If you own a business, you know that every startup hits a point in time where you just can’t do everything by yourself anymore. As an entrepreneur reaches this point, he must analyze whether the situation calls for hiring an employee, contracting a freelancer, or finding some other sort of staffing solution to help round out his team. Partnering with an agency is always an option and has a number of benefits over contracting with random freelancers as things come up.
An agency-client partnership lets you do new things in a smarter way. An agency will get to know your business personality and vision as well as your short-term and long-term goals. They will complete projects within the context of your brand. In essence, the agency and its staff become an extension of your team.
A partner agency is a tremendous resource, especially for smaller businesses. You have access to the talent they retain in a variety of fields and specialties. You can leverage the expertise of their employees to take on unique and exciting work.
In addition, a partner industry has the advantage of knowing what is happening across multiple industries as they work with all of their client partners. They have their thumb on trends and other insights that will allow them to deliver creative solutions to your challenges. Their job is to make their clients look amazing. You’ll find that partner agencies take that responsibility seriously and work hard to stay innovative and fresh so they can deliver cutting-edge products.
We’ve used the following infographic to show other benefits of agency-client partnerships.
LOWER COMMITMENT & COST
While it takes an initial effort to find an agency that is a good fit with your brand, there is less commitment involved when you partner with an agency instead of hiring an employee with experience and talent in the area you seek. You don’t have to recruit, interview, or onboard. Nor are you obligated to use an agency more than once if you are not satisfied with the process, product, or any other aspect of the relationship. No messy firing involved.
Not to mention, it is less expensive to partner with an agency than it is to bring on an equivalent in-house team. Please don’t interpret that to mean you won’t see sizable budget lines in regards to your partner agency. It will most likely be one of your larger expenses but not “expensive” when compared to salaries, benefits, training, etc. that you would have to cover for employees. You can always opt to go with a hybrid approach if you have in-house talent that can be combined with the skill diversification that comes with an agency partnership.
BROADER SKILL SET & EXPERTISE
An outside agency provides you with a team full of experienced and specialized professionals that can produce top-quality work without having to “make do” for any skills or experience gaps you have on your own team. The availability of this broader range of skills makes it much easier to diversify your efforts in any area of your business. Quality partner agencies will foster continual growth by devoting their own resources to keeping their employees on the cutting edge of their respective fields.
PRODUCTIVITY & ACCOUNTABILITY
Agencies are expected to produce top quality work within appointed budgets and project deadlines for all of their clients. As such, they tend to have proven processes in place to help them go about business in an efficient manner. You’ll find projects will typically be completed more quickly than your multi-tasking team would be able to especially if there are unfamiliar components involved.
Agencies are also driven by results both in regards to themselves and their clients. Reporting and the ability to make data-driven decisions are other processes that agencies tend to have well established. This will allow them to provide guiding insights to best inform you do together.
One of the more common challenges of in-house teams is tunnel vision. An outside agency comes to the table with an objectivity that is difficult for people within your organization to demonstrate. Agencies will not be impeded by assumptions or internal biases that can influence decisions. The outside perspectives will often help you sort through any extraneous information and content to produce higher quality end products.
There are only 24 hours in a day and your team can only work so many hours before burn out is inevitable. Point being that you can only increase your in-house team’s production to a certain extent. When you partner with an agency, you can ramp up or slow down engagement as necessitated by your flow of business. The flexibility provided by an outside agency’s team allows you to respond fluidly to changes in demand as they occur.
Whether it is due to practicality or is a matter of budget, there are most likely resources and tools you lack when compared to the assets of a larger agency. As a small business or entrepreneurial startup, it makes sense to partner with an agency that offers a large network of channels and vendors that will benefit your organization. Not only will you have the advantage of those resources, but you’ll also be able to leverage the network connections of your partner agency. In addition, you may find your brand on the receiving end of more visibility when an agency exhibits in their own marketing efforts the work they’ve done for your company.
DIGITAL MARKETING TIE-IN
Now that we’ve covered agency-client partnerships in general, let’s circle back around to the full title of the article and talk about what it looks like when you partner with a digital marketing agency.
To begin with, their marketing practices should have a solid focus on leads, conversions, or sales. The agency should have a commanding understanding of your target audience, how to reach them, and the typical consumer’s journey in regards to conversion. Their practices should be based on consumer data and continuously informed by real-time statistics.
Digital marketing is a continuously changing landscape as new technology and other resources become available. The broader skill set and expertise provided by a partner digital marketing agency should include multiple aspects of design, programming, search engine optimization (SEO), reputation management and more.
There are different types of marketing agencies. Some specialize in areas like website design, SEO or pay-per-click services. Others assist with digital marketing strategy but do not assist in implementing the strategy. And still others are full-service agencies that will cover email, social media, and website content; design; online advertising, and more.
The key to finding an appropriate agency is to understand your organization’s needs. You’ll want to partner with a digital marketing agency that has rich experience and a stellar track record in those areas. Another beauty of this type of partnership is that you only pay for the services you need.
You should expect a partner marketing agency to be proficient with the best and most advanced technology and resources available. These might be software, apps or other tools that help with everything from the creation of content to task automation to analytics. It is important to work with an agency that stays up-to-date with changes in their industry to include those concerning digital security.
The team at Strategy Driven Marketing offers a full array of experience and expertise in all things marketing. We can assist with identity and branding, digital graphics, print materials, advertising, and merchandising needs. We can create a sleek, modern website that is mobile friendly and device responsive. We can optimize for search engines and create content for all types of channels. Whatever your marketing needs, we can help. Contact us today to get started!