Tell me about your day. Do you find yourself working into the wee hours of the night thinking about customers and growing your business? Do you believe that saving a penny is better than investing a penny? Does a jack of all trades, but a master of none describe you?
For all too many people, this describes them. I, too, at one point found myself to be one those individuals that felt he had to be involved with everything in order to grow, but boy was I wrong.
When I started my first business I found myself ideating, researching, creating, running operations, and accounting. On one hand, it gave me an idea of all aspects of the business. On the other, I couldn’t scale. I had plateaued with my business and I needed help.
It was then when I realized that I needed to outsource things I hated to do to specialists and experts when my company started to grow. My first business grew from 1 city to over 10 cities because I was able to find managers that I could trust to scale the business.
Marketing is one of those aspects that you might feel is just too complicated to keep up with or your efforts may not be paying dividends. In my past columns I broken down marketing into several disciplines: strategic planning, creative, media, social, events, and PR. All of those disciplines further break down into categories and sub categories.
Now you might own one of those companies that have an “in-house” team or an individual to manage your marketing efforts. If you are lucky, you have more than one person working on marketing for your company, but for many, that’s just not the case.
There are many pros and cons to keep your marketing in-house. Recently, Anheuser Busch decided to turn over their media responsibilities to an agency because they may have felt that the in-house team was getting a little stale and that there was more value to go with an outside agency. Let’s compare and contrast the options and see if it’s time for you to hire a marketing agency.
1. Expertise and vast industry knowledge at your disposal:
If you have ever gone exploring in a foreign country, you will understand this situation. Even though you have a map or have done your research for all the best places to visit, you still sought help and recommendations from a local. This is because the local will be able to give you tips based on their personal knowledge, which will be more detailed useful than any other travel websites. This is very much the same with a marketing agency. Agencies are there to do marketing, and only marketing, everyday of the week, with clients from various industries. Thus they are not only experts of all marketing strategies, but they will also know what works best for your business. There is not a better place to find marketing experts and get help for your business marketing strategy than from an agency.
2. A business partner you could use:
All agencies will assign you with an account manager. Think of that account manager as your business partner in marketing who will keep a close eye on the progress of your campaign. Your account manager will work with the different teams in the agency to make sure that your marketing campaigns are on track from start to finish. Being a business owner is not easy, but with a partner there to always monitor your marketing campaigns, you will be able to focus on bigger things. At the end of the campaign, your account manager will provide you with the data on how your campaign performed and how to better plan for your next campaign (with the help of the experts back at the agency of course). There will be ease of mind that an agency will provide exactly what you need for your business, especially if you are struggling at the moment.
3. A creative brain to help you:
All agencies have a creative department that will help you brainstorm marketing ideas and design. Sometimes an in-house team will continue to churn out the same ideas over and over again. Working with an agency could bring new life and fresh ideas that will help to invigorate your brand. However, working with an agency even if you already have an in-house marketing team does not discredit them at all. Instead, an agency creative team could supplement the work that your team is already doing while bringing out-of-the-box ideas to the table.
4. An aid to be culturally appropriate:
If you would like to expand your business to a specific demographic, it would be essential to bring on a marketing agency with the specific expertise in that area. People from different cultures and countries consume and respond to marketing and advertising differently. If you are interested in reaching out to the young Asian adults, you cannot simply just Google, “How do I advertise to young Asian adults?” and expect to be able to create culturally appropriate strategies to align to their media habits. It is really not that simple, and this is why you should reach out for help to an agency that specializes in Asian American marketing.
5. Real time marketing:
Marketing in today’s digital age is tough because everything happens very quickly. One bad miscalculation can have a negative effect on your business that can last for a long time if not caught in time. For example, T-Mobile launched a campaign that addressed Verizon called #NeversettleforVerizon. This campaign had a strong backlash on social media from loyal Verizon customers. Luckily, T-Mobile had an agency that reacted in real time and immediately pulled the promoted Twitter trend ad. Marketing agencies have larger resources than internal teams, so they have the ability to monitor, track, and adjust in real time to protect your brand from damage.
It’s not always going to be cut and dry when deciding to hire an agency, but the first step is to realize you need help in marketing. Budgets can be an issue, so sometimes hiring a consultant to work with your current team is a start. Now before you go and hire an agency, treat them like a prospective business partner and make sure you will along, and also check for their references and client experiences. Remember, marketing matters!
This article was written by Giancarlo Pacheco, President and CEO of PCA, for Asian Journal. Learn more about our expertise at www.plancagency.com.