As a business owner, you know that marketing is crucial to the success of your business. You’ve done some research, read blogs, talked to fellow business owners and feel like you have a pretty good idea of what you need to focus on. You also know that today’s marketing environment is more complex than ever, with multiple channels and tools to master in order to be effective.
Now you need to decide if you and your team can execute on your plan alone or if you need to hire a marketing agency. Developing a plan is one thing, but executing a marketing plan another story. You'll want to measure the time and investment it will take you to master the strategy and obtain the tools required to succeed - part analylst, part writer, part technologist, part artist against the cost of hiring a marketing agency.
How do you decide if it’s time to hire a marketing agency? First, ask yourself a few questions:
- What amount of time can I realistically devote to developing a marketing plan and executing on that plan?
- Do I have someone on staff that can afford to devote this time while maintaining their current duties?
- Do I, or the team member that I delegate, have the skills and resources necessary to ensure that I am spending my time and investment wisely?
What to Look For In A Marketing Agency
If you’re not comfortable with your answers, or if you don’t feel confident going it alone anymore, perhaps you should start interviewing agencies. Finding the right fit and then knowing how to use them is crucial.
- Hire a marketing agency that will act as your partner. You do not want a “yes man.” Find an agency that will challenge your ideas and your thinking.
- Be clear with expectations before you sign any agreement. Both you and the agency should understand the scope of the work and what success will look like.
- Establish clear, specific goals and then task the agency achieving results. Let them do what you hired them to do.
- Set a clear communication schedule. When will the agency communicate? What involvement will be required by you and your team members? What reporting can you expect?
Not all agencies are a fit for all businesses. Be sure that the agencies you contact have the capabilities you are seeking. If you think you may need a new website, be sure they offer this service. If you believe your business would benefit from content marketing, do they have content marketers on staff or do they outsource these services? Do they offer creative services? What types of clients have they had success with?
Proof of Work and Culture
Start with their website. You can usually find the answers to these questions there as well as get a feel for their culture. Don’t underestimate the importance of company culture. People do their best work when they are valued and happy.
Hiring an agency can free you up to do what you do best, running your own business. But it is a significant investment. The time you take to research potential marketing agencies up front will pay in the end. Choosing the wrong agency can be frustrating and costly. Choosing the right agency can be very profitable and a bit magical. If you’re thinking it's time, you can check out our work and the rest of our website. Or, contact us, we’d love to hear from you.