Should I Hire A Marketing Agency?
Not sure if you need help from a marketing agency? Answer these two questions to find out.
Let’s say your company is getting ready to launch a new product. Or, your brand feels as old as the original Apple logo and really needs a refresh. These are real-world business scenarios our clients have faced, prompting them to ask the question a lot of companies ask: Should I hire a marketing agency to help me with this?
You might look to your budget for the answer, in which case we’d yell:
We know from working with clients for over 20 years that budgets are a real thing and spend must to be justified. But deciding whether to hire marketing services cannot solely be based on your budget. If you’ve ever considered working with an agency, here are two simple questions that will give you your “Yes” or “No” answer.
If you’re throwing a casual party for your closest friends, you can handle throwing frozen processed carbs into the oven before party time. If you’re hosting a dinner for a potentially big new client, however, you know better than to preheat the oven and make dinner yourself. This calls for the big guns, so you hire a professional to prepare a Ratatouille Frittata that would delight even Gordon Ramsay’s sophisticated palate.
We use this example because
1. Frittatas are the best
2. We want to drive home the importance of making sure your capabilities match your goal expectations.
You might think you can build your own company website, and you probably can. But unless you have the technical and professional skills to build an optimized website, you’ll end up serving Bagel Bites to your audience of potentially big clients hungry for filet mignon. Considering 75% of users admit to judging a company based on their website, you want to get this one right by calling in the marketing professionals from an agency who can ensure your website is SEO optimized, easy-to-navigate, and lead-friendly.
Projects with high goal expectations require the appropriate level of knowledge and expertise. But even if you have that expertise, do you have the time to do a project well? We’ve seen that rushed projects still look rushed, regardless if they’re done by a professional. Some clients need a marketing agency to help them execute a quality project on-time. The lean team at Aqua Med IV, a small startup company, relies on Moonlight Creative to handle their social media strategy so the company can focus on growing their business without letting their social presence fall behind.
Maybe your team has some skills, but not all the ones required for a successful execution. The good news is small marketing agencies like Moonlight Creative can work collaboratively with your existing skill set. Our clients at Hunstad/ Kortesis / Bharti can write their own social copy, but they cannot design compelling social graphics, so they rely on Moonlight’s graphic designers.
After you’ve determined whether or not your skill set matches your expectations, you can ask yourself question #2.
If you think you already know the answer to this one, hold up! You might be surprised. The most important thing we stress to all of our clients is this: We are not an all or nothing marketing agency, meaning, if you can’t afford all of our recommended marketing suggestions, we’ll work with you on the ones that you can.
Budgets are a real thing. But even on a limited budget, an agency can still help you. When a client comes to us with a tight budget and a lot of marketing needs, we try to prioritize the ones that will have the most impact first. We can start small because even the smallest of jobs can have a positive effect on a business.
If a new client came to us desperately needing a new logo, tagline, company name, and website, we’d start with the logo and company name to build a solid branding foundation. Later, maybe next month or next quarter when the client’s budget allows, we’d start on the new website.
Clients sometimes turn to us for consulting services, using us as a sounding board to check in on their strategy or ideas. We can make suggestions on ways we’d improve or change their work, helping steer clients in the right direction. Not all agencies are this collaborative, but it’s a common characteristic of small, boutique firms like Moonlight Creative.
Why Budget Takes Second Place
We know (we know, we know, we know) the challenges of showing direct ROI from marketing spend is not easy, and this often scares decision makers away from spending money for a professionally designed logo, website, brand guidelines, and so on. Worse, not being able to show an ROI scares companies into thinking they can save money by doing everything themselves. We sympathize, we really do (we have budgets too!). But we must boldly proclaim that quality design and marketing strategy are essential to a successful company. Did you know it only takes consumers 10 seconds to form a first impression of a logo? From there, it takes 5-7 more impressions for brand recognition to kick in. A marketing agency will help you make a positive first impression over and over again.
There are hundreds of other statistics out there proving the value of good marketing, which can’t always be accomplished on the cheap. So when trying to decide if you need to work with an agency, first ask yourself if you can do it in-house and still meet your goal expectations. If not, examine the budget and collaborate with a marketing agency to see where they can help you the most.
Have questions? Let’s continue the conversation.