It won't come off as a surprise if you find yourself stroking your chin and wondering, "Do I need to hire a marketing agency?" — when you see your current marketing efforts doing nothing but gobbling away your resources.
Suddenly, it also strikes that you have put all the bare bones of your business into their sockets — operations, sales, finance, HR, everything.
With the next inevitable move of looking for corkscrews to crack open your bottle of free-flowing revenue staring you in the face.
The "Should I, Should I Not" game becomes a never-ending ordeal before you know it. Trust me.
But wait a moment.
If you have already leapt across this hurdle and are ready to conquer the freelancer vs digital agency battle, here's a chance for you to arm yourself up- digital marketing agency vs freelance marketer - who to hire.
Returning to where we left off, a digital marketing agency will jostle for space in your expense sheet.
And you certainly don't want something that requires frequent budgeting to be a random decision.
Especially if your business is a newbie in the market and you are trying to find a way to get your sales cycle in shape.
However, you will not be spared from this dilemma even if your business has scaled up well enough and is ready to zero in on its bottom line goals several notches higher.
You might be looking into every aspect of your business — but the answer to the question "Am I sure I should rope in a marketing agency?" remains stuck in the spinning wheel of budget, time, and necessity.
Do you see yourself in this scenario more often than necessary?
Hold on tight.
Here are 12 signs you should bring in a digital marketing agency straight away:
Table Of Contents
- Your Marketing Skillsets Are Not On Point
- Your Business — Taking Solid Shape, Your Marketing — Sluggish
- Marketing Tasks That Get Pushed To The Last Minute
- Marketing Does Not Turn You On
- Your Sales And Marketing Are Engaged In A Tug Of War
- Your Business — Diversifying, Your Marketing Campaigns — Virtually Dead
- Everyone Is Making The Most Out Of Marketing Agencies Except You
- Building A Successful Marketing Team Is Just Not Happening
- Your Marketing Performance Is Escaping The Watchful Eye
- When Cementing A Strong Goodwill Becomes A Top Marketing Priority
- Your In-House Marketing Team Is Drained Out
- Poorly-Performing Content
1.Your Marketing Skillsets Are Not On Point
Tell me one thing.
Could you get your product design and quality control checks in place without burying your neck deep into the core fundamentals of business operations management?
It could be anything else too — interviewing and recruiting employees, budgeting and managing your firm's investments.
You would certainly agree that nothing happens with a rookie mind.
Why should marketing be an exception?
Everything that keeps your business running is a complex union of art and science.
And yes, marketing too.
Marketing has pivoted towards the road of digitalization today.
The seemingly simple act of reaching out to the right audience and boosting brand awareness, engagement, leads, and conversions doesn't just happen with 'excellent people skills'.
Making all of this happen calls for a set of specialized skills to smoothen out this process as efficiently as possible.
Search engine optimization, pay-per-click, website designing, search engine marketing, social media marketing, blog writing, email campaigns — the checklist of skills dedicated to digital marketing goes on and on.
And you are no one to be blamed for not having a firm grasp on any of the constantly evolving digital marketing skills out there.
To get to the bottom of it, you've already got too many tumblers to juggle.
Here's something you cannot deny — while working on a production workflow, it is easy to let marketing slip out of your mind.
At the very least, a task you can get back to after sorting out everything technical and financial.
Or maybe you have walked through a few crash courses on marketing and feel fit enough to boost conversions and spike up your customer base — all by yourself.
You go out there and dip your 'gut instinct' into every marketing activity you perform.
Yet your clicks, impressions, and sales figures don't seem to be jumping anywhere from square one.
This is when you should consider hiring a marketing agency.
With expertise in a wide array of digital marketing skills, a marketing agency can let you focus sole heartedly on what you do best.
Looking into the other operations that make up the core engine of your business — expanding, scaling up, and improvising on them.
2. Your Business — Taking Solid Shape, Your Marketing — Sluggish
When marketing comes into the picture, the key to growth undoubtedly lies in spreading your net wide.
Opening up diverse operation channels and penetrating varied geographic markets are surefire ways to make this happen.
Here's what this calls for — refurbishing your long-term ROI goals, diving deep into the market research of products within your niche, pinpointing your target segment, and assessing your competitors' market positioning.
