Planning Your Marketing Budget | Hiring an Agency

Author: Jack Martin

As 2016 quickly draws near its end, businesses have inevitably began to put together plans for 2017. Often times this means figuring out how to outdo what you’ve accomplished in the years past. More likely than not this means thinking about marketing.

When it comes to your marketing plan for 2017, what ideas do you have in place? Are you turning a new leaf on social media platforms? Revamping a hard-to-navigate website? These are questions decision-makers may ask themselves when coming up with plans for the coming year’s marketing strategy and budget.

But perhaps the most important question is whether you should opt to hire an agency, or handle the job the job in-house. Sound like a tough decision? We know that deciding on the course of your marketing is an important decision, so we’ve laid out a few questions you may ask yourself to help:

Is it Worth it to Hire an Agency?

Before we jump into whether or not hiring a marketing agency may be a beneficial move for you and your company, you first need to prioritize your current actions. Are you making enough time for sufficient marketing efforts? Creating brand recognition and service differentiation takes a good chunk of time and knowledge.

Without the proper amount of time and energy from an avid marketing team, your efforts may go to waste. Or at the very least, those efforts may not reach their full potential. To troubleshoot this issue, businesses have put aside the need to manage every aspect of their business by hiring full-service marketing agencies.

By hiring an agency you’re not only gaining back time to focus on other areas of need, you’re also handing over the reins to a group of individuals that possess expertise, experience, and guidance in their respective marketing processes. Going this route allows you to focus on what’s important – running your business.

Are there Risks to Hiring an “Outsider”?

One of the main concerns of working with an agency is an assumed lack of insider knowledge on your company and not having a daily onsite presence. Contrary to this idea, agencies will almost always take the time get to know your business inside and out before doing any work for you. While they do lack the physical presence, many are flexible and willing to attend onsite meetings whenever necessary.

But to help alleviate some of your stress when you’re searching for a marketing agency, you’ll want to find one that possesses the skills and personality you want in your business. By doing this you’ll be able to easily align your interests and help reduce stress during the first few weeks of your business relationship.

One of the main differences in hiring an agency, rather than an individual onsite, is receiving the power of a full team instead of a single person. You’re also getting the advantageous perspective of a team that can be subjective and put themselves in the shoes of your customers, generating strategies that truly speak to your audience.

How will it Benefit my Business?

The goals and challenges of clients are what allow marketing agencies to thrive. It’s these fundamental challenges your business faces that agencies strive to solve. Whether your business is simply looking to build presence online, or you want to create a large plan for a product launch, an agency can be your best tool to get it done correctly.

Additionally, one of the largest benefits of an agency to your business is their reputation. Regardless of who you hire to do your marketing if you go the in-house route, they’ll more than likely be a stranger to you and your company. Unlike new hires and freelancers, agencies have reputations attached to them like any business. You can use this to get an idea for their accountability, knowledge, and overall fit when making your decision.

What do I Look for in an Agency?

Once you’ve made the decision to hire an agency, it’s important that you hire the right agency for your goals and those of the company. If you choose the first one you meet with, you’ll likely be left disappointed in the quality of work and revert to old ways of trying to manage everything on your own.

When you begin your search you’ll want to establish concrete goals to see which areas of digital marketing the agency can focus on to better serve your strategy. Rather than search for the largest most well-known agency, it may be best to get to know various smaller shops in order to find a staff that specializes in what you’re looking to solve based on your goals.

Within a small period of time you can gauge each agency, their teams, and their price points to see what the best decision is for your company. With all of this in mind, you should then reference your goals once more before making your final decision.

Can I Trust an Agency?

The last, and probably most important aspect when it comes to the future of your business, is trust. Like any other major purchase for your business, deciding to go with an agency isn’t something you can choose overnight. The key to trusting an agency is finding one that expresses interest in your business and will do whatever it takes to help you succeed.

Remember, an agency should be there to fill the gaps between previous successes and those areas where you have opportunities for growth. Consider beginning small with only a few services and work your way up as you grow to trust and respect the ideas and success a marketing agency may bring you.

Keystone Click is dedicated to understanding our client base well enough to develop goals and strategies that will benefit you in both the short term and long term. While you may not be aware of the potential that comes along with working closely with an agency, you’ll soon find out after having a conversation with us about your goals and plans for 2017. Marketing is an important part of your budget for the coming year, so to get a jump start on planning, contact us today and ensure your next year in business is more successful than the last.