When do you know it’s time to hire a marketing agency?
When do you know it’s time to hire a marketing agency?
The “When to Hire A Marketing Agency Question “ is a big one and often challenging for many businesses and not just the small ones. It’s an important decision with huge implications. Often it’s weighed against the desire to build from within or affordability. Building an internal infrastructure certainly has its advantages, however, as the digital side of marketing continues to grow and is considered an integral part of today’s marketing mix, there will be a point when building a team internally becomes a very expensive proposition.
At some point you’ll hit that moment when outsourcing for at least one set of tasks is necessary to keep on track and up to date. For the small to medium size business, it comes down to money most of the time. And that can keep you up at night with a bad case of the “what ifs”. So, what if it is starting to make more sense to hire an agency. How the heck do you know when the right time is and how to you assure yourself and other stakeholders that it’s the right move? Having been in this same predicament, I found weighing the pro’s and cons is very helpful but to do that you have to face the inevitable biases or fears that are lurking there. Here are some of the more familiar ones I’m sure you’ll recognize:
Too much going on so nothing is getting done and we can’t keep up!
Been there. It seems like there at least 50 priorities competing for attention and they are all due- NOW! You barely have time to think straight. So you painstakingly go through them all and prioritize. The ones that mean money coming in usually get dealt with first. So everything else gets delayed or moved to the bottom of the list and that means playing catch up or cut. Marketing (which you know you should do) often gets chopped first. If you have a sales team, well, they are just going to have to pick that ball up and run with it. The problem here is you never do catch up and people can only do so much before they wear out. Marketing connects with your current and potential customers when real live humans cannot be superhuman and be everywhere in person.
Done right, marketing turns cold leads into warm ones. A marketing agency can take this off your plate and do it well. After all, it’s why they are in business with the only thing they do. So, take five, and put the word out there. Be clear on what your expectation is, talk to those that respond, and check them out. It’s like hiring a staffer; they have to the have the experience as well as skills and it has to be the right fit.
Sales Are Down, Flat or Stagnant
If ales are suffering, something isn’t working. It could be that you are facing new and growing completion, or it could be that your sales staff is maxed out, or clients have cut the budget. Worse, some have left. The point is money is not flowing in the door. And if you haven’t already cut your marketing, what you are doing isn’t the best and frankly just isn’t working. Take a S.T.O. P. (Stop, Think, Organize and Proceed).
A good marketing agency who really wants to do business with you will often offer consultation which will help you see things more clearly and will possible solutions. Have the conversation. They’ll take a look at what you’re doing now and offer some suggestions for improvement. You’ll come away with a better feel for how marketing done right can move things forward. And you will find which agency is the right fit for you and your team.
There Aren’t Any Leads And What Is There, Sucks
Getting good, qualified leads is not the easiest thing in the world and even if the sales team is working their preverbal butts off, the leads just don’t seem to be biting. This is a scary place to be for any business. But saying there aren’t any good leads? That’s just giving up. So, it’s time to take a good objective look at what isn’t working? Are you current with your lead generation marketing efforts? Is a different strategy or method called for and which one will be the right one? A good marketing agency is a good partner and will take the time to understand your business and processes so they can offer the right solution, working with our sales team and give you the metrics you need to measure results.
You Don’t Have the Know-How
Sorry, but it’s kind of obvious. If you aren’t managing the rudimentary things -you have a problem. When you’re your team is saying things like “what’s SEO” or “I’m a neophyte when it comes to marketing”, you have a problem. If you are saying “I don’t like or believe in marketing”, you have a problem. The solution is to get out of your own way and stop forcing marketing on resources that have no or next to no clue. Stop saying no and speak to some candidate agencies. They are in the business they are in for a reason. Give it a try. You might just like the results.
The Classic. I Can’t Afford and Agency.
If sales and revenue are suffering that first thing that comes out of your mouth is “ “I can’t afford it. Can you afford not to? Yes there are times when this is true but most times it’s about fear. Yes taking on the full array of services can get up there but you don’t have to buy everything on the menu. When you talk to an agency and are clear about things, they will (if they are worth their sault) find an affordable solution to get you started. When you are successful, so are they.
So it’s in everyone’s best interest to find the solution that works best. Often you will find the cost of the skill set and experience an agency brings to the table is about the same as hiring one employee that will have less bandwidth to get it all done. So, if you find yourself identifying with these situations, constantly worrying, and losing sleep, maybe the time to hire a marketing agency is now. You owe it to yourself and your team to at least have the conversation.
By: Ellen Smith | SHO agency | August 2019