What You’re Really Paying For When You Hire A Marketing Agency

If you have done some shopping around looking for a marketing agency, you've probably noticed a few things:

  • Industry jargon
  • No pricing information
  • Pre-built marketing plans
  • Unclear value

These are a few of the struggles when picking the right marketing agency for your business that will provide you the best return on investment. A good agency will be able to explain the process and justify the costs. When you hire a great marketing agency, these are the things you should see:

1. Goal Driven Marketing Strategies

This is the problem with a pre-built marketing plan. They don't take into account the specific goals and needs you have for your business, so we tend to avoid those. Before speaking with a marketing agency, you may have an idea of what you're looking for. But a good agency will be able to make recommendations based on the goals you're wanting to achieve, even if you have no idea how to accomplish this. Plus, when you know you're working with someone that understands your goals, it gets rid of micromanaging, bonus!

2. Industry Expertise

What may take your staff a day of work may only take a marketing agency a few hours. When you hire an expert that knows the industry, you may pay more per hour, but you're getting that hour at THEIR level of expertise.

3. No Insta-Successes

We all want to believe the taglines we see everywhere, "Increase your ROI by 50%", "Gain 100k followers in three months!", etc, but what's backing those statements? The most renowned marketers can't guarantee results, but they can make some good estimates based on experience, data, and discovering the unique challenges of your business. A marketing agency may be able to get some results early on, but initially what you can expect are predictions and projections that will lead to bigger and better things.

Example: we noticed for a client that their most valuable traffic source was from organic search (ie. Google). Therefore, to increase conversions, we aimed to increase the amount of traffic from that source. What we saw after four months of work was a 107% increase in website traffic. It wasn't instant, but after a few months, the work was starting to pay off! Now obviously an increase like that doesn't happen for all clients - there are many factors that come into play, such as budget and website functionality, however sometimes even a little can go a long way toward reaching your goals.

Point is, be cautious of the insta-success guarantees. Good results take time and unfortunately, get-rich-quick-schemes are rarely legit.

4. Data Driven Tactics

Marketing agencies should be able to adapt their plan based on the data. This is usually our starting point. First, we add website tracking to see where your conversions are coming from. Are they coming from a specific ad or a search on Google? Based on that data we can make some assumptions and create a strategy accordingly. This may also give you insight into marketing that is not working and should be discontinued or tweaked.

To summarize, what you're really paying for when you hire a marketing agency is a team of experienced marketers who can read data, adapt, and implement strategies designed specifically for your business. One piece of advice we will leave you with, is if a marketing agency can't prove the return on investment or show you results, red flag. Yes, some attributes will be hard to prove such as word of mouth and if your sales team is not trained to ask how a customer heard about you but most online data can be measured in some way.


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