Are you wondering if you should hire a marketing agency? The benefits of hiring a digital marketing agency are only applicable if you have a problem that digital marketing can solve and you believe marketing is an investment not an expense.
What are common problems that digital marketing can solve?
Here are few of the common challenges our clients face that you may or may not be experiencing. The good news is if you’re experiencing them you’re not the only one.
- You’re tired of losing to your competition.
- Your customers’ perceptions don’t reflect your culture.
- You’re not confident that your website is actually helping you achieve your goals.
- You’re frustrated with the lack of return on investment (ROI) from your marketing efforts and uncertain you’ll ever see ROI.
- Your video marketing does not reflect the quality of your products or services.
- You’re disgusted that you’re losing sales due to inconsistent customer experiences across marketing channels.
- Uncomfortable with the quality of content and design of your website.
- You’re confused that you’re not attracting the right customers or employees to your business.
- You’re irked that your reputation online does not reflect the actual experience of your customers.
- You’re worried your prospects know your competitors’ names better than your name.
- You’re not clear that you’re making the highest and best use of your marketing dollars.
What is a digital agency?
A digital agency is an advertising agency that has evolved to create experiences and promote brands through websites, video, voice search, google search, social media, interactive games, software, paid online advertising, search engine optimization and other digital channels.
You might be wondering “what is a marketing agency” and “how is it different from a digital agency?” Nearly every marketing agency is a digital agency these days. There is not a difference.
What does a marketing agency do?
Marketing agencies help business leaders achieve growth by distinguishing their brand, driving brand awareness, generating leads, creating engaging customer experiences, promoting solutions and helping them solve problems and challenges their customers face.
A digital marketing agency also does these things, but focuses primarily on digital channels to help you reach your customers.
Our next two questions will help you answer why you should hire a marketing agency and give you a clue to the strengths of a digital marketing agency.
Should I hire a marketing agency? Yes, here’s why:
- Great agencies will give your customers a seat at the table and help you align your organization around the customer. Your brand doesn’t belong to you. It exists in the minds of your customers. What your customers believe about your brand is true. An agency will help you see your customers in a new light.
Have you ever sat in a meeting with your executive team and someone says, what’s most important to our customers is “X.” Another executive chimes in and says no, what’s really important to our customers is “Y.” And the debate ensues. The reality is that both are correct but they have a different view of the customer’s journey from their seat or point of view.
- You’ll get access to a team of experts that ensures you’re making the highest and best use of your budget. An agency is going to have people that focus solely on search engine optimization, analytics and marketing technology, writers, designers, videographers, social media, brand/business strategists, media buyers, and market research.
Together these experts will help you identify the best few initiatives that can yield the highest return on investment.
- You’ll stay on top of the latest trends and marketing technology. Marketing is in a constant state of change. Agencies that are focused on results will help you identify the best marketing technology stack as well as the latest trends to ensure you’re reaching your customers based on their point of need.
- You’ll tell better stories that resonate with your customers. An agency is full of great storytellers. To engage your customers and move them to action you have to tell great stories. Great agencies will help you see that your customers are the hero of your story and you are the guide that helps them achieve their goals.
What to look for in a marketing agency?
- Culture, culture, culture. The best marketing is a result of great collaboration between the client and the agency. The client should act as a subject matter expert and the agency should take that subject matter expertise and turn it into compelling stories that move people to act. If your cultures do not align it will impact the work you’re going to do together.
- A disciplined approach to marketing. Marketing works best when it is done regularly and for enough time to measure the results. Typically there is never shortage of ideas for what we could do. Great ideas can come from anywhere. A good agency will help you identify the best ideas and help you test them methodically for continuous improvement.
- Humility, Honesty and Courage. Marketing is an ongoing experiment. What works in one industry or in the same industry for different companies does not work exactly the same way. Industry experience is helpful, but it’s more helpful to have an agency that will admit they don’t know or aren’t sure. They will tell you when they made a mistake. They will hold you accountable when you make a mistake. They will be courageous and try things that might fail.
What are the disadvantages of hiring a digital marketing agency?
- It’s going to feel like you have to get them up to speed on your business. If you own the business no one will ever know the ins and outs of your business the same way you do. No one knows why you started the business or the impact you hoped to make on your customers better than you.
Initially the agency is going to need a bit more of your time, but as time goes on they will become more and more proficient in your business.
- You might wonder if they have capacity to handle your needs. Agencies manage multiple clients and are balancing multiple priorities. How can you be sure that you’ll get the right priority and what you need? A simple question to ask to address this issue is how many accounts your account executive will be handling.
- Return on Investment takes time. Your agency is going to charge you fees for the services it provides and you’ll also have to pay for media costs in addition to those fees. Let’s face it we’ve all become accustomed to instant gratification. Your agency should set clear expectations about when you can expect a return on investment. If they can’t clearly articulate when and what to expect, you might want to look for another agency.
When considering if you should hire a marketing agency, the benefits should be weighed against the outcomes you’re hoping to achieve and whether they will extend and build upon your current success. A top digital marketing agency will provide you with straightforward answers to your questions and won’t make you feel like you’re being sold something you don’t need.