In-House vs. Agency: Choosing Your Law Firm’s Marketing Solution

In house vs. Agency

Are you struggling to choose between an in-house marketing team and an external agency for your law firm’s marketing needs? Allow us to help. 

To outsource or not to outsource, that is the modern-day Shakespearean dilemma many law firms face when strategizing their marketing efforts. The answer is, unfortunately, not a clear-cut one, and the best choice will differ for every law firm, depending on factors such as size, budget, and specific marketing objectives.

In this blog post, we delve into the key considerations and advantages of both options, providing you with a comprehensive guide to help you understand the differences between building an in-house marketing team and working with an external legal marketing agency. With this knowledge in hand, you will be better equipped to make an informed decision that aligns with your firm’s unique goals.

In-House Marketing Teams

An in-house marketing team consists of employees hired by your law firm to handle all aspects of your marketing strategy. Bringing your marketing team in-house, or ‘in-housing,’ involves developing a team to spearhead marketing facets such as content creation, social media management, and search engine optimization (SEO).

Pros:

  • Internal communication: In-house marketing teams benefit from direct, fast communication with other departments. Have a question about a marketing strategy? Your team member’s desk is likely only a couple of steps away. 
  • Brand familiarity: In-house teams have a deep understanding of your law firm’s brand identity, allowing them to create marketing materials that align with your firm’s image and message.
  • The highest degree of control: With an in-house team, you have more direct control over the marketing process and can easily make changes to strategies and priorities as needed.

Cons: 

  • Limited expertise: Especially if your marketing team is small, there’s a limit to what your team can accomplish. In-house teams may lack the diverse skill sets and specialized knowledge that a marketing agency can provide, potentially limiting the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. 
  • Scalability challenges: Expanding an in-house team can be time-consuming and costly, making it difficult to adapt quickly to changing market conditions or increased demand.
  • High Cost: Building an in-house marketing team can become very expensive, very quickly. It requires hiring and training new staff as well as providing them with salaries, insurance, retirement benefits, and office space. Even with an average, three-person large marketing team, these expenses can easily reach and exceed $200,000 in yearly expenses. 

Marketing Agencies

A legal marketing agency is an external company that specializes in providing marketing services specifically tailored to the unique needs of law firms. They possess a team of experts with extensive experience in various digital marketing areas.

Pros: 

  • Industry Expertise: Law firm marketing professionals like us have decades of industry experience in the legal field that’s difficult for an in-house team to compete with. This expertise allows us to stay current with the latest trends and create tailored marketing strategies compatible with your firm’s practice areas and location.
  • Large, diverse teams: If you’re looking to get the most out of your marketing investment, the reality is that it will take a village. Luckily, manpower is not a problem for marketing agencies. They often have multidisciplinary teams of specialists who can handle various aspects of your law firm’s marketing efforts, including: 
  • Cost-effective: Marketing agencies allow you to vary your investment based on your budgetary constraints for the year, as opposed to in-house marketing teams that require a constant, year-over-year investment. This flexible, ‘pay as much as you want’ approach proves to be much more affordable over time. 
  • Access to advanced tools: Legal marketing agencies have access to cutting-edge marketing tools and technology. By hiring an agency, you don’t have to worry about investing in licenses to use these tools – they come with the package. LawEval, for instance, is an advanced analytics platform that Consultwebs uses to optimize our clients’ marketing campaigns.
  • Time-saving: Outsourcing your marketing to an agency frees up your law firm’s time, allowing you to focus on your core business activities and client relationships.

Cons: 

  • Less control: Outsourcing your marketing efforts may sometimes result in less direct control over strategy and execution. That said, a good legal marketing agency will take the time to get to know your firm and ensure that their and your firm’s goals are in alignment with each other. 
  • Limited familiarity: An external agency may not be as familiar with your firm’s culture, values, and objectives. This might require bringing them up to speed on what’s important to you and your firm. 
  • Slower communication: Sometimes, working with an external agency may involve longer response times and delays in communication. However, the most effective agencies combat this stereotype in two ways: 
    • Open communication channels: Top-notch legal marketing agencies prioritize client communication and maintain open lines of communication, ensuring that clients are kept in the loop and can reach out to their team whenever necessary.
    • Transparent access to data: Consultwebs believes in transparency and empowers its clients by providing them with access to resources like LawEval. This platform allows clients to check their marketing data and analytics anytime they wish, ensuring that they can independently monitor the progress and success of their marketing efforts.

The Consultwebs Approach to Marketing

If you choose to go the marketing agency route, why should you choose Consultwebs

There are many reasons (which we’d be happy to discuss if you wanted to hop on a phone call with one of our industry experts), but most importantly, we know and understand the legal industry. Where other marketing firms need to educate themselves about industries that might be foreign to them, Consultwebs exclusively specializes in legal marketing. With 23 years of experience in the business, we’ve had the opportunity to customize and refine our marketing approach specifically for the legal industry.

Takeaways

Which option is right for you? 

Although we personally are biased towards the benefits of hiring a legal marketing agency, the ultimate decision will depend on your law firm’s specific desires and goals. If you’re still on the fence, try talking it through during a free consultation with one of our marketing professionals

We ultimately want you to make the decision that’s best for your law firm, and we’re more than happy to provide guidance and answer any questions you may have to help you make an informed choice.

 

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