If you’re thinking about which career you’d like to go into after you graduate, or simply want to change your career path, a career in marketing could offer the perfect solution. There are a variety of roles in marketing, including PR, social media, content writing, SEO and media buying – to name a few. Once you’ve decided which area you might like to specialise in, it’s time to decide whether you’d like to work in-house or for a marketing agency. While the job titles may remain the same, working for a marketing agency versus working in-house can take you down completely different career paths.
What is a marketing agency?
Marketing agencies work to optimise the potential of a company or brand, helping to sell products or services to the consumer. Depending on which services they offer, marketing agencies are responsible for establishing a marketing strategy, conducting market research, engaging with the target audience and, ultimately, increasing sales.
It’s almost impossible to specialise in all areas of marketing, so marketing agencies have a mixture of marketing-specialists available for the specific needs of a company. For example, paid search professionals, email marketing experts and specialists in SEO; meaning that companies can make use of different marketing channels according to their particular needs at the time.
Some of the key services offered by marketing agencies include:
- Experiential Marketing
- Social Media
What is in-house marketing?
In-house marketing isn’t all that different to an agency. In-house marketing is carried out by people within the business rather than being outsourced to a third party. Some businesses prefer to keep their marketing teams in-house to ensure they have got full control and overview over their marketing material. In-house marketers will follow the same processes as agencies, including creating marketing strategies and researching the target consumer to maximise the business potential.
Generally speaking, in-house marketing careers tend to be a lot broader than those within a marketing agency. There are a lot of bases to be covered and not always the resource to do so, so it’s more unusual to find in-house marketers who only concentrate on one area of marketing, such as PR.
Marketing agency versus in-house
If you’re considering a career in marketing, one of the most important considerations is whether you’d prefer to work for an agency or in-house. Both sides have their pros and cons and it’s really down to personal preference, but the following points will help you to decide which is the right option for you.
Variety is the spice of life
Marketing agencies are perfect for those who like to have a little bit of variety in their life. Agencies often cater for a range of clients across multiple sectors, meaning that you’ll be working across a number of different accounts at one time. Depending on the industry, this could mean that you’re working on a fitness brand one day and for a big law firm the next – it gives you the opportunity to get really creative and gain experience across a huge range of industries.
However, if you like to focus all of your efforts on one project, then working in-house is the option for you. In-house marketing positions don’t always offer quite as much diversity day-to-day, which is perfect for people who want to specialise in a specific business sector.
Equally, working in-house allows you to gain significant insight into your target audience and work with people who all have the same goals in mind. If you like to focus on long-term, strategic thinking in order to grow a brand, then working in-house will be the best option for you.
Work hard, play hard
It’s no secret that working in marketing isn’t a 9-5 job, especially when it comes to working in an agency. With tight deadlines and urgent requests from clients, working in an agency can often see you staying past your home time.
However, this hard work doesn’t go unnoticed or unrewarded. Agencies often have a ‘work hard, play hard’ attitude, rewarding their staff with team nights out, Friday afternoon drinks and flexi-time.
The working hours for in-house positions are largely dependent on the industry. E-commerce businesses typically operate on much longer hours than those in the education industry, for example.
Due to the 24/7 nature of e-commerce, longer work hours are often expected, especially when it comes to channels like social media. However, smaller industries, such as those in the education sector, can provide much more sociable working hours – generally speaking, of course.
The working environment
One of the main things that attracts people to marketing agencies is the working environment. Marketing agencies are filled with creative minds, so their offices tend to be interesting, stimulating environments – with added perks! It’s not uncommon to come across an office dog, pool tables or even an indoor slide when you work agency-side!
Agencies tend to be a lot less corporate than in-house jobs, with a relaxed dress code and flexible working hours. Additionally, agencies often boast added extras, such as lunch-time yoga, free snacks, coffee machines and free drinks on a Friday.
Working in-house tends to be a little more ridgid in its structure, with stricter dress codes, set working hours and less-stimulating offices. This is because in-house marketers work alongside legal teams, sales teams and accountants – to name a few – so they’re generally a little more corporate. This is perfect for those who like a more structured schedule, especially if it’s your first office job.
There are so many pros and cons to working both in-house and for a marketing agency, it all comes down to personal preference and personality and, of course, there are always exceptions to the rules! Do you think you’d prefer working in-house or agency side? Let us know on Twitter!