4 signs you’re not ready to hire a marketing agency
A few months ago we published an article on the 5 signs it’s time to hire a digital marketing agency. While strong partnerships between business and marketing agencies can be an effective way to increase sales, there are times when this option may not be the best solution, or at least not yet. Here are some situations where it pays to think twice before hiring a marketing agency.
1) your paid search budget is too small
How important is paid search to your digital marketing strategy? Internet users make more than 3.5 billion Google searches per day. In addition, 75% of consumers read only the first page of Google results. Therefore, it is essential that your business website appears on the first page of search engine results (SERP) for your relevant keywords. This is the reason why marketing agencies devote so much time and resources to search engine marketing (SEM).
If your paid search budget is too small (less than $ 1,000 per month), you won’t see significant increases in your web traffic because competition for keywords can be fierce (and often expensive). Google Paid Search ads (which appear at the top of the results page, as in the screenshot below) are cost-per-click, with the price of a click being determined by demand for the keyword .
If your monthly paid search budget is only $ 500 and the cost per click for a given keyword is $ 25, you can only generate 20 clicks per month. That’s less than a click per day! Also, with a small paid search budget, the agency won’t be able to devote as many resources to keyword research and ad creation.
At the end of the line – Since agencies often use search engine marketing as a central part of the overall strategy, a small SEM budget will not be enough to have an impact.
2) You haven’t set realistic goals for what you hope to achieve by investing in marketing
Smart investments in marketing can produce positive results for your business. However, the only way to maximize your investment is to know up front what you want to achieve. Before you start contacting agencies, you should have an idea of how much you are capable of spending and what specific goals you have.
Specific goals can include what actions your audience needs to take and within what specific time frame (for example, a dental office may want to increase patient requests by 30% year over year from August to November). Other goals might include adding a blog to a website, launching an Instagram channel, or launching Facebook ads. To get you started, Hub Spot offers a free target setting model based on the SMART method (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound).
For example, trying to get a Coca-Cola-level ad campaign by spending just a few hundred dollars is an unrealistic and difficult goal to expect from a marketing agency. The best way to start is to research the competition to get an idea of how much you should be spending.
It should be noted that it may take some time for the results to be reflected in your bottom line. This is especially true if you are launching a new product line, expanding into a new market, or starting something from scratch. If you don’t have a goal in mind or believe that a one-time investment in marketing will instantly generate the sales you need, an agency may not be for you.
At the end of the line – The most successful marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s important to be realistic about what a marketing agency can do and when they expect to help you reach your goals.
3) You are unwilling to receive advice or experiment with new marketing strategies
Part of what you get from a marketing agency is strategy and advice. This will include agency representatives analyzing your current marketing strategy and suggesting new channels, budgets or optimizations based on past performance.
If you’re used to having one or two people internally to determine the entire marketing strategy, there might be some hindsight in having a voice from outside the company weighing in on what you need to do.
If the current internal marketing strategist is not open to suggestions, the partnership could be strained. For example, a customer who cares about a full-page color ad in The New York Times may not want to hear from an agency that the money would be better spent on a diverse mix of digital channels.
In addition, the marketing landscape is constantly changing and an agency will likely be on the cutting edge of the latest trends. The willingness to try new things is important for the evolution of a business’s marketing. You have to be prepared to let marketing agencies do what they do best: test and implement new strategies.
At the end of the line – Working with an agency is a partnership and conversations often involve compromises. Approach any agency partnership with an open mind and your campaign will have a better chance of success.
4) You don’t have the time or team resources to manage marketing efforts
One of the benefits of working with an agency is the ability to save your employees time by outsourcing a lot of your marketing. However, agencies cannot do everything themselves. They need your team’s guidance on brand messages and guidelines, approval of campaign launches, time to review analytics reports with you, and resources like photos and other documents.
We recommend that you have at least one person, ideally from an internal marketing team, in your company who can serve as the primary point of contact with the agency and help manage marketing efforts.
At the end of the line – Agencies always need your team’s input to run campaigns. If you want to work with a marketing agency, you will still need to devote time, staff, and resources to relationship management.
So when will the right time to hire an agency?
One of the biggest advantages of using an agency is having a team of subject matter experts who can help you refine and execute your strategy at a much lower cost compared to hiring. ‘a complete internal team. They can also suggest a few ways to optimize your budget for the best results.
An agency may be right for you if they have marketing experience in your industry and have a track record of success with similar clients. We recommend these 15 questions to ask a digital marketing agency when deciding if this is the right solution for you.
Ready to take the plunge and get in touch with a digital marketing agency? Contact Pacific54 today to speak to a representative.