Some marketers and entrepreneurs take pride in “doing it all.” But are they, or should they? At some point, it’s beneficial to consider outside assistance—and could be a mistake not to.
Here are 5 signs that it’s time to reach out to a marketing agency. If any of them resonate with you, make your move!
1.Your opportunities are limited by lack of a particular expertise.
Could you attract more business “If only”? If only your website was optimized for mobile devices. If only you had an expertise in email marketing, a more compelling PowerPoint presentation deck, or better ROI on your direct mail. If only you had a stronger social media presence. If only you were more proficient in deriving insights from market research and analytics. If only your brand identity and positioning were more compelling or clear. If only you were skilled in the nuances of engaging multicultural audiences. If only, if only!
You don’t need to hire full-time staff to have full-service capabilities. You can hire an agency to perform whatever expertise you lack… either on a per-project or ongoing basis. Many agencies don’t require long-term commitments or contracts; and, you won’t have the salary plus benefits, taxes and overhead costs of expanding your staff.
2.You are passing on new business because you’re at capacity.
Big mistake! Understandably, you don’t want to jeopardize your existing business by taking on a new client or project when you don’t have the capacity to handle both. However, you must be able to scale your workforce so that you aren’t in this “either-or situation.” As with all businesses, you are likely to lose some business annually. So, to thrive, you need to be sure your acquisition rate is always greater than your churn (loss) rate.
Here again, you don’t need to ramp up your staff. You can outsource some of the business to an agency while maintaining overall control of the budget, what you want to accomplish and when, and the key performance indicators (KPIs) that’ll need to be tracked, analyzed and reported. Contrary to hiring staff, outsourcing doesn’t need to be a long-term, ongoing commitment. You’ll probably have some ebb and flow in your business, and can tap into the resources of an agency as needed.
3.You are having trouble acquiring new customers.
This situation can occur for a variety of reasons. You could be too bogged down in the tasks at hand to strategically plan and seamlessly implement cost-effective acquisition campaigns. You may not have a consistent presence in the marketplace. Your research, analytics, and marketing may not be keeping up with the speed and sophistication of today’s marketplace. Your branding and creative might be outdating you. You may not have identified your ideal customers and how, when and where to reach them. You may not be presenting a compelling sales proposition or demonstrating value in your pricing, etc. Your acquisition challenges could be stemming from any number of things or a combination.
An agency can bring you a fresh outside perspective along with a full suite of capabilities needed to identify and overcome your growth barriers. Use it as your partner in analyzing your business and developing and implementing a strategic plan that targets your ideal customer, meets your growth and revenue goals, and generates a positive return on your investment.
4. You’re experiencing high churn.
Needless to say, it is much harder and more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to retain existing ones. So, you can’t afford to skimp on your retention efforts. Of course, retention starts with the sale—don’t over-sell or make promises you can’t keep. Equally important is don’t “set and forget.” You need to continuously deliver on your customers’ expectations, nurture your relationship with them, and be sure they are getting optimum use and value from your product or service.
In addition to providing exceptional customer service at all times, there’s a whole range of programs and tactics that have proven to encourage retention… from educational welcome onboarding campaigns, content marketing through email, blogging, and social media to nurture the relationship; to programs that provide added-value perks to loyal customers over the long-term.As with acquisition, it can be beneficial to work with an outside agency to identify the key reasons for your churn and develop and implement a measurable and cost-effective plan to drive customer loyalty. Plus, regular communications with your customers means staff that is skilled in both engaging content development and creative deployment across all platforms… whether that team is internal or external.
5. You have the need for speed!
A last-minute, lucrative opportunity has presented itself and you don’t have anyone that can run with it on such short notice. Been there? Whereas your staff may have good reasons why they can’t drop everything and get on it, rush jobs are a fact of life for agencies. Do yourself a favor and source an agency with a reputation for consistently delivering great work on time, on strategy, and on budget. Then, whenever opportunity knocks… simply reach out and start the agency gears turning!
Bonus Tip: Great clients invoke great work!
Do you prep your agency with a clear account of your needs? Do they recap their understanding of the deliverables so that you can be assured they “get it”?
Trust, accessibility, and clarity— it’s a real trifecta when a client and agency relationship is founded on them. By being a great client, you can inspire stronger and more strategic work from your agency.
Over to you:
Let us know if and when you use outside resources, whether you’ve found it beneficial; and what you’ve learned from it. Of course, the Eclipse Marketing team is just a quick email or call away if you’ve decided the time to hire a marketing agency is now!