Marketing underpinned by a sound strategy opens up the pathway to widen your sales funnel and makes it quicker for potential customers to get to the bottom of it.
Do you feel you can lift a previously well-executed marketing campaign in an existing market base and place it straightaway into the new unexplored market you have set your eyes on?
You are prepping the stage for half-baked conversions and sales, then.
The needs, wants, pain points and expectations of the target audience in market B will always be different from market A.
You will be running on a hamster wheel of inefficiency and stagnant revenue when your marketing strategies fail to alter themselves according to the target demographic it is catering to.
While crafting an effective marketing strategy starts with identifying your target segment and reviewing the market — this lays a fertile ground for tailoring targeted integrated campaigns that elicit desired customer action within a specific region.
Hiring a digital agency would seem like a safe bet to take on this task, don't you think?
3. Marketing Tasks That Get Pushed To The Last Minute
The success mantra of marketing lies in strategy and timing.
Yes. You can pull off a few blogs and social media posts at the nth hour.
But if you see low traffic, views, engagement, leads, conversions, or anything you want your marketing efforts to generate after this — that will be because it is rushed and short-sighted.
Marketing is not a lone sailor.
The results you want it to stimulate should tie to your business's long-term revenue, growth, and brand-building objectives.
Every element of your marketing activities require strategic planning — you can't possibly fan them all out at one go and expect sizeable ROI to shine through.
It applies to everything. Be it blog posts, social media contests, paid ads, sponsored content, or any brand awareness exercise.
Mapping out a strategic marketing plan makes it all the more possible for you to have a clear-sighted vision of the outcomes you want each of your marketing initiatives to stimulate at specific timeframes.
Of course, not without going hand in hand with the overarching goals of your business.
And a digital agency is fueled with the expertise to lay out a clear roadmap of your business's marketing strategies, campaigns, and models.
To boost reach, engagement, and bottom-line objectives on a daily, monthly, weekly, and yearly basis — depending on how granular you want your marketing and promotional exercises to be.
4. Marketing Does Not Turn You On
Sometimes, the reason you need a marketing agency is as obvious as it can get — when you realize that crafting stories and building long-lasting connections with your target audience on diverse media channels is just not your thing.
Figuring this out is a no-brainer.
Take a peek into your social media posts that look meh.
Email campaigns that go stale in your audience's inbox with drastically low click-throughs.
Generic blog posts with traffic that never seems to pick up.
A half-baked approach towards marketing is going to strike three hard punches at the same time.
Number one — at your efforts.
Number two — at your time.
And number three — at your budget.
While losing out on your ROI and brand-building goals through it all.
Marketing agencies love to do this sort of stuff. Crafting catchy landing pages, social media posts, ad copies, and whatnot — sprinkled with the right blend of creativity, strategy, persuasion, and time-tested SEO practices.
Leave your marketing game to digital agencies because this is what they are great at, and you will be good to go.
5. Your Sales And Marketing Are Engaged In A Tug Of War
Every business shares a single nightmare — sales hitting rock bottom.
It is right before your eyes.
Low-quality lead generation, prospects dropping out right at the end stage of the sales funnel, sole reliance on discounting strategies (which are turning out to be incompetent in piquing the interest of your prospects), and low conversion rates.
While it is easy to corner the sales team when this happens, the problem might lie elsewhere.
More often than necessary, it can be that your sales team is failing to be in sync with its alter ego— marketing.
Yes, turning potential customers into actual ones and brand awareness into profitability is what sales boils down to.
But let's take a look at the starting point of it all.
And here it goes.
Holding a magnifying glass on your target segment.
Diving deep into your prospect's needs and pain points.
Developing a compelling unique selling proposition (USP) that lets your distinct product offerings shine through on diverse multimedia platforms.
These things seldom roll out without effective marketing.
Your pricing might be value-based, competitive, reasonable, and strategic — but your sales figure is still dipping.
It sounds like the right time to bring a digital agency on board.
To make your marketing activities mesh well with the goals of your sales department.
Which could be anything ranging from boosting conversions and overall profit margins to quickening the sales cycle to shrinking the customer acquisition costs to ramping up product demo signups.
Ultimately geared at fusing your marketing and sales operations into a throbbing full-funnel solution.
6. Your Business — Diversifying, Your Marketing Campaigns — Virtually Dead
When you are no longer a 2-year-old new entrant in the market, there's no way around it other than facing it.
