by: WILL WILLIAMSON
As modern marketing involves a wide range of highly specialized skills (design, copy writing, SEO, coding, data analysis, etc), many organisations turn to marketing agencies to help them increase leads and build value from existing customers. Marketing agency fees vary depending on the scope and their specialism/experience but can be a significant investment for a business. Is the investment worth it in terms of ROI? Let’s examine the pros and cons of working with an agency.
Excellent Value For Money
In terms of ROI, contracting a good marketing agency can operate in a similar way to employing an entire team of marketing professionals, while only having to pay wages for one of them! You can effectively hire an entire marketing department, with all the specialist skills included, but just for the amount of time that is appropriate for your business. Consider the cost of employing a marketing team yourself – designers, SEO experts, writers, web developers, marketing strategists – with the expense of wages plus specialist software (marketers will need the tools to do their jobs) and training, not to mention an office large enough to house them.
You get access to all of this with a marketing agency at a fraction of the cost, and the service provided by an agency is scalable to your needs. If you need additional skills, they’ll source those skills from amongst their team, and you won’t pay for under-utilised staff if your requirements change.
How would you assign resources to marketing if you decided not to work with an agency? There are three basic components to any business:
1) Operations – including service delivery, production, logistics, R&D.
2) Finance – including payroll, database management, accounts, recruitment.
3) Marketing – including sales, business development, marketing and PR.
In an ideal world equal resources would be devoted to each part of the company. However, in most small businesses, resources are weighted heavily towards operations, with a smaller portion dedicated to finance and admin, and very little time or resources invested in marketing.
In practice, although a business may employ salespeople, marketing tasks are often distributed among other employees. Front of house/reception may be responsible for social media updates, advertising may be handled by a sales support administrator, directors may be responsible for writing blogs when they have time, and so on.
The result is a patchy sales and marketing strategy which is difficult to monitor and fails to deliver measurable results. Even worse, these activities come at the expense of other, more productive work, distracting employees from their main job.
Time is one of the most valuable organisational resources. Extra time is linked to increased productivity, motivation, and innovation. Working with a marketing agency relieves the pressure on non-marketing experts struggling to promote the business on top of their primary job. You get a marketing strategy that is adequately resourced and coordinated, and your own team can get on with what they do best.
Can The Agency Deliver?
Like any other business, marketing agencies only stay ahead of the game by investing in training, technology, research, and innovation. To check whether the cost of a marketing agency is justified, examine their credentials, feedback and most importantly the results they deliver. It can be difficult to judge until you actually start work, but you want to look at their track record, approach/methodology, and how they will report and measure results and progress.
Have They Got The Right Skills?
Marketing involves a plethora of specialist skills, technical knowledge, and industry experience as well as an understanding of strategy. Not all marketing agencies offer the full breadth of skill-sets to manage an entire marketing department, and some lack the deep level of experience required to generate real change.
Does the agency offer an all-round, multidisciplinary service – e.g. one that encompasses:
- marketing strategy,
- content creation,
- Google AdWords management,
- email marketing,
- sales enablement,
- web design – or does it specialise in only one or two services?
Check for accreditations and brand endorsements in the services they claim to specialise in.
Making An Informed Choice
Whether or not a marketing agency is worth it depends on your needs, goals, and budget. If you’re pouring resources into in-house marketing and still getting disappointing results, then rethinking how you allocate your marketing spend may benefit you.
A marketing agency could help your budget go further and bring bigger returns, even if it means spending slightly more to finance your growth plans. If you don’t currently spend anything on marketing, then you have everything to gain from working with an agency. For a modest sum you could drastically increase your business profile in a short amount of time. At Vawda Marketing, we would like to help you make your decision, shoot us an email for our help
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