Agencies need to enable the client to have more control over their own processes

Shift Agency > In-house

Nader Sabry — Growth Hacking
3 min readNov 13, 2022

37% of the reasons for switching from agency to in-house are more control. As before, freelance to in-house management as the driver. This is followed by quality, then lower costs.

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85% of companies with less than 10 employees have three people or fewer in roles that involve growth, according to The State of Growth 2021


When agencies fail to deliver results, growth service buyers see in-house as a more viable source than before choosing to go with agencies. This security blanket that superficially is created by agencies in many cases isn’t true. Roughly 8% of clients feel their growth agencies have served them well. This means in alignment with their expectations are reasonably met. Often agencies focus on short-term results to gain client confidence, which later proves to be a risky strategy as they cannot sustain such results.


Moving towards more control and quality is always an in-house-driven reaction. Often it is not planned well, and hence a very high tangible and intangible cost is paid when switching. Agency-to-agency switching happens 85% before a client decides to switch service categories, like switching to a freelancer or bringing their growth services in-house.


The opportunity for agencies to deliver better quality results is possible. Still, they need to do this at the very start of the relationship and enable the client to have more control over their processes. Once a client switches service categories from agency to freelancer, the likelihood of switching back are much lower than staying within the same category.

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A new study conducted by Growth Thinking, which analyzed 2,150 growth service buyers across 10 industries, found that 86% of growth agencies are — in fact — not growing.

These buyers, which represent $350 million in annual spending power, were surveyed over a period of 24 months. Some key findings in the study include:

  • The top issue among those 86% not growing is talent;
  • The average cost to switch from in-house to external providers is $48,241; and
  • 55% of first-time services used are from freelancers.

The study takes a deep look into spending behaviors, the type of growth hacking services in most demand, and switching costs and reasoning.

Read the Growth Hacking Service Buyer Report by clicking here

ABOUT — Growth Thinking

Growth Thinking is a design methodology for growth hacking by the bestselling author of Ready Set Growth Hack, Nader Sabry. It has been applied as a book and a $1 million challenge known as the 10-day growth hacking challenge, which has generated $138m in revenue. This methodology has been adopted by universities like Harvard and Stanford, fortune 500s (Google/Microsoft), and unicorns.



Nader Sabry — Growth Hacking

Strategist entrepreneur & innovator in space tech, government, & health/wellness. Has raised $20m directly /+$100m indirectly for startups.