When it comes to promoting your products or services to your target audience, marketing is key. No doubt, presentation is everything when it comes to both new and existing businesses. Whether this happens in the form of a television broadcast, blog articles, flyers, billboards, or social media posts, marketing is essential in order to build a business’s brand awareness and bottom line.
However, marketing is not only about the visuals (although that is a huge thing). Businesses also need to track and monitor their campaign performances, as well as pivot or tweak anything if unexpected events arise. This takes a lot of time and effort away from doing what a business does best – which is improving and creating more products and services for their customers. As such, most companies choose to outsource their marketing efforts to a marketing agency.
Here, we talk about how a brand can work with a marketing agency – from what types of agencies are there, how to pick the right partner, and how to ensure a smooth road for future endeavours. Below, we have listed a few things to keep in mind:
When should you work with an agency?
There are a few reasons that a business may choose to work with a marketing agency. Here are a few popular reasons below:
Top talent: Most agencies have access to and are filled with top talent, with plenty of employees having experience with delivering high-quality work to numerous organisations at any given time. As such, if you work with a marketing agency, you are likely to gain access to better talent than if you were just hiring or working on marketing campaigns in-house.
Cost: On the whole, it is a lot more cost-effective to partner with a marketing agency than it is to hire a full-time employee. This is because hiring is very time-consuming, as you not only need to find the right person to do the job, but you also have to spend time onboarding and training them. Whereas if you worked with an agency right off the bat, you do not need to spend time training or giving them any paid leave.
Experience: A full-time employee typically only has experience in one particular area (or a few select areas at most), or they are either a generalist without any single specialisation. However, in the ever-changing world of digital marketing, finding a single full-time employee who can do everything you need is nearly impossible (at most you have to hire more than one). Fortunately, agencies have plenty of talent with their own unique experiences that they can bring to the table when monitoring and executing your campaigns.
New perspective: Working with a marketing agency can help to provide your in-house marketing team with a fresh new perspective on any campaigns. For instance, if you cannot agree on a certain strategy internally, or which goals to prioritise, you can always turn to a marketing agency that can provide third-party input on certain topics. Overall, when internal teams disagree on something, having a neutral party can help to break through the gridlock and allow them to reach a compromise.
Types of agencies
If you have decided that working with a marketing agency is the way to go, then there are a few types to keep in mind. You must remember that different agencies cater to different types of businesses and needs, so make sure that you do thorough research before committing to one.
Advertising agencies: An advertising agency generally has a larger scope and tends to manage most forms of paid advertising, including both digital and print. Most often, these agencies are also in charge of designing the graphics, publishing the ad, as well as monitoring how its traffic goes.
Full service: Some agencies will call themselves ‘full-service’. This tends to mean that the agency wears a lot of hats and does a little bit of everything. That being said, being a full-service can also be a weakness. This is because it is actually impossible to be excellent at every service, meaning that full-service marketing tends to be reactive. As the old saying goes: “jack of all trades, master of none.”
Public and Media Relations: These agencies tend to focus on their client’s public perception. This can include creating advertising campaigns, public speaking events, outreach to bloggers or influencers, as well as other public events.
Brand or creative agencies: These agencies usually specialise in making creative deliverables such as visual identities (logos), websites, print ads, and more. Most of the team is run by ‘creatives’ – namely designers or copywriters.
Social media marketing agencies: These agencies specialise in using social media to promote their client’s brand message. They help with creating social media content, publishing it, and monitoring its traffic. Most of these agencies are also in charge of creating content calendars to show you when is the best time to publish your content.
How to hire:
Analyse qualities you need
The type of agency that you end up working will depend on a lot of factors. This means you need to do thorough research on them before making a commitment. For example, take a look at what services and packages they offer, and their portfolio. Have they worked on businesses similar to yours? Do they have expertise working on businesses in your industry? You should also find out how much industry experience the agency has, whether they have won any awards and prizes, and how they have given value to their clients.
It is always best to ask for an estimate quote so you know exactly what you’re getting into, which can help you to better budget and plan. Anther thing that you may want to check is their testimonials and other social proof. Looking at how they have worked with previous clients will allow you to see how they may interact with you and solve your problems.
Declare expectations upfront
Always set your expectations upfront with your agency partner. As such, you should inform them of your business goals, what metrics you are looking for, and anything that is not acceptable for you. You should also tell them your aspirations regarding the marketing campaign, and if you have any future plans with it. By laying out everything in the beginning, you clear the air, making it less likely for any clashes or differences in opinions to come up later.