February 29th, 2016
Why use a marketing agency – and how to get the best out of them
Why should I work with a marketing agency? What can they do for my business that we can’t do ourselves? Why not just employ my own marketing person? These are some of the questions we hear a lot. In this blog, we’d like to demystify what agencies do, dispel some of the misconceptions and highlight the benefits of outsourcing your marketing activities.
The first thing to say is that an agency is not a replacement for your in-house marketing function. An agency is a valuable partner, supporter, adviser and resource for your marketing team. They should work hand in hand.
When you hire an agency, you get access to a whole host of specialists – from graphic designers, web designers and copywriters to printers, marketing strategists and PR experts. For the cost of employing a single marketing person, you can have access to all this expertise and resources.
Unlike an employee, an agency won’t get caught up in every-day operational tasks or activities peripheral to their role. They will be laser-focused on delivering the objectives and campaigns you have agreed.
An agency brings an objective approach. They are detached from internal issues and bring fresh insights to your business. They should challenge you and advise you on the most effective tactics to achieve your objectives. Listen to their advice and absorb their expertise – they have the interests of your business at heart.
A good agency will want to be part of your business, to work alongside you, to help you grow – a long-term relationship is the key to success for any agency. That’s why we called ourselves ‘Intandem’.
How to get the most out of your agency?
- Talk to them – regularly.
- Communication is vital. It requires a commitment on your part to share information and keep the agency up to date. If you feed good information in, you will be rewarded with strategies and tactics that are relevant, creative and effective.
- Get the agency involved in planning.
- If you are launching a new product or service, invite the agency to your meetings so they understand your aims, ideas and motivations from the outset. That way, they can build marketing strategies that align with your objectives.
- Don’t expect immediate results.
- There may be some ‘quick wins’, but raising awareness and building trust among customers is a long-term process. Your agency should be able to devise a structured campaign to achieve your aims over an agreed timescale.
- Never underestimate ‘thinking’ time.
- Of course agencies can turn around projects in a short space of time when they need to, but allowing your agency sufficient time to really think about the project and get to the bottom of exactly what you’re trying to achieve will undoubtedly give you much better value for money.
- Any strategies, tactics or campaigns should be measurable: what constitutes success?
- Ask your agency to measure the results of each activity so you can see what returns you’re getting for your investment.
- On the issue of fees – we’re confident that agency services provide a positive return.
- At Intandem, like most agencies, we have a ‘pay-as-you-go’ policy, so you only pay for the hours we spend working for you. There’s no monthly fee or long-term contract. That gives you the assurance that we’re working efficiently on your behalf at all times – never resting on our laurels.
- Finally, when choosing an agency, ask to see testimonials and speak to some of their clients to find out what it’s like to work with them.
You might want to start with a small, discrete project to test the agency’s capabilities, and then grow the relationship from there.
Used correctly, your agency could be one of the best investments you ever make!
If you'd like to learn more about how Intandem can help your business, please get in touch.