Who will you call? No, not Ghostbusters, a digital marketing agency. At least that’s how most people react when they realize they need help with advertising online. Online marketing is increasingly a huge deal – 86% of B2C marketers say content marketing is a key strategy for success. Therefore, it makes sense to hire a professional who understands the fundamentals of the industry. Right? Well, hiring a marketing agency is not always the only answer, not even the best answer to your success.
Going straight in to hire a professional marketing team isn’t always the best solution. After all, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy that guarantees success. To grow and expand your business, you must use tools, strategies and tactics that are aligned with your business, your goals and your values. Otherwise you will fail and, unlike Frank Sinatra, you will not do it your way.
The cold reality is this: You don’t always need a digital marketing agency to ride white horses and save the day. Sometimes, whether your marketing is working or leveling off sometimes makes no sense. Here are four opportunities to keep in mind.
Benefits of Hiring a Marketing Agency
First, let’s clarify what a marketing agency is and what it does.
When most business people say “marketing agency”, what they often mean is an advertising agency. It is important to be clear that these two types of agencies are not the same, just as marketing is bigger than just advertising. Find out more about the differences between marketing and advertising are different here.
In keeping with this language, we will use the term marketing agency because, in fact, there are very few real marketing agencies as most companies manage their own brand strategic marketing internally. Companies that promote their business as marketing agencies are usually media agencies with some flavor or another. Likewise, we use the term marketing agency as a general term that includes consultants as well as a wide variety of ad options, including digital, search (SEO), social media, PPC (payment per click) and traditional advertising. agencies.
Among the benefits you get from hiring a marketing agency are:
Thorough knowledge of advertising and, if you choose a niche agency, they also have extensive knowledge of your market, as well. Experience, which is not always the same knowledge.
Relationships that support their advertising efforts, for example with content providers, influencers and subcontractors of specialized application agencies.
Extra hands that reduce the demand of your existing workforce and, at larger agencies, scale to handle short-term needs without the high costs of hiring dedicated employees.
Economies of scale are reflected in the spread of the tool costs over a number of clients. Of course, hiring a marketing agency also comes with drawbacks, including:
Lack of control, which is particularly problematic in digital marketing, where tight deadlines reduce approval options.
You are sharing resources with other clients. So requests from other clients could derail your efforts as your project goes by the wayside in favor of larger clients.
Differences in vision and strategy.
Time. It takes time and effort to work effectively with a marketing agency. Sometimes it’s easier and less painful to complete a project yourself instead of hiring a marketing agency. In addition to these drawbacks, there are situations in which it is just not a good idea to use an agency.
Your foundations are fragile
The foundation of your advertising strategy revolves around your website and the operational elements of your business. If any of these essential features aren’t ready and optimized for customers, your ads will only exacerbate disruptions in other parts of your business. For example, gaining sales faster than you can process orders will result in backlogs and late deliveries, resulting in low customer satisfaction generated by delays. Promoting products, and then not having enough stock to meet demand, results in backorders or out of stock situations that not only create bad experiences for customers, but waste more and more critical advertising dollars.
The same goes for a website or other critical elements for lead growth, such as your marketing automation system, which is not optimized. In essence, your website is an essential part of your marketing efforts as it helps convert leads into sales while still being accessible 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t treat their websites with the respect they deserve.
The result of errors in the operations or experiences of website users results in complaints, poor reviews, and negative word of mouth that quickly spreads in an increasingly digital world.
A thorough audit will reveal issues with your website, your operations, or other aspects that indicate that you are not quite ready for promotion.
But can’t a marketing agency do it for you, among other things? Yes, the task is in their wheelhouse, but most marketing agencies lack the experience and extensive knowledge required to effectively evaluate your business and you have yet to implement their suggestions, which is not that easy. or as direct as it looks on the surface. Until your business is ready to welcome the traffic you hope to get from your ads, buyers will bounce back because of the poor customer experience and Google will punish you. Between these sanctions, which last well into the future, and the negative reviews, your business will struggle to recover.
That is why it is better to invest in solid verification and resolve operational issues first. Once your operations are optimized for additional traffic and increased bandwidth, you may want to consider a branch. For that time it is counterproductive and a waste of precious resources.
Marketing is too expensive
There’s a bigger reason companies choose not to hire an agency that comes down to the fees. There is no threshold for what you should spend on marketing, but an overall figure is between 7% and 8% of your gross income. That’s nearly 10% of your budget on just one part of the business, which seems excessive. Take a look at the image below for hourly rates charged by agencies according to the size of their company size based on a Credo survey.
Agencies will tell you that this is an investment in your brand’s future, promising returns on ad spend to back up their claims. And, they’re right. As the old saying goes, “you have to break some eggs to make an omelet”. But another proverb says so; “You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip.”
Therefore, hiring a marketing agency may not be on the agenda at this point. Perhaps you are starting a small gig business and funding it through your job and your credit cards. It happens, so don’t be put off by the experts telling you you need to get off to a great start.
Be aware, however, that this is a short-term solution to your marketing problems. In the long run, you need marketing help and an advertising budget if you wish to grow beyond your garage. Don’t put off marketing or relegate it to low importance. As soon as possible, marketing should take place, even before other purchases. And hiring an agency is much cheaper than hiring dedicated employees to manage marketing until it reaches a certain critical mass.
You can do marketing yourself
Doing your marketing can make sense in the very early stages like the ones mentioned above. With a PPC audit checklist, a focus on best practices shared by experts, and a passion for success, you can achieve your immediate goals. It goes without saying that it is not an easy journey as you will have to learn the basics of marketing by keeping up to date with the latest trends and running a marketing campaign behind your pocket hardly ever works.
Instead, companies think that hiring employees saves money compared to an agency, which large companies certainly do. For most SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses), the cost of employees (with the right skills and experience), necessary software, and other essentials is much higher than the cost of hiring an agency.
You do not have time
Entrepreneurs see the financial aspects of investments and nothing else. As the person with the money, you are forced to focus on how much it will cost and what you can earn in the short, medium, and long-term. However, another equally essential resource that you need to consider in your decision: time.
Hiring an agency and expecting them to be solely responsible for your marketing efforts is an unhealthy approach. To get the most from a partnership, you need to work as a team and create ways to move forward. This means communicating regularly and asking for updates.
Those who don’t feel they have time to commit to a relationship should seriously consider signing on the dotted line. Otherwise, you may immediately regret the engagement.
However, this is not a good long-term strategy. For first-time startups, engaging in an agency relationship could overload bandwidth, but it’s something you need to do to support long-term growth.