Hiring a B2B marketing agency can be a seamless decision if the agency you’re hiring is a trusted name. Despite this, there’s always going to be a great deal of due diligence involved when an external agency is hired – especially in terms of the overall organizational goals, the expected marketing ROI, and the budgets involved. Large and renowned agencies come at a cost and not all businesses can afford to hire big agencies. But the market is rife with many nimble and competent marketing agencies, thus offering businesses plenty of choices to pick from. You just need to know what you want from your agency, and a solid agency will know how to successfully help you to reach your goal.
Hiring a B2B marketing agency for your brand has many great advantages. A lot of businesses include agencies as a strategic part of their growth while others look for agencies because it is the need of the hour. So is there a right time to hire a specialist marketing agency? Is your business at that stage? Being an agency that helps many brands achieve their goals, we’ll share our perspective on when you should hire an agency for your company.
When the Need for Marketing ROI is Foremost
There are typically three stages of the marketing function for any company. In the evolution of a business’ marketing function, marketing in its first stage, is a cost center. In the second, it should become a profit center. In the third stage, marketing should be a revenue driver.
Whether a company has an internal marketing team or an externally sourced agency, the timelines of transitions between those stages will vary depending on the company’s size, it’s product or offering, it’s budgets, funding and so on. But the journey remains essentially the same for most businesses. It is very important to have the right expectation from your marketing function – whether that’s brand positioning or lead generation or sales / revenue when qualifying and quantifying marketing ROI.
Even at a stage where marketing is a cost center, what can appear to be an expense or cost, might prove to be just the push that your organization needs to give you an increased long term ROI in terms of brand building and positioning. A good B2B marketing agency will provide you with a high-quality content team, brand strategists, web or app designers, developers, graphic artists, performance analytics experts and more–giving you access to a skilled resource pool. Hiring such a talent pool of people individually will cost you much more than what it’ll cost to hire an agency.
When You Need Skills, Experience and Specialization
As the digital landscape expands, and consumers become increasingly more demanding and less tolerant to an unsatisfactory experience, brands seek a diverse set of skills like never before to remain ahead of competition. Whether it’s managing a brand’s reputation across social media channels or review sites, running multi-channel marketing campaigns, or creating micromanaged customer experience or loyalty programs. A lot of the campaigns that brands must create and run require niche skill sets to get the marketing campaign to work out right. Having access to this diverse set of skills through an agency has a huge merit. This is because specialized B2B marketing agencies work with businesses across industries including technology as well as consumer brands, and thus have deep knowledge about various online marketing best practices. Having access to the expertise an agency offers tremendous value in many ways. For example:
- Technical SEO, programmatic advertising, media buying, channel management, landing page optimization, performance monitoring and so on helps to create a strong digital footprint, and that creates brand awareness. But there is a lot that goes into figuring out Google’s preferences and getting your paid campaigns to produce accurate outcomes. Such multi-channel marketing expertise can only be offered by an agency that specializes in managing such campaigns at scale rather than you trying to do it through hit and trial.
- Having an agency gives you more flexibility in operations. This will set you apart and give you an edge over your competitors. For instance, brands often need last-minute changes in a product launch campaign, continuous changes on their social media content at odd hours of the day, budget changes or content optimization on an ad set on the fly and so on.
- Agencies have access to a variety of marketing automation systems that improve operational efficiency significantly. Often, companies invest in expensive marketing tools such as CRMs, Analytics and attribution platforms and so on but cannot get the right ROI from them due to lack of expertise or time to use such tools. This is where a marketing agency can help make the most of the martech stack.
When You Have Little Internal Bandwidth
For many businesses, their in-house teams are busy managing many product lines or clients and are working at full capacity. Often, companies don’t have sufficient resources internally. In such cases, if you bag a new account or are pitching to a client whose industry of operation you are not familiar with, it makes perfect sense to get an agency on board. Not only would they be nurturing your high-value client with the attention that it deserves, but also take away any additional burden off of your team.
When the Need for Quality Over Quantity Is Critical
It is not enough to just generate leads – you need to focus on the quality of the leads generated to build your funnel. This is where hiring an agency becomes important as it is able to bring you qualified leads, thus helping to improve your conversion rate. Using the right lead generation methods and nurturing strategies, an agency can generate quality leads in a time and cost effective way.
When Better Time Management Shows a Clear ROI
Improved ROI can be assessed not just in terms of a financial return but also with respect to time.
- The amount of time and resources that you’ll need to invest in interviewing people individually is going to be much higher than the time that is required to get an agency on-board.
- Research has shown that marketing and sales teams spend more than half of their time generating leads, in email follow-ups, and in scheduling meetings. If this time is instead spent on closing deals, it will result in a much higher ROI. When an agency comes in and takes over the task of lead generations and follow-ups, the core in-house team becomes more productive.
To Sum Up—the Value Is Evident
An external agency does come at a cost. However, the services that it provides add value to the organization in many ways. The benefits that a B2B marketing agency brings to the table are significant.