Your client base is expanding.
Your product management workflow is gaining traction.
Your business model is all chalked out.
And now you have reached a stage where juggling product development, handling your team, and coming up with snappy Twitter posts for your business all at the same time is out of the question.
Time pressures are mounting. Investments are pouring in. Your core operations are taking on a definite form.
The marketing tactics 101 you have managed to pull off so far no longer fit into the lengths and breadths of the scaling up your revenue operations calls for at this stage.
Now's the time to enable your brand to speak for itself and connect with your target audience — at the right time, and right places.
Unfold this with an optimal blend of expertise, strategy, and tools for crafting captivating stories — a digital agency opens up the pathway.
7. Everyone Is Making The Most Out Of Marketing Agencies Except You
You look around and assess the market.
All you see is your competitors stealing the show.
With the catchiest email campaigns.
A stellar eyeball-grabbing brand story echoing in every user-generated content platform you set foot into.
Seeing a steep incline in Instagram follower base.
Their social media content is reeling in terrific waves of engagement, following, viral hashtags, shares, brand mentions, comments, and likes — to cut to the chase, becoming the talk of the town.
You catch yourself staring down at your marketing performance dashboard.
'What's missing here?' is something you will ask yourself when you see your campaigns missing the mark.
And squandering immense opportunities to capture website traffic, leads, social buzz, and conversions — stifling your brand from standing out and realizing its bottom-line and brand-building goals.
Here's the worst part — you don't know where you are going wrong.
Finally, after digging into the 'whys' of it all, you realize that your rookie marketing skills are blunting and chipping away in the fiercely cutthroat marketing landscape.
Your competitors have roped in marketing agencies.
Which are embracing full-stack digital tools, data-driven strategies, and novel storytelling techniques in their content creation and performance monitoring workflow you haven't even heard of, let alone know how to put them to use.
Is this you?
Let a digital agency set foot inside your business and breathe life into its ROI goals.
8. Building A Successful Marketing Team Is Just Not Happening
Let's say you have an in-house marketing team on board — something you have put together as a cost-effective, sustainable solution for your business.
And yet, the visibility, leads, conversions, and audience engagement your brand ought to garner through its marketing initiatives are in a state of inertia.
Your team is doing everything it takes to double down on its marketing game.
Putting your creative assets through A/B split tests.
Running plenty of PPC ads.
Updating website content.
Executing integrated campaigns backed by intensive concept creation brainstorming sessions.
Leveraging social media, Q&A sites, and niche user-generated platforms for content distribution strategies.
But you still can't seem to put your finger on the string pulling down the curtains of your marketing ROI even before you even begin lifting it.
The flaws are everywhere — your brand merely shouting into the social media void with barely noticeable engagement and following, customer acquisition rates crumbling right before your eyes.
Your blog posts and ad copies?
They are getting lost in the crowded digital space, unable to scale up the views they generate and trigger the desired action from your target audience.
Here's why this could be happening.
Your marketing team might still be following the old playbook.
Resistant to upgrading their skills and tactics to carve a unique brand voice and capture the fleeting attention of your target audience in the dynamic marketing landscape of today.
Learning, experimentation, creative storytelling, and data-driven buyer persona insights — are arguably the salt and pepper of all successful marketing strategies.
Something your in-house team is most probably lacking.
But here's the thing.
You can't wait any longer.
You got to get your marketing goals — lagging way behind — back to their target point.
And by now, it is becoming apparent that your in-house team is exhausting a massive chunk of your budget without delivering substantial output through marketing ROI and brand-building.
If this scenario rings a bell to you more often than you want it to, a digital agency is what you need.
9. Your Marketing Performance Is Escaping The Watchful Eye
For once, it so happens that your marketing activities are contributing to your bottom line for real.
You have got your pay-per-click ads, blog posts, and email campaigns attracting optimal reach and traction.
But here's the deal.
You don't know which of these strategies are working their magic and what you should do away with to ensure consistent lead generation and conversion rates are always gleaming at the end of your sales funnel.
Now is when marketing metrics and analytics come into the picture.
The journey towards effective marketing does not come to a dead end by pulling off killer campaigns.
Tracking your marketing performance is equally important — this lets you dive deep into the marketing activities contributing to a massive share of your ROI and pull the lever on them in your long-term marketing plans.
