The Definitive Guide to
Answers for (almost) all things digital.
Should I hire a marketing person or agency to help?
If you’re a leader in a growing business, you’ve felt the overwhelm of too many hats and the to-do list the length of your arm. Both individuals and organizations thrive when they’re positioned to work within their strengths…and let’s be honest, no one is good at everything (even if your mom tells you differently).
If swamped is the new normal for your in-house team, or you incorporate these words into every other conversation, “That’s a great idea, put it in the parking lot for when things calm down,” then hiring a creative partner to come alongside you to develop and execute your digital strategy could be your best move.
Done well, outsourcing pieces of your marketing can be a results multiplier, providing the support you need to check big picture goals off the departmental to-do list.
Many different organizations can benefit from partnering with a creative agency. Maybe you’re a start-up that isn’t quite ready to hire an in-house team. Or perhaps your business is established and you’re looking for a long-term partner with both strategic focus and the tactical know-how to get stuff done. Whatever the situation, when it’s the right creative agency or individual who will partner with you to meet your unique needs, there is a great deal of value in this type of collaboration (without the endless interviews and hiring drama).
What does a digital marketing agency do?
A marketing agency worth its salt helps clients succeed by building visually stunning and compelling websites, marketing campaigns and brand identities that build connections, inspire action and drive growth. The tactics used to get there will vary based on the unique goals of the business, but the end-game to a creative partnership is a positive impact to the organization’s bottom line.
Working with a creative partner provides the perfect blend of outside talent to help you get it all done. In addition, it provides access to fresh, external perspective, any time you need it. Marketing may not be your biggest priority, but it is for a marketing expert. You tell them where you want to be, and they do the rest.
How much does a digital marketing agency charge?
Like the topic of budget, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how much a creative partner will cost. Instead, let’s indulge in a cost/value illustration, shall we?
Scenario One: You could hire a new team member to fill one (or two if you’re lucky) specific functions (i.e., graphic design, copywriting, marketing strategy, etc.), pay them a full-time salary (and all of the employment business expenses on top of that), and STILL have work that falls outside of their talent repertoire (the all-in-one design, strategy and content marketer is a bit of a unicorn these days).
Scenario Two: You could partner with a creative agency that is stacked with a full team of seasoned talent (not entry-level up and comers who are just learning the ropes) for less than the total annual cost of a single entry-level employee.
We know we’re biased, but scenario two offers undeniable value.
What should I look for in a digital marketing agency?
There is no shortage of options in the field, and there are many great choices. Here are things to consider when searching for an agency that best fits your needs:
- Strategic action takers: Above all else, look for a partner who believes that every tactic and deliverable should be rooted in strategy. Consider this: Let’s say you build the most beautiful, shiny airplane to ever hit the tarmac. But, it doesn’t fly. What do you have? A giant (and very expensive) waiting room. Anyone can make something pretty, but if that sparkly new something doesn’t improve your bottom line, it’s essentially useless. Look for a partner who can contribute both strategy and execution – someone who brings critical thinking and new ideas to your meetings, and then follows up with elegant execution of those ideas.
- Question askers: The right creative partner will care about your business and helping you grow it – so their recommendations will be unique and out of the box where it makes sense (it’s okay, you’ll outgrow that box pretty quickly anyway). For example, many creative projects begin with a request for a specific “thing” – a logo or a simple website, perhaps. But after Q&A sessions and strategy discussions, those projects grow into a broader campaign or lead generation strategy that actually moves the needle.
- Problem solvers: Creative partners extend your knowledge base and are motivated by helping you find solutions to barriers within their area of expertise. While an agency may have a diverse set of clients, they often share the same set of challenges. Building awareness in a cluttered market; generating qualified, sales-ready leads; having way too much to do and not nearly enough time to “master” it all; nearly everyone struggles with these same obstacles.
- Organized professionals: They follow up when they say they will, they’re able to give you clear answers on important variables like budget and timeline. They can speak to a process and what next steps look like for everyone involved.