Should I Hire a Marketing Agency?
Marketing agencies are great partners to a growing company, but how do you know if you are ready to hire a marketing agency? Business owners usually bring on marketing agencies to help with specialized marketing functions that they can't handle in-house. Some of the marketing initiatives that marketing agencies address are critical to growth, like having a well-designed search-optimized website or running online advertising.
However, hiring a marketing agency is an investment. You'll see a better ROI if you provide direction for the work they produce for your company. If you expect to hire a marketing agency, and they'll run with it, you're not setting yourself up for success. Even top-tier agencies need direction from the client.
So should I hire a marketing agency? If your answer is yes to most or all of these, then you're ready.
Are you prepared for the cost of hiring a marketing agency?
Hiring an agency is an investment of money and time that will pay off if done correctly. But the first reality check is making sure you are willing to pay the cost of an agency. Whether for website design, paid search advertising, or a video campaign, prepare to spend at least $30,000. The price will vary depending on the agency and your needs, but the cost of hiring a marketing agency will be significant to get started.
Have you defined your business goals?
One sign of a good marketing agency is that they ask you what your business goals are. The projects they work on should help you achieve your goals, so they need to understand your plans for the business. For example, do you want to increase revenue by 50% or enter a new market?
Do you have a marketing plan?
Some kind of plan for your marketing will be beneficial to your marketing agency. They will be handling one component of your marketing, and they should know how your other marketing initiatives relate to what they are doing. For example, what's your email strategy, your content marketing plan, etc.? What are your key message points? What is your target audience for marketing? Your marketing initiatives need to be integrated, whether your marketing agency or in-house team are executing them, so your prospects and customers have a seamless experience with your brand.
Who will be the main point of contact for the marketing agency?
Bringing on a marketing agency will take time. Especially at the beginning, their output will be best for your business if you thoroughly onboard them. Onboarding usually entails bringing them through your goals, your products/service, and your marketing plan. As they progress, you will need to regularly evaluate their work and ask questions to ensure what they're doing is right for your business. They shouldn't work in a silo on their own.
Deciding whether or not you should hire a marketing agency is a big decision. And making sure they are set up for success throughout your engagement is equally as important to the investment you're putting in.
An agency will help you with critical marketing initiatives, but they are most effective when you dedicate someone to managing them alongside your other marketing initiatives. That can be a lot of work for the owner of a business, and that's where a fractional CMO can help.
A fractional CMO can take charge of developing a marketing plan that answers all of the questions a good marketing agency will have. They'll also ensure the agency is working on the most effective initiatives to support your business goals. They will be the point of connection across all of your marketing efforts so that the way your company is represented to new and existing customers is clear and consistent. If your business is ready to hire a marketing agency, increase your ROI by giving them the information and direction they need to succeed.