can be both costly and time-consuming. Recruitment, training, and retaining talent demand significant investment and often, team members may end up overstretched, juggling multiple marketing roles instead of specialising in one specific area.


Outsourcing your marketing to an agency can be a great way to leverage skills and experience. A good agency will come with experts across various marketing fields, from SEO and content creation, to social media and PPC advertising. This knowledge is invaluable, especially for complex or large-scale campaigns.

Hiring an agency might seem expensive initially, but when looking at a monthly retainer compared to salaries, you essentially get a fully skilled team for the price of one or two employees. This includes the benefit of scalable services which can be tailored to your budget and needs.

Some agencies, such as Nix Collective, also offer flexible arrangements without contracts. This allows you to scale services up or down as required in line with any specific campaign or business needs. They’re also positioned as an ​​extension of your team, providing continuous support rather than specific deliverables or fixed hours per month.

External agencies also bring a fresh set of eyes to your business. They can provide a different perspective, helping to identify opportunities that may be overlooked.

There are some downsides. Larger agencies, for example, often have multiple teams, meaning you might be passed between them. This can result in less fluid communication, leading to potential delays or misunderstandings.

The hybrid model

The hybrid model is something which we have seen grow in popularity over recent times and combines the strengths of both in-house teams and external agencies.

Firstly, an in-house team with support from an agency leaves control within the business in terms of strategy and general direction, but gives flexibility to allow an agency to handle larger projects or specialised tasks. This is ideal to prevent your marketing team becoming overstretched, as an agency can step in to pick up additional tasks or manage project work, such as a campaign or website development.

This model can also work without a full, in-house team. Simply recruiting a marketing executive or marketing admin can give an agency a point of contact within the business for things such as approvals or supplying images or assets.

This is also great for someone at a trainee level, as they can work alongside an agency, which facilitates upskilling too.

Teamwork makes the dream work

At Nix Collective, as well as providing full marketing services for some clients, we have also successfully implemented this hybrid model with a number of others. For example, we manage the core messaging of social media while an in-house person handles the ad-hoc, day-to-day tasks. This seamless collaboration ensures consistency in style and posts, but this is only achievable when an agency takes the time to understand the business, brand and tone of voice.

This model can also help manage costs more effectively, as you can allocate the budget to high-priority projects or ongoing tasks requiring external expertise, while keeping routine tasks in-house.

The key to how marketing works best for your business depends on your own specific needs. If you are looking for agency support, either working alongside your current team or to fulfil all your requirements, drop me a line at