Going straight in to hire a professional marketing agency 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, strategy 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.
You don’t always need a digital marketing agency to ride white horses and save the day.
Benefits of Hiring a Marketing Agency
In keeping with this language, we will use the term marketing agency because there are very few real marketing agencies as most companies manage their brand strategic marketing internally. Companies that promote their business as marketing agencies are usually media agencies with some flavour 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 (pay 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 experience of your market.
- 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.
- Proven experience.
- Economies of scale are reflected in the spread of the tool costs over many 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 favour 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 result of errors in the operations or experiences of website users results in complaints, low 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.
That is why it is better to invest in factual 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 more significant reason companies choose not to hire an agency 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. Please 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.
Therefore, hiring a marketing agency may not be on the list 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. Please 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 the 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 is not a comfortable 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 save money compared to an agency, which large companies certainly do.
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.
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.