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Marketing Careers - Agency or In-house?

  • August 04, 2020

When pursuing a career in Marketing, candidates can generally choose to work for an agency or in an in-house Marketing team. Both paths can offer creative and rewarding opportunities, but it is important to consider the differences, before deciding which is best for you:


Agency work can provide Marketing professionals the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse range of brands, enabling employees to develop broad product and marketing knowledge. Your role will be extremely client focused and you will be required to juggle multiple projects and deadlines, adapting your approach accordingly. Agencies are operating in an extremely competitive market, so this side of the industry can therefore be high pressured and demanding.

Whilst the opportunity to work with such a variety of clients can be exciting, there will inevitably be times when you are required to work with a brand or project that you have little or no interest in. Unfortunately, this is just part of the job and you will need to demonstrate the level of passion and enthusiasm that you do with more favourable projects.


When undertaking an in-house Marketing role, you will be fully immersed in Marketing activity for the business, often working across a range of products, but in a particular industry. This will enable candidates to develop specific skills and become experts in that field.

Depending on the size of the company, you could join a Marketing team or, in smaller businesses, have sole responsibility for the marketing function, including managing the budget. Therefore, in-house opportunities are likely to offer more autonomy and you will have a greater sense of ownership, usually being involved from planning through to delivery.

Which is the best option for you?

When choosing whether to pursue and inhouse or agency role, some of the factors you will want to think about are:

  • What skills would you like to develop?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your priorities?
  • What sort of environment would you thrive in?

Other points you might want to consider are:

Work/Life Balance:

A role within a Marketing agency usually requires much longer hours in-order to meet the demands of clients. If you are working on the client side, this is likely to be more structured with little need to work outside of normal ‘9-5’ business hours, with the exception of external events or tradeshows where relevant.


If you thrive in the buzz of a fast paced and pressured environment – then an agency is a good option! Typically you’d be working in a large and lively team with other ‘Execs’ who are all balancing multiple projects and deadlines.  In-house tends to be much more routine and whilst the sense of responsibility can be appealing, it can be isolating without the camaraderie of a team.


Typically, in-house Marketing roles pay significantly higher than those in an Agency, particularly when you consider the number of hours worked on either side. Company benefits also tend to be more generous on the client side. So if reward and recognition is an important factor for you, this is worth considering.


In the early stages of a Marketing career, it is relatively easy for candidates to switch from one side to the other, so there is no harm in trying both. This can become more difficult as your knowledge grows and companies look to recruit more relevant experience.

If you are interested in discussing current Marketing opportunities, please get in touch!