Your business may be at the point where you are looking for marketing help to move up to the next level. You have a choice -- utilize a marketing agency, or hire someone in -house to take over the duties. Of course, either decision has its benefits. Not sure which option is best for your business? Here are some key considerations to help you make the right decision for your business.
The ability to effectively market products or services -- like anything in business -- is a skill that is acquired through education and experience. If it was easy, then every business that dabbled in marketing would achieve their goals and objectives, whether it be in terms of increased lead generation and acquisition, improving competitive positioning, increasing brand authority, etc. However, that's not the case, and just like every skill, individuals that possess it want to be adequately compensated for their services. If you add a full-time marketer to your team, you will have to pay her a salary that reflects her level of education, skillset, experience, responsibility, and so on. Due to the ever-changing landscape of marketing, and the continuing shift to digitally-driven strategies, the salaries of marketing professionals -- from Marketing Coordinators to Marketing Managers and Directors -- are continuing to rise each year, as experienced marketers are always in demand, and the fundamental knowledge and basic skills required of them continue to broaden and evolve.
If your business is not in the stage of hiring a full-time marketer, or you'd like to avoid bringing on another staff member with a full-time salary, health benefits, paid sick days, etc. an agency may be the perfect option. Marketing agencies are contracted for a fixed cost, provide a qualified service at a competitive rate, and will often save you money in the long run by providing various specialties under one roof, versus having to hire multiple professionals across various specializations such as social media marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing, graphic design... you get the idea.
The Latest Tools, Tech, and Knowledge
Effective, modern day marketing relies on a significant amount of technology. Not surprisingly, the tools used to acquire and analyze data, monitor your competitors, manage digital campaigns, and perform countless other critical functions do not come cheap. Though some business owners may be willing to pay the hefty monthly subscription fees associated with marketing software tools, most business owners are too busy (disinterested?) to personally delve into these same applications in order to learn how to use them effectively. After all, the majority of marketing software tools (think Hootsuite, SEMrush, or Moz) are fairly complex, and it requires a serious commitment of time and energy to learn how to use them with even a moderate degree of proficiency. For many small-to-medium sized businesses, it's often cost-prohibitive to outfit an in-house marketer with these tools. Even if they're purchased, you then have to invest time and money in education and training, all the while paying the employee's salary.
Marketing agencies, like Park House Solutions, already subscribe to these tools and software platforms, and have a thorough understanding of how they work and how to use them effectively. It's also their responsibility to monitor technological trends within the industry and to adapt as these technologies emerge in order to better serve their clients. Think of it this way: it wouldn't, under most circumstances, make sense to buy a garage, purchase the necessary tools and equipment, and hire a mechanic simply to take care of your car. The same logic applies to marketing. Take it to the professionals who already have the knowledge, tools and skills to do the job, without taking on the overhead costs and training/education headaches associated with an in-house approach.
Is one of your current employees "good" with computers? Have a nephew that spends a lot of time on the web? It may seem like a good idea to farm-out your marketing to a friend or family member, or to layer the job on to the plate of an employee that you are already paying to save costs, but often the results are disappointing. Without a skilled marketing professional in your corner, your business's growth will flounder. Let your employees focus on the tasks you hired them for, and allow a marketing agency to do the same.
Perhaps one of the largest benefits of partnering with a marketing agency to grow your business is the time it saves. If you are considering hiring an in-house marketer, consider the time that's required to get him or her hired, integrated in the workplace, adequately trained on company policies/procedures, proficient with the tools and technologies you've purchased, etc. (leaving alone turnover, which for marketing roles is the highest among all professional functions at 17%). The process of hiring in-house takes a significant amount of time.
If your business is at the stage where you are considering getting serious about your marketing, don't put it on hold, or worse, don't turn a blind eye to the turnkey alternative to hiring an in-house marketer. A marketing agency can quickly learn the fundamentals of your business, then analyze, develop, and implement an effective strategy to help set you on a path toward achieving your goals, often times before you've even scheduled all the interviews for potential candidates. Plus, if the relationship works, you can stick with an agency for years - progressively adjusting the strategy as you go. Unlike an employee, a marketing agency sticks with you only as long as you want, giving you significantly more control and flexibility.
An Outside Perspective
This last one is something that many business owners may not readily consider. Hiring a marketing agency affords you the benefit of putting a fresh set of eyes on the business, and an outsider's perspective on what you may need to do to reach the next step in your growth journey. You, the business owner, obviously know your business inside and out, but that doesn't always translate into effective marketing planning and execution. An outside perspective can bring new ideas to the table that you may not of considered, as well as provide insights into what may be working for your competition. Additionally, an agency may have an edge over an in-house employee because agencies aren't afraid to "go against the grain", calling into question old-school ways of doing business, inefficient practices, or not-so-great ideas (take it from us, we've been brutally honest with some our clients in the past; always with their best interest in mind, of course!). Employees may feel reluctant to put-forth new ideas, or challenge the viewpoints or opinions of their superiors for fear of limiting their career prospects; whereas an agency will be able to justify their recommendations and choices through experience and prior results.
Think we are a little biased toward partnering with a marketing agency vs hiring an in-house marketer? Okay, guilty as charged. Contact us today and we will happily qualify our position along. After all, you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.