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Hiring a HubSpot Agency Partner vs Doing it In-house: Pros and Cons

June 19, 2020

To outsource or not to outsource, that is the question...

Outsourcing to an agency vs doing it in-house is something most marketing teams have to deal with regularly and it is no different with HubSpot.

It is a delicate balancing act between your internal capacity, skills and budget.

If you are an existing HubSpot client or are considering using HubSpot you will need to decide whether to go at it alone and upskill your internal team, possibly hire another staff member or find a HubSpot Agency Partner to work with.

HubSpot is excellent at enabling teams to solve marketing and sales challenges BUT the software alone won’t solve those challenges. To see a return on your investment you will need to make sure you get the right people, doing the right things, right.

Today, we are going to look at the pros and cons of hiring a HubSpot Agency Partner vs doing it internally. Feel free to skip ahead to the section that is most interesting to you:

  1. Pros of working with a HubSpot Agency Partner
  2. Cons of working with a HubSpot Agency Partner
  3. Pros of doing it in-house
  4. Cons of doing it in-house

But first…

What is a HubSpot Agency Partner?

HubSpot Agency Partners, as the name would suggest are businesses certified to deliver marketing and sales services on the HubSpot platform. HubSpot Partners work with businesses who have bought HubSpot licenses to help them get the most out of their investment.

They typically deliver a range of services that includes marketing services, sales enablement, CRM implementation, app development, website design, integrations and HubSpot support.

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Now, let’s get stuck into those pros and cons…

 

1. Pros of working with a HubSpot Agency Partner

If you are serious about getting the most out of your HubSpot account and have ambitious targets then working with a tiered partner is possibly your best bet.

Side note: It’s not to say that you can’t do it internally, you can absolutely learn the ins and outs of the software and put together an epic strategy to help you hit your goals. 

Here are some of the pros:

Certified HubSpot expertise - All partners are vetted by HubSpot and have to undergo mandatory certifications to be able to qualify. This should give you a little more confidence when it comes to picking a partner.

They’ve been down this road before - Experience counts for a lot. In the long run, it’ll save you both time and money. You benefit not only from technical expertise gained from helping other businesses using HubSpot effectively but also from the strategic insights they’ve gained from helping businesses with similar goals and challenges to where they need to go.

Advanced technical support - HubSpot places a lot of emphasis on their partner program and invests a lot of time and energy in helping partners help their clients be successful. That means they get better access to HubSpot’s support team and can help you resolve any technical issues quickly before they escalate.

Fill in the gaps - Working with an agency is a great way to build capacity without the added cost of hiring and appointing a full-time staff member. You might not need a full-time paid specialist or developer. With an agency, you get to add those skills as and when you need them.

Return on Investment (ROI) - An experienced partner can help you define and deliver a strategy that utilises HubSpot’s full capabilities and generates a positive ROI on your marketing activities.

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2. Cons of working with a HubSpot Agency Partner

As with all things in life, there are some downsides to working with a HubSpot Partner.

Is HubSpot right for you - It is important to consider whether HubSpot is the right software for you. HubSpot Partners are typically pretty loyal to their favourite tool but that doesn’t necessarily mean its right for you. Some agencies can take a one size fits all approach so it’s important to decide if HubSpot is the right fit for you and then if your answer is yes, you can pick a partner.

They can’t do everything - There are very few agencies that can do everything and solve every problem you have, although many may try. HubSpot specialises in inbound marketing so if you need billboards or a tv ads or specialised PR services then you might need more than one agency.

Budget can be an issue - For small businesses or startups who have big goals but need a budget-friendly approach working with an agency might not be feasible. Agencies typically sign 3-12 month retainers and pricing starts from about R 20k pm. In this case, your best bet is to take the DIY approach. It’s a slower road to success but if you are consistent you’ll get there.

3. Pros of doing it in-house

If you have an in-house HubSpot expert, a clear strategy to utilise it to its full effect and a team to deliver the content and development required then it's a done deal. 

You don’t need a HubSpot partner.

Although working with an agency can be incredibly valuable and often quite fun, keeping your marketing internal can be great for promoting ownership of your team’s performance and push you to develop skills internally.

Some of the pros include:

Greater control - Keeping your projects in-house means you can run your HubSpot project the way you’re comfortable with and you won’t need to adapt to someone else’s process.

Skills development - Embarking on any new software implementation and strategy requires a lot of learning. This is great for teams who embrace that kind of challenge and are willing to push themselves.

Budget-friendly - Working with an agency regardless of how effective they might be, requires a significant investment. Doing it yourself is a great way to cut costs. A small caveat to this, however, is that this assumes you don’t need to appoint additional staff. Once you need to start hiring additional staff it can actually be more cost-effective to work with an agency instead.

4. Cons of doing it in-house

Doing it yourself however is not always a good idea. Specifically in larger organisations, where implementing HubSpot can be more complex with advanced automations, custom integrations and a large amount of data.

Here are some of the cons:

Steep learning curve - Implementing any new system always comes with a certain amount of unknowns. For larger, more complex businesses this is particularly true. The learning curve can be very steep from both a technical and strategic perspective.

It’s not always cheaper - Right off the bat, you might be thinking well this is a no brainer, hiring an agency is expensive. In many cases the time it takes to learn how to use HubSpot effectively outweighs the initial cost-saving.

No ownership - More often than not businesses that take on HubSpot and inbound marketing on their own struggle completely adopt HubSpot or see the results they were hoping for. This is simply because they can’t dedicate enough time to it as other work priorities and responsibilities demand their attention.

Final thoughts

The simple answer is that it depends…

If you have ambitious growth goals or perhaps work in an organisation with complex requirements and integration needs or you have a clear set of challenges but don’t have the internal capabilities or capacity then working with a HubSpot Agency Partner is the way to go.

You’ll benefit from their experience and wide range of skills and most importantly they’ll help you reach your goal.

On the other hand, if you have a team with a wide range of and capacity to dive into the HubSpot ecosystem or you don’t have the budget and you can take your HubSpot journey step-by-step then keeping it in-house is perhaps your best bet.

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