As your company and brand grows, you will eventually have to expand your marketing efforts to a wider audience and develop a more in-depth marketing plan. Marketing agencies are meant to provide a way to scale your marketing operations quickly and efficiently to match the growing needs of your brand. Such services usually involve a hefty fee, and it can be difficult to gauge whether or not you are getting your money’s worth.
Marketing agencies differ from their advertising brethren in that they have a much broader scope of responsibility. They care for a brand’s overall health and lifespan over different media and venues, which may include advertisements. Some agencies specialize in certain types of marketing, such as SEO, or specialize in certain clients, such as fashion or software, while others are more general-purpose. Full-service agencies often include design, advertising, media buying, and publicists in addition to marketing.
Experience. Agencies are able to tap into a wealth of institutional and individual marketing experience, much more than an in-house team would ever be able to match. They’ll be able to transfer ideas and learning from previous projects over to yours, which can help bring success to your combined marketing efforts.
Resources. Marketing managers are always trying to balance what they need done with the amount of resources they have. Agencies have greater access to talent and tools, and are in a better position to implement marketing strategies than a lone in-house marketing specialist.
Connections. As people who live within the media industry, marketing agencies are intimately familiar with the major news outlets, personalities, and creative consultants needed to bring your brand to the public eye. Some agencies also function as media buyers, and can simplify the process of promoting your brand.
High overhead. Marketing agencies can be an expensive proposition, and even individual consultants can get rather pricey. If you’re going to hire one, you need to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth.
Lack of Commitment. As outsiders to your company, a marketing agency may not be as concerned or committed to your brand’s welfare as an individual team might be. They may end up more concerned about winning awards or maximizing their billing statements than helping your business succeed. Most agencies aren’t as crass as this, but bad apples do exist.
Subject Matter. Nobody knows your business more than you. Some agencies will be so overconfident in their own abilities or unfamiliar with your industry that they go completely the wrong way. Look for agencies who have (successfully) handled businesses similar to yours.
So given all of the above considerations, what is the final result? Are marketing agencies worth the trouble or not?
The answer, unfortunately, is very subjective. While there is a clear benefit from using marketing agencies, not all businesses will find the same value. Some industries have a very simple and straightforward marketing environment, and don’t require complex or cutting-edge marketing programs in order to move product. Others have a highly developed and extremely competitive marketing environment, where businesses are in a constant game of one-upmanship and full-service marketing agencies are almost a requirement.
They key is to approach the marketing agency with a clear idea of your needs in mind, and have the agency address those concerns in their pitch. If they can do it to your satisfaction (watch out for sales speak), then more power to the both of you. But always remember that if quality dips and the experience sours, you can and should walk away before you end up doing more damage to your brand.
#marketing #marketingagency #spellbrand #blogsofaugust