Marketing agencies aren’t just reserved for giant corporations with endless budgets, many small businesses can benefit in dozens of ways (including financially) by partnering with well qualified and well-matched marketing experts.
First, let’s establish that budget is usually the biggest barrier to entry for small businesses who would like to hire a professional marketing team. This obstacle is often based on a presumption and not with a growth mindset. While retainer and fee structures can vary wildly from agency to agency, it is possible to find highly skilled agencies within your budget. This process, just like hiring a new employee, needs to be viewed as an investment rather than an expense.
There is no substitute for the skills, experience, and scope that a qualified marketing firm can leverage for a small business. Many small business owners try to “sub-out” their marketing strategy to a handful of advertising sales reps and hope that those reps are selling them a product that is in the best interest of the business. These salespeople from the local newspaper, radio station, television station, or billboard company, all have a job to do and that is to get your business to buy their product. Your marketing strategy should not rely solely on the advice of sales reps.
A well-invested agency has access to a wide range of tools, tech, and talent, so it is often the case that an outside team can perform at a higher productivity level than in-house staff. The outside marketing team working on a project for their client is solely focused on that client, their goals, and the production cycle of their campaigns. This also translates into a greater ability to focus on the overarching mission and marketing goals of the client because an agency’s staff isn’t being distracted by in-house administrative chores or daily operational struggles that are common in small businesses where employees are often wearing multiple hats. When working in conjunction with a dedicated in-house marketing team, a marketing agency can exponentially boost the productivity and efficiency of each campaign and yield a higher return on investment.
As was mentioned, agencies have access to tons of great talent, technology, and tools-of-the-trade; this is inherent in the agency’s ability to work efficiently. There is also a built-in benefit to the client that allows an agency to handle almost any project (even very complex campaigns or creative projects) from ideation to delivery without slowing down the productivity of the client’s staff. The agency can worry about outsourcing, cross-training, talent gaps, and all of that fun HR stuff that goes along with keeping a diverse and well-rounded group of talented individuals.
Lastly (and most importantly) is growth. What is the point of hiring an agency and spending thousands of dollars if that investment isn’t going to yield a return? Even worse, what if you’re just guessing at which campaigns work and which don’t? Fully-integrated agencies that are growth-driven are focused on the data and they are evaluating performance metrics every day. Your business’s relationship with a high-quality agency can provide valuable business data, help you optimize advertising budget allocation, increase ROI, and decrease wasteful spending in your marketing department.
Choosing a marketing partner is an important decision that you should make carefully. There are several great agencies out there who are dedicated to the goals of small businesses. Many agencies will offer a trial-run or a short introductory period with a smaller integrated service, like Managed Advertising; taking an agency for a test drive before committing to a full retainer is a great idea.
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