STARTUP SMART: 3 COMPELLING REASONS TO HIRE A MARKETING AGENCY
Many businesses believe it is cost-effective to manage all marketing and advertising efforts in-house. But what most people are not aware of is that practically all Fortune 500 companies operate with a stellar in-house marketing team while working directly with supplier agencies to execute their initiatives.
As a small or medium-size business, especially if you are a startup, doing it all yourself will not save you money. Think about it. Often you don´t have the expertise, the knowledge or the resources. Or you believe marketing is a one-person job, so you look for an all-hands-on-deck Marketing Manager. This generally results in targeting the wrong KPI´s, not understanding data, poor measurement and missed deadlines, all leading to poor results that discourage or kill any marketing investment entirely. So consider the expertise, cost-saving tactics, and key relationships an agency adds to your business, and soon you´ll agree that it makes sense to look for outside help.
Let´s take a look at a job posting for Marketing Manager. These are a few of the tasks most companies look for - and expect - one person to handle:
- Create and manage all public relations processes.
- Create and own KPIs like customer acquisition, online conversions, website traffic, and social media reach.
- Create processes with the sales department to hand off leads and working together to build the business.
- Create, post and share relevant brand content like blogs, eBooks, and whitepapers.
- Manage the creative process for ads and social campaigns.
- Web design and development
- Develop and implement strategy for several brand categories
- ·Handle paid/unpaid social, SEO, SEM, email, web, and affiliate marketing
- Hire, Manage and mentor a world-class marketing team
- Manage and expand marketing and advertising budget
As incredible as it sounds, there are very few candidates that can execute on that description. In fact, with the ever-changing world of marketing, it's hard to find anyone that can handle the day-to-day tasks involved, stay on top of evolving trends, and build a qualified team. The vast range of daily marketing tasks is just too overwhelming and complicated for any one person to handle effectively.
So here are three reasons why hiring a marketing agency is your best choice:
1. An Agency Brings Experience To The Table
There are lots of highly qualified marketing managers, and lots of them do amazing work. But they are just "one person," and often have to be a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. Being stretched too thin to handle all the tasks and strategy needed to successfully market your business online isn't ideal.
A marketing agency brings experts from every field together to create a custom campaign strategy to reach goals. With a strategist, an SEO expert, a project manager, a social media manager, a content creator, a copywriter and a designer working on your campaign, suddenly the level of expertise and experience available are multiplied many times over. We´re not saying you should not hire a Marketing Manager, but why have one person juggling 7+ jobs internally, when you have affordable alternatives?
Most importantly, a marketing agency does this work for businesses like yours all day, every day. While your campaign is going to be tailored to your exact needs and goals, the experience that comes from seeing what works for similar companies and industries helps avoid the trial and error so costly to a startup. You know what you're looking for from your web, marketing, and sales this year, and an experienced marketing agency is going to help you achieve those goals faster.
2. An Agency Gives You More Bang For Your Buck
Let's say you find the perfect marketing manager. Odds are you will need to pay them $100,000+, depending on your company and needs. Additionally, you must put together what is called a Minimum Viable Marketing (MVM) team to make it work. That amounts to an additional five hires at an average cost between $200,000 and $350,000 a year. Now let's look what spending $100,000 a year with the right marketing agency could get you:
- Digital Marketing: Implementing campaign strategy to drive key performance indicators like lead generation, engagement, insights, conversion and traffic growth through tools like email marketing, social media, PPC, and blogging.
- Sales Enablement: Integrating a dynamic sales methodology & system to increase the likelihood of new customer acquisition, and unify marketing and sales efforts toward common goals.
- Web Services: Improving the presence and effectiveness of your website for conversions and goal achievement through a redesign, restructuring, SEO management, analytics, user experience and specialized content creation.
If you can find a marketing manager that is going to walk into your office with that kind of battle plan and promise to execute this all alone, you should be impressed. But the world of digital marketing is changing too rapidly to rely on one person to develop and execute your entire marketing strategy. You need to work smart, and a value-added partnership with an agency will make a real impact on your business.
3. An Agency Works Smarter
Modern digital marketing isn't just about the number of hours you spend trying to reach your goals; it is about spending your time efficiently. The best marketing managers can learn and adapt to changes in strategy, but it takes them time to get up to speed. If you already feel you are behind the times with your digital marketing, getting someone acclimated to your new website management tool or social media platform will only slow things down.
When you hire a marketing agency, you are getting time spent in the right places to make a huge impact. No more throwing 40 hours a week at the web to test what moves the needle. With a smart agency you get smart time management and a scope of work built to follow your company compass, unlike the in-house manager counting the hours to 5 PM. Agencies know where to spend time in the first six weeks of a campaign when to focus on building your content base, and when to open up the PPC budget.
Bringing in a marketing manager may seem like the right move, but only if this person becomes the liaison between your company and a partner agency that will execute. And there're a lot of marketing agencies out there, but only a handful of them that can provide the complete service package you need. Your internal Marketing Manager should have the knowledge and experience to hire the right agency and effectively steer them to accomplish your company goals.