Consider resource requirement.
There are three core categories a marketing agency will fall into:
Fully outsourced marketing –
If you don’t have dedicated resource internally, this is the route for you. By using an agency function in place of an internal team you are able to make your budget go further. Partnering with an agency allows you to utilise strategy, copywriting, design and development, etc, without full-time members of staff in each department. You also usually benefit from a higher level of expertise than you would be able to afford if hiring the individual roles internally.
If you want to just dip in and out of a marketing resource, a project approach will be better for you. Most full-service agencies also work on a ‘ad hoc’ basis, so you can brief specific projects as and when you need them – i.e. a new landing page, a brochure, a suite of social media posts. You will require someone internal to manage your day-to-day marketing output.
Do you have a solid internal marketing function, but are in need of quite a specific output – i.e. PR, PPC, SEO? Then focus on finding an agency that is an expert in that area and have them work alongside your internal team, or even your full-service agency (any full-service agency worth their salt will be able to partner respectfully with any other partnerships you have).
If you aren’t sure which is right for you consider who you have managing your marketing internally currently – is this person doing ‘a bit of marketing on the side of their day job’? Are they able to cope with the demands of a growing marketing plan? Do you even have a strategic marketing plan that you are all operating too?
At the end of the day, a marketing partner should be there to add value to your business. They should challenge you and must be in sync with your company objectives. Therefore it is critical that you pick an agency that is going to drive the results needed to move your business forward.
Don’t be a magpie, won over by flashy proposals or logos of clients they have worked with before. Take the time to speak to the team involved… and trust your gut!
Not sure which type of agency approach is right for you, or feel that perhaps your current processes aren’t working? Feel free to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a second-opinion and friendly advice on how to get the very most from your marketing output.
*A discovery session is an open forum session that a marketing agency will likely ask for prior to starting any project. Pre-proposal this could be a shorter session with yourself to get an initial understanding of the business objectives, operations, and historic activity. Depending on the level or work, further discovery sessions may take place with deeper questions or with wider stakeholders in your business for knowledge transfer.