Agency vs. freelance vs. in-house: Which is best for you?

30 Jan 23

Are you spending a lot of your budget on marketing agencies and wondering if there’s a better option?

Alternatively, you maybe want to put more of a focus on marketing and need to decide which is best for you: an agency, a freelancer, or creating an in-house team.

Although we’re a marketing agency, our goal is for you to make the correct choice for your organisation. To achieve that, we’re providing information on all the other options available to you, instead of just focusing on what we do.

To help you do this, we’ve listed out the following areas to compare the three:

  • Hourly and annual costs
  • Head count/capacity flexibility
  • Training and onboarding
  • Team specialisation
  • Time/project control
  • Software

Hourly and Annual Costs

Conclusion: If fully utilised, an in-house team is by far the most cost-effective solution. Freelancers are a great option for companies with lower budgets, or if one or two specialist areas of support are required. Finally, agencies have the highest hourly rate, but offer multiple skill sets under one roof which can lead to them being cheaper annually, especially if these multiple skills are required.

Lowest hourly rate – In-house team
Lowest annual rate, if high utilisation: In-house team
Lowest annual rate, if lower utilisation: Freelancer team .

Head Count / Capacity Flexibility

Conclusion: Agencies definitely provide the most head count and capacity flexibility. This is also true to a lesser extent for freelancers as they’re skill specific and time-limited, however, you could engage a team of freelancers for your various needs. In comparison, in-house teams need to be carefully planned, meaning they have the lowest level of flexibility in headcount and capacity.

Greatest head count and capacity flexibility – Agency team.

Training and Onboarding

Conclusion: An agency will likely be able to get up to speed fastest as you will only need to train them once on your technology, and they will then train everyone within their team. As they already know the processes of how to implement campaigns, this part of the learning curve is eliminated. Although, once trained, an in-house team will likely be more immersed in your technology as 100% of their time is dedicated to it.

Least time spent on training – Agency team.

Team Specialisation

Conclusion: Due to the different types of specialisations in agencies, freelancers and in-house teams, there’s a great argument for using the best parts of each. In-house teams have the in-depth knowledge of the company and its products, whereas freelancers and agencies will have expertise in their area. At Podymos, we often find combining the three leads to the best campaigns, as opposed to an agency being used for all parts of the project. It controls the budget, meaning more can be achieved.

Best specialisation capabilities – It depends.

Time/Project Control

Conclusion: An in-house team will always provide the greatest level of time available and project control, followed by a freelance team and then an agency. However, this may not always be a good thing depending on what needs to be achieved.

Best time and project control – In-house.

Software Capabilities

Conclusion: If you’re looking to work with cutting-edge software, your agency will be able to provide these to you. The high cost of these are often prohibitive to freelancers and in-house teams which could affect the efficacy of a project over the long term because campaign optimisation is limited.

Best software capabilities – Agency.


There is no clear answer which is best as it depends on your company’s marketing needs.

An in-house team when fully utilised will always be more cost effective. They’ll be available at the touch of a button and have 100% focus of your company’s technology, but they’ll have limited flexibility to quickly change capacity or capabilities due to the recruitment process.

Freelancers can provide a great ad hoc solution when additional resources are needed in one or two specialist areas, acting as an on-demand team member before you have enough work to bring that role in-house.

Agencies offer more of an integrated solution, providing a team of skills at your fingertips. This can be great if you need to outsource full projects, like a downstream campaign, or need support with specialist projects like videography, web development or animation.

We hope this article has provided useful information so have a better idea of which type of team is right for you and your company.

About Podymos

Are you aiming to communicate more effectively with your MedTech audience? Do you aspire to deliver high-quality marketing materials as part of your broader multichannel marketing strategy to accelerate your sales force effectiveness and grow your digital presence? If so, you’re in the right place.

Podymos is a specialist medical device marketing agency. Our services might be a bit pricier than non-specialised agencies and freelance teams, and that’s because our exclusive focus on the medical device space equips us with specialised knowledge and expertise that others might not offer.

To find out more about our services or book a call to discuss a project with one of our expert Medical Device team, click a buttons below.

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