Updated August 18th, 2021
Marketing works. There’s no debating that fact.
But it’s not easy. There are many forms of online and offline marketing—their rules, specifications and best practices are different and ever-changing. Most business owners are not marketing experts. You do what you do and know it inside out. But you need help creating and implementing their marketing efforts.
So, it is clear you need marketing “stuff’ done. That leads to the next hurdle—do you hire in-house professionals or contract out your “stuff” to an agency? Being a marketing agency ourselves, we are likely biased but at Wingman, we think the answer is actually fairly easy.
Small businesses by definition are small with limited employees and/or resources. According to a 2018 Alberta Economic Development report, small business accounts for 95% of all business activity in the province and are a driving force of the economy accounting for more than 30% of our GDP. With so few employees in your business, it’s hard to build an impactful marketing team. This is one of the many reasons business owners should consider the advantages of outsourcing. Here are 11 key reasons to trust your marketing “stuff” with an external expert:
- Hiring costs money.
Over and above the employee salary and benefits, there is an inherent expense (combination of money and time to find the best employee. Then, it takes time to train them and the hope that they can actually do the “stuff” to the quality levels you wanted and that they fit into your corporate culture. In addition, every statutory holiday, vacation day and sick day impacts the output they can produce. An outsourced agency means you are hiring a team of professionals. There is always someone to help you. And you know exactly how much you’re paying each month or year so you can plan when budgeting yearly expenses.
- Marketing Costs Money
Marketing costs money. And, as a business owner, you want to ensure every dollar you spend is as impactful as possible. No business can afford to make costly marketing errors. Hiring an outside firm with proven success means you gain from their expert experience.
- Outsourcing to an Agency Saves Time
As the leader of your business, your primary goal is to make sure every aspect of your business is running smoothly. Your focus should be on bringing in new business. You don’t have time to become a marketing expert. Nor should you. A marketing agency’s sole focus is marketing – for you. An established marketing agency will likely have experience working with businesses like yours, helping them grow within your particular industry segments. Agencies focus on a specific business function and this means they keep up to date with the latest trends and best practices within their scope of work. This can be hard if you’re juggling your business’ operational goals as well, so sometimes it’s just better to leave it to the experts.
- Surround Yourself with the Best and Smartest People
While it’s a good idea to have a general idea of best marketing practices, the smartest and most successful business leaders don’t do everything themselves. Instead, they hire people who are better at a specific skill than they are. You also don’t have to waste time hiring and firing employees who don’t work out.
- Two Heads are Better than One; 10 Heads are Better than Two
There are over 70 marketing tactics and channels available today for you to choose from and the list keeps growing. Each channel has its own set of specifications and best practices to follow. If your business only needs a specialist in one are, you could hire a 365-day a year employee to do that one task. But, it’s impossible for anyone to become an expert on each type of marketing. Since agencies typically are a collection of SMEs, they have experience and knowledge in as many of these 70+ tactics in their collective toolbelt to meet your objectives. This is much more helpful than hiring someone great at a single tactic whom lacks an in-depth understanding of other tactics. Your outsourced agency team can develop a thorough marketing plan that’s perfect for your goals, budget, and business type.
- Its about Strategy not Tactic
You care about the results not the tactic. One of the advantages of outsourcing your marketing “stuff” to an agency is that even if you have an in-house marketing team, you can still benefit. Often internal marketing teams get too focused on the “what” that they forget the “why.” An outside expert opinion can help change that. A marketing agency can help create a new marketing strategy that may focus on some efforts your internal team hasn’t considered. You may also want to outsource some regular tactics to an outside firm so your internal team can focus on building that new marketing strategy.
Working with a marketing agency means you have access to a team of marketing experts. All of who come with their own thoughts and opinions on what your best options are for a successful marketing campaign. This will enable you to collaborate in new ways as several departments or team members are involved in the question-and-answer sessions. This is essential, especially in a newly established company where employees don’t know each other well and are less likely to communicate and/or collaborate.
- A Wingman sees your Flight Path from a Different Angle
It’s your business. Much like a child, you know how to raise it best. However, this proximity and passion often makes it difficult to look at your business with the critical eye an external partner can. In addition, an external agency is buffered from internal politics. Their opinions and recommendations are all based on meeting and exceeding the objectives you lay out for them to conquer. A new agency partnering with your business can also objectively audit your existing model and let you know what is and is not working. Generally, they are up to date on the latest marketing trends and can guide you to interact with your market in ways you may never have thought of. They’ll help you develop a brand for your business that aligns with your vision and culture. They’ll help you find your “why” and differentiate your business from your competitors.
- Access to the Best Technology and Research
Investing in the latest and greatest gets very expensive very quickly. If your business is like most businesses, you can’t afford to do this. You also likely do not have the time to educate yourself on how to use the latest shiny toy. A professional marketing agency can invest in the latest marketing software, learn how to use it, and then, if it adheres to meeting your objectives, they can use it to your advantage.
- Post-campaign Analysis
You have heard that click through rate is a good stat to monitor. Or you may hear that average time on page is important to keep track of. Conversion rate. MROI. Web traffic lead ratio. One great thing about marketing strategies is that you have the ability to read the results of the campaign almost immediately. You can look at your stats and see how high your bounce rate is. That is if you are tracking them correctly and attributing the results to the correct tactics. And then, able to turn that data into insights. Many (if not most) business owners don’t even realize these statistics exist, let alone understand how to use them and when to implement them. Understanding your results gives you the ability to do more of what works and less of what does not.
- Higher Expectations
Working with a marketing agency means you can and should expect the best results possible. It has already been covered above about the expertise you bring aboard upon hiring an agency. But they are motivated to excel for other reasons as well. All marketing agencies know they are easily replaceable and so they are motivated to ensure you’re happy with their work but more specifically, the results of their work. Since the agency is in business to make money same as you, pleasing you will inevitably lead to your word-of-mouth referrals for them to your peers. The more customers who speak highly of their services, the more successful they become.
So…Which Agency is Right for Your Business?
Within Calgary alone, there are over 1,500 marketing agencies and/or consultants (a simple Google search for marketing businesses in Calgary nets over 20K results). The Calgary CMA lists over 160 while the BBB has vetted 150+ as well. How can you choose which one is the eon for your business? Start by looking for a company who understands your business or sector. Maybe look for one that has been in business for a while with a proven track record. What is at their core for corporate culture? You want to work not only with companies that make you better but that also align with your “fit” as well.
Work With Wingman
Your marketing efforts should always be successful, but after reading this, it should be clear you can’t fly solo. You don’t have to. We can help. Figuratively and literally, we are our clients’ Wingman. Want to find out how? Book a Wingman today for a needs assessment and initial consultation. In 30 minutes, we will show you how we have been able to say, “We got your back” and how we back that statement up.