Before getting into what you should consider when hiring a marketing agency, let’s first discuss why.
When perusing job descriptions for companies seeking to hire in-house marketing personnel, it isn’t uncommon to see a lengthy list of required qualifications. Does this look familiar?
MUST HAVE: Superior written and verbal communication skills, PR and media relationships, creative and design capabilities: (Photoshop, Adobe, InDesign), digital marketing prowess: (WordPress, SEO, SEM), social media savvy, brand strategy, consumer strategy, event marketing and production (virtual platform expertise a plus), experiential activation, negotiation, sales, management, budgeting and reporting. Bachelor’s degree, great, but a master’s degree is preferred. 10+ years of experience. Did we mention it is entry-level? And only pays 60K?
Do those unicorns even exist? If they do, they are certainly far too skilled to work in a stand-alone role. While in-house positions may have their own advantages, so does outsourcing. As the business grows and the need for marketing increases, ownership will need to be much more hands-on with internal roles, taking precious time away from all other necessary growth functions, like development, sales and operations.
All businesses need marketing to grow, plain and simple. So, here are a few things to consider when hiring an agency, shifting from or adding bandwidth to an in-house effort, that will continue to champion and expand your brand.
As the aforementioned laundry list suggests, finding a qualified marketing agency with a broad range of marketing skills is nearly impossible. Why piece together and manage in-house roles yourself when an agency has already assembled a team with knowledge of a wide range of industries and markets, has experienced a varied range of situations and problems that you will likely encounter as your business grows and achieves success with a diverse set of clients? Vette their staff, their case studies and ask for referrals from current and former clients.
Agencies have implemented software and platforms that make them efficient and accountable. These implementations aren’t inexpensive. Some agencies may charge administrative fees to help cover those reoccurring expenses and may even outsource certain capabilities to third parties, but the fees are far less than if you were to implement them on your own. Plus, they have the team (and vendors) that know these platforms/capabilities inside and out, maximizing their functionality and efficiency.
Your company does what it does and likely does it well, but oftentimes companies are so engrained and deep into a product or service that it becomes difficult to explore external or consumer perspective. An outside marketing agency acts as that fresh, transparent lens. One that can breathe life into campaigns and discover new opportunities. An ally that will not only speak to your current customers but personify and target new markets that may have previously gone untapped. Also, having a dedicated team to safeguard what your brand is all about in all outward-facing marketing not only protects what you have worked so hard to create but builds the consistency that is necessary to remain ahead of the competition.
There is an assumption that agencies are expensive but when you consider an in-house marketing position(s), even a small company can expect to invest anywhere from 75-300k in salaries alone. The larger you are, the cost begins to grow exponentially. And this doesn’t even begin to cover benefits and overhead costs or the cost associated with activating a marketing plan. Surprisingly, hiring a marketing agency is a cost-effective, scalable way to get the team, with the experience, skills, resources and ideas desired to either provide bandwidth to your existing, internal teams or be the marketing partner you need to grow your company.
Whether you are considering seeking out a marketing agency for a long-term relationship or a shorter-term project, we understand that it is a daunting decision that should not be taken lightly. The best partnerships are a result of mutual respect, transparency, and of course, working with people you like working with.
Thinking about your 2021 marketing goals or not sure where to start? We’re happy to help you navigate your next move – connect with us here!