As with anything, there are distinct pros and cons to working with any kind of business. While we would love to work with everyone, the fact is, not every company needs or should work with a marketing agency. Let's look at situations where you should consider hiring an agency as well as reasons to avoid it.
Why You Should Hire A Marketing Agency
"...You can get all the perks of having a multimillion dollar marketing staff, but stick within your budget. Outsourcing provides these digital experts -- who have likely worked with top-tier brands -- at a fraction of the cost with no long-term commitment."
- Ilya Pozin, Founder of Pluto TV and writer for Forbes Magazine
Hiring a marketing agency offers a number of perks to companies of all sizes. In addition to helping you maximize your time and budget, a professional marketing agency can help your company become a dominant force in your industry. Here are some of the top situations that warrant consideration of a marketing agency:
1) You are serious about growing your business
If you have established a large growth goal for the upcoming year, your business is in an ideal position to benefit from hiring a marketing agency. An accomplished marketing agency will have the scalability to grow alongside your business and provide the infusion of human resources necessary to help you achieve impressive growth. An agency should be all about growth and helping you reach goals that you can't reach on your own.
2) You need a strategic plan
Developing a strategic marketing plan is a challenge for many new business owners - ok let's be honest - it's a challenge for almost any business regardless of age. An accomplished marketing agency can gather the key pieces of information that are pertinent to your brand and can prepare a strategic plan that will enable your business to gain industry traction. Most importantly, an agency should consider the following key elements when developing your plan:
- Your company's vision and key values
- Evaluation of your current and previous marketing initiatives
- The strengths and weaknesses of your primary competitors
- Development of your target buyer personas
- The key qualities that differentiate your company from the competition
- Content plan
- Execution plan
3) You would like to streamline your marketing costs
When you hire a marketing agency to promote your brand, they assume responsibility for all employee hiring and payroll. You eliminate all costs associated with recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and managing marketing employees. Even more important, you avoid costly turnover costs if an employee turns out to be a poor fit for your company. For most businesses, these can be the highest costs that they incur. Pass the responsibility to the agency!
4) You want to get more out of your time
Businesses devote an average of about 53 to 82 hours and roughly $1,000 to training every newly hired employee. When key marketing tasks are handled by a marketing agency, the need to train in-house marketing employees is virtually eliminated. The marketing agency assumes all responsibility for training their employees, enabling your company to dedicate more time to critical action items.
5) You want to gain a competitive edge
Marketing firms possess (or should possess) the latest cutting-edge tools and techniques, enabling your company to benefit from their industry expertise. They attend seminars and trade shows to stay abreast of upcoming marketing trends and take part in continuing education meetings to keep their skills sharp. All of this is in an effort to keep your business ahead of your competitors. This gives you the inside track to being at the top of your industry!
6) Your primary focus is business development
By partnering with an agency, you can devote more time and resources to expanding your customer base and product lines. By establishing a relationship with an agency, you free up your time to focus on retaining your current customers and closing those that come in from inbound or outbound marketing activities.
7) Your in-house team is talented, but lacks specialists in key areas
Some companies already have one or more talented marketing specialists on board. However, they may require additional support in key areas. For instance, they may have an accomplished content writer and trade show specialist, but lack graphic designers or digital media specialists that can be acquired by hiring a professional agency.
Many businesses assume they don't need a marketing agency if they have a small marketing team internally, but in fact, those teams can often get the most out of working with an agency! By bringing in outside help, you can actually get more out of your internal team.
Why You Should NOT Hire A Marketing Agency
Clearly, there are many reasons to consider hiring a marketing agency. However, marketing agencies are not right for every industry, business, or situation. And frankly, they're not here to perform miracles. Here are some examples of circumstances that cannot be alleviated by hiring a marketing agency:
1) You have a very small budget...or no budget at all
If you only have a few dollars per month to dedicate to your marketing efforts, a professional marketing agency will likely be unable to help you. While many agencies will do their best to work within your budget, they will be unable to deliver significant results without a reasonable financial commitment on your part. Remember - marketing is an investment. You have to invest in it to see those results! Before you contact a marketing agency, make sure that you have set aside a reasonable budget for your marketing initiatives.
2) You would like to control every aspect of the marketing process
Entrepreneurs, CEOs, and CFOs are often accustomed to wearing many hats and can sometimes have difficulty relinquishing control of key initiatives. Before you hire a marketing team, you need to feel comfortable with the prospect of seasoned experts handling your marketing initiatives. It is also important to make sure that any internal team members are on board with your decision to hire an agency. A great agency will keep you involved and up-to-date throughout the process, but there is a certain amount of trust that you have to have in this relationship.
3) You have no idea what your goals or company mission are
While marketing agencies possess an immense amount of talent, they are not in the mind-reading business. Failure to properly convey your message and goals may result in unsatisfactory results. You can overcome this barrier by clearly outlining your marketing, sales, and business goals. Be sure that they're S.M.A.R.T. goals! If you don't have detailed goals, the agency will be driving blind.
Selecting the best marketing agency for your business
If you've determined that working with a marketing agency is the best path to reach your goals, the next question is - which agency? An experienced digital marketing firm will help you recognize the many benefits that you have been missing without professional guidance. Most importantly, an industry specialist will provide you with the leadership necessary to help your organization increase productivity and become a leader in your industry. Be sure to ask good questions, ask for work samples, and even contact some of their clients! Also - check out our 5 Questions You MUST Ask A Content Marketing Agency Before Hiring Them blog post!