So you own a business, you’re an entrepreneur, or you help manage a company — and you’re contemplating the benefits of hiring a marketing agency, but you’re torn.
Can you relate to any of the below statements?
You don’t enjoy marketing
You’ve realized you don’t have the necessary skills
Your marketing results are a hit or miss
You wonder what is working, and what isn’t
You don’t have the budget to hire the marketing team you really need
There isn’t enough time
Then you are probably at that stage where you are wondering whether you should grow your internal team or outsource this to a marketing agency?
In this article we will be discussing the at the pros and cons of both options.
Want to watch the video where we discuss this? Click here
Hiring an admin assistant or a social media manager you have the benefit of having someone specific handling company brand operations.
For social media mainly, an in-house employee dedicated to representing the brand online will have easy access to content like behind the scene images and the inner workings of the company.
Some of the disadvantages are they will be spread quite thinly across platforms, content creation, paid advertising, staying up-to-date with certifications and industry trends, limiting your growth opportunities once again. This can also be costly because you will have to register for all the resource sites to help them work effectively, and then the money you will spend on finding out what actually works.
This is why agencies exist because you are not the only business asking this question and trying to figure out how to grow your business effectively.
Deciding on a marketing agency has the potential for predictable, scalable revenue growth.
Here are our top reasons to consider outsourcing some of your marketing to an agency like 360MS.
You will work with specialist in each department eg. copywriting, content creation, paid social media advertising, SEO, website development all these services are also skills,
I would highly recommend if you want the most value for money you want to work with someone who has a passion for what they do, and take pride in their work therefore leading to higher quality results.
Working with an agency not only allows you to grow your business exponentially, it also allows you to do this at a faster rate because you don't have the delay of recruiting, onboarding and training new staff members, and you get access to specialists on a pay as you need basis.
You will also be able to get a fresh “outside” perspective of where you are and what is needed to get you to that “ideal goal” you have in mind…
Still not sure, if you should keep your marketing in-house or contract an agency?
Do you or your team constantly say I'm too busy to get all this work done?
Do you lack the resources or capacity to get the job done?
Does your internal team lack the necessary capabilities and experience?
Do you lack new, innovative ideas and a fresh external perspective? Maybe you need upskill in web design or social media.
Do you need better or more frequent content? You may be able to update your brand's Facebook page here or there, but do you struggle to find content and resources to interact with and engage your followers in real time?
If you've answered yes to any of these questions, you've identified at least one business reason to start with your research on agencies.
So you are probably thinking, okay I see how this can benefit my business… But I am not sure how to approach this - once again you are not alone and this is a common question for business owners not sure what the costs are or how much they should be spending on their marketing.
So let me give you some guidance…
You should probably start by deep diving into your numbers and really be honest about where you are and what your goals are…Be clear about your business reasons for conducting an agency search.
Think this through before committing to an agency selection process, which takes time and resources by all parties involved.
What do digital marketing agencies really do?
If you've never worked with an external agency partner, you might not feel like you really understand what an agency does. Why do they exist? What motivates agencies and the people who work there? And most importantly, how can an agency help you build your brand and business?
An agency is a team that works in partnership with their client to compliment the client's internal capabilities and resources. So basically an agency partner fills your internal gaps and helps you build your brand/business and improve your marketing. Agencies have insight, expertise, experience, and resources that you don't have inside your company.
They know how to plan, measure, and optimize digital efforts across all the brands & marketing touch points. And for those of you who may not know touch points or your brand's points of customer contact from start to finish, let me explain quickly;
A touchpoint is any time a prospect or customer comes in contact with your brand before, during or after they purchase something from you. So for example, this could be a website, social media, search like Google, mobile engagements or via email.
For example, let's say you've launched a new product and you're ready to expand, but aren't really sure how. Hiring an external agency will help you launch into new markets and grow your business.
