Even the most experienced marketing professional can find the evolving digital landscape daunting. After all, a single innovation can upend years of industry tradition.
So how do brands stay atop these trends and thrive in a digital world that is constantly in flux? More and more brands are choosing to outsource their digital strategy to an agency partner for an integrated marketing approach. Agencies combine a range of services and channels to craft a holistic digital marketing strategy for clients — custom-made for their needs and focused on increasing revenue.
Integrated marketing works by meeting customers where they are by spreading advertising over several channels. Strategies can entail something as simple as combining email marketing and SEO to accelerate newsletter growth, or pairing video creative with social media to skyrocket a social media following.
Agency professionals create successful campaigns for diverse clients full time, often working on several unique client accounts every day. The exposure to a wide range of businesses and industries keeps agency professionals sharp and on the cutting edge of the latest marketing strategies.
Demystifying the three myths: Common Concerns Related to Outsourcing
The main concerns that arise when considering whether to hire an agency usually revolve around the three C’s: control, communication, and cost.
Control – Brands are often reluctant to hand control over to an agency, fearing they won’t be able to capture the spirit of the brand. However, agencies have a diverse pool of talent and a wealth of specialists who are adept at creating marketing strategies across industries.
When relinquishing “control” to an agency, a brand gains:
- A wide range of marketing professionals with specialized competencies.
- Final say over strategy and budget.
- A broader set of options and access to a wide range of creative talent.
- The flexibility to pivot to a new strategy based on the current environment, courtesy of increased manpower.
Communication – When working with an agency, brands are often wary of misunderstandings and poor communication leading to inefficiencies. However, the benefit of the partner/agency relationship means that touchpoints are efficient and goal-oriented.
Clients should expect regular presentations of strategy plans, quarterly reports, and performance reports when partnering with an agency. It’s also common to have one main Point of Contact (POC) in the agency to liaise with, eliminating the need to talk to multiple people and streamlining efficiency.
To make sure communication is clear:
- Designate an individual or a team as your counterpart to the agency’s POC.
- Convey to the agency how you want to be contacted and how often — i.e. via Slack, email, status calls, etc.
- Ensure that all stakeholders are present during strategic planning meetings.
- Honor deadlines to provide the agency any collateral they need.
Cost – Another major reason brands are squeamish about working with agencies is the perceived cost. However, to match the level of proficiency an agency offers, a company would have to hire, train and retain a team of in-house experts.
Assembling such a team means hiring for at least several new positions, including designers, writers, social media specialists, data analysts, and content directors. The time burden on HR (it takes around 42 days to fill a position) and money used to source talent may be better allocated to an outsourced marketing budget.
There is a long ramp-up time as a new in-house team builds its operating system and plan of action. Agencies already have systems and workflows in place that give them the ability to hit the ground running and work towards your company’s goals.
Working with an agency costs less because:
- It costs an average of $4,129 to hire a single employee (and you’d need several).
- Agencies account for every dollar of spending, and their results.
- Agencies can leverage their scale to drive higher long-term ROI.
Think of it like this: We often entrust investments like retirement funds and 401Ks to experts to manage, because it’s likely such firms have more collective wisdom, proven experience, and professional options than we have as individuals. The same is true of agencies — they have an extraordinary range of marketing experience and a wealth of knowledge that work to help brands smash their professional goals.
Accelerate Your Business
Partnering with a trusted agency that has a vested interest in your company will help elevate your brand to the next level, reduce the burden on in-house staff and make the best use of your budget.
If you’d like to get a better sense of what it would be like to work with an agency, or would like to learn more, let’s talk.