And abandon strategies jeopardizing your chances of cashing in even more ROI and audience engagement.
If the tools and KPIs for measuring your marketing results are all over the place, you should secure the services of a marketing agency right away.
10. When Cementing A Strong Goodwill Becomes A Top Marketing Priority
When your business expands and diversifies, so should your marketing activities.
Posting a handful of SEO-keyword-optimized blogs on your website and creating landing pages for your product offerings might have sufficed during the baby steps of your startup.
But this will hardly be enough when your brand is beginning to gain momentum in its omnichannel awareness and reputation.
Fostering a robust digital presence is key.
Marketing also boils down to building trust with your audience at the end of the day.
And nurturing a consistent brand voice on varied multimedia platforms paves the way for this.
It involves putting diverse content marketing strategies into the mix.
Like ramping up thought leadership and the authority of your brand by crafting e-books, email newsletters, and case studies.
Leveraging user-generated platforms and social media for the distribution of content.
Featuring positive customer testimonials on your website's homepage.
Creating product tutorials and explainer content that can be repurposed for different formats and media.
Engaging with customer reviews on social media.
By incorporating reputation-enhancement strategies like these into your marketing models, you echo a powerful brand voice as not just one out there getting leads to pull their pull strings.
But that of a brand imparting immense value to your target segment with informative and engaging content.
A brand that, in essence, cares about what its customers have to say, their experiences, concerns, and pain points.
You might have figured out that your present marketing initiatives are not feeding into the goodwill of your business.
Here's some good news — marketing agencies are equipped with the digital tools and storytelling techniques to translate this gigantic brand-building exercise into reality.
To help your brand cut the noise, cement its digital footprints, keep an eye on the social media chatter it stimulates, humanize it, and catch the eye of prospective customers and the wider audience.
In light of this, why not let a digital agency come in and put on its hat?
11. Your In-House Marketing Team Is Drained Out
Sometimes, your marketing campaigns fall apart not due to a lack of skill sets, ineffective strategy, or budgetary constraints.
Your in-house marketing team might be trying to perform a balancing act with multiple marketing tasks at once. Plain and simple.
Crafting ad copies and promotional materials.
Monitoring and managing social media accounts.
Conducting A/B split tests on ad copies.
Assessing marketing metrics and KPIs.
In-house marketing teams often have to look into every dimension of advertising and marketing operations of your business singlehandedly — without the luxury of focusing on one specific area of marketing specialization.
This tugs away at efficiency, productivity, and performance.
So what are you ultimately left with?
An overworked in-house marketing team failing to deliver sizeable ROI through their campaigns and strategies.
Looking for a way to reduce the workload of your in-house teams and let their potential flow into the marketing tasks they know best?
Make this happen by hiring a digital agency.
12. Poorly-Performing Content
Outdated content and design are not just a bummer to your target audience and literally anyone else who happens to stumble upon your website.
It is a bummer for search engines like Google too.
Your website ends up losing out on its SERP rankings.
And with that goes away clicks, views, engagement, reach — basically everything that adds up to be a massive brand-building exercise in the digital space.
Crafting high-quality content demands time, strategy, research, and the heart and soul of marketing communication today — the art of storytelling.
You want your audience to linger on your web pages, social media, and email campaigns and inspire them to keep interacting with your brand every now and then.
And let's face it — this doesn't happen at the snap of a finger.
You got to understand your audience on a deeper level.
Enhance the user experience of your website.
Weave stories that strike a chord with them.
Foster a connection with your target segment through a highly credible and authoritative brand voice.
A marketing agency brings all these plus points for your digital presence and growth to the table.
Is content creation not your cup of tea?
Let a digital agency be your go-to thing.
Deciding whether to hire a marketing agency kicks in a strategic thought process across all dimensions of your business operations.
Creating content and letting it gather dust defeats the purpose of scaling your profit margins and brand awareness — which is what you want your campaigns to accomplish at the end of the day.
Marketing calls for consistency, strategy, creativity, adaptability, persuasion, and credibility infused into your storytelling.
And the marketing tools and skillsets to make your lead generation and brand-building initiatives activities impactful and on-point are often out of your reach.
Bridge this gap with a digital agency.
Note : This blog post was originally published on August 11, 2022 and has been updated on March 25, 2023 for comprehensiveness.