Here's what motivates an agency to want to work with a client:
Firstly, they need fair and reasonable compensation
Sure, they want to earn money, and just like any business they do want to see profit and need to earn income. But, agencies know that if the compensation isn’t fair, accurate and rewarding, the relationship may be short lived because the client won't be able to maintain that budget, or if the agency is under compensated, they won't be able to sustain the relationship.
Secondly, the ability to do great work.
What is great work? Well, that's marketing that builds the client's brand and business and wins awards and receives great industry press, which in turns showcases the agency’s abilities. Great work makes current clients want to give their agency more work and it also attracts new clients by building a great reputation and having successful case studies.
Thirdly, agencies love working with clients who motivate the agency's employees.
The agency business is a service business. They're made up of people, not machines.
So you really want to keep agency people engaged with your brand and view you as a great client. What is a great client? Well, that's someone who wants to do world-class marketing and work in partnership with the agency versus treating them like a vendor or transaction.
"Studies show that great clients, sometimes called clients of choice, have the best agencies actually fighting to work on their business, and they receive additional discretionary services that they don't pay for because the agency invests to build that relationship."
Tell us in the comments, have you considered getting additional internal or external help?
Would you consider hiring an agency?
The right agency isn't just a vendor or supplier, they're committed to your success. They understand that growing your business will also grow their business. So when considering hiring a marketing agency, there are a few important steps:
Look at where you are currently, what is your market share, how are you currently generating new leads and what is your ROI for each marketing strategy?
What are some of your current business challenges, What is your total current monthly marketing budget? (Typically, a marketing budget for any business is 5%–12% of their revenue. Newer companies may want to spend closer to 12% if they want to grow aggressively)
So do you currently work with an in house marketing person or team, or have you ever worked with an agency?
If they can truly save you money as well as bring in the sales- would you?
How to begin the agency selection process
Ask the agency to share their initial points of view about your company, business and brand challenges, your position versus competition, relevant industry trends, or what opportunities and threats they see.
You'll also learn more about individual people on the agency team, and get a sense about whether you have good chemistry.
So answer questions like, do our cultures align? Do our thought processes compliment one another? Does the agency add value to our internal thinking? Will the agency compliment our internal capabilities? Does the agency team work well together?
Let's review some of the common criteria used to evaluate agencies during a selection process.
Agency teams evaluate each individual's capabilities, experience, level, and tenure at the agency. Will this team deliver your objectives?
Strategic thinking; does the agency understand your business challenges and your brand?
How to differentiate YOU from your competition. And how to deliver a relevant and engaging brand and user experience across touch points.
Creative excellence, do you and the agency define creative excellence in the same way?
Will this agency develop best-in-class creative that aligns with your strategy, differentiates your brand, engages the target, and is integrated across touch points?
Execution, will the agency manage projects efficiently to meet deadlines and satisfy each project objective?
Cultural fit, does the agency understand your culture?
Are your two cultures aligned?
Perspective, the agency should have experience in your industry or that's relevant to your industry.
They should be able to apply those insights in addition to insights from their other clients industries to position your brand competitively.
Price and value. Is the agency's proposal on budget?
It's okay if they propose ideas beyond your budget, but they first need to provide a recommendation that is on budget.
Project proposal, response and presentation. Did the agency properly and accurately respond to all your questions and information requests? Did they pay attention to detail?
Signing the contract and getting started
You've chosen your new agency partner, but you're not ready to start the relationship yet. You first need to finalize the contract and scope of work. This includes the legal aspects of your arrangement and expectations, such as projects, timing, and roles and responsibilities on both ends as well as expectations and what defines success. That way everyone understands what is expected.
Now you're ready to develop your contract and scope of work and to bring the right people into the process.
We are always open to work with new companies and we do not feel there is a business too small or big for us to work with we pride ourselves in finding solutions for all our clients in every phase of their business, fill in the application form on our website so we can see what's the best next step for you and your business.
Join us via Social Media to get your Daily fix of tips and tricks to build your business: