Believe it or not, hiring a few people to create an in-house marketing team isn’t the panacea companies would love to believe it is. It’s nowhere near it, actually.
Modern marketing is a lot like Moore’s Law, where it’s basically a given that the speed of a word-processor will double every two years. Marketing advancements are similar, only we’re not dealing with one tool, we’re talking numerous tools and platforms that are constantly evolving and demanding adaptability. And while it’s known marketing teams are always on the chase, it’s also known that tech, digital, and mobile advances are too constant, specialized, and time-consuming for a few people to manage effectively. It really does take a village—a village of consistent marketing partners who can help you navigate and integrate the complexities of these changes.
The right one will make sense of the chaos, and enable you to leverage digital and traditional media so that it helps your company build awareness, drive leads, and convert new customers. Here’s why:
1. They give you a TEAM of experts and strategists
There are too many silos of specialized knowledge that have to be leveraged and integrated together in order to be effective. You need a team of professionals who can come in and truly learn your business—your industry, your opportunities, your multiple target audiences—and develop ongoing, sustainable initiatives designed to build awareness, find new leads, and drive sales.
Strategic Writer: someone to oversee ongoing, relevant messaging
Designer: someone to create impactful graphics, video, charts, and visuals
Social Media Manager: someone to manage and coordinate posts and blogs
SEM Manager: someone to implement, track, measure, and analyze paid media
SEO Manager: someone to oversee all organic efforts and opportunities
2. They engage multiple audiences
Brands once dictated messages and campaigns, but today, customers are in control of the message and where they want to consume it. For you, it’s no longer about hard selling, but helping. Listening to your customers needs and making their lives easier. To do that effectively requires multiple layers of marketing prowess across a number of specialized fields (see above). It is absolutely critical that brands supply customers with relevant, consistent information. Note: Most of what contributes to brand success today depends on developing intentional lifecycle marketing—nurturing multiple audiences at various stages of the customer journey.
3. They offer both digital and traditional marketing solutions
Any agency you engage must be able to provide comprehensive, integrated services to create the right mix of solutions for your company. One or two people just can’t achieve this. And while it’s important to have specialized talent across the board, all of that talent can’t do its job if its siloed. Look for teams committed to working together as one cohesive unit. That’s when the magic happens.
4. They help you drive leads consistently
This is ultimately what it’s all about. The right agency should offer the right mix of integrated services for your business to drive high quality leads. The emphasis is on quality not quantity. The more strategic and precise your marketing agency can be, the more effective they will be at finding the type of prospect you’re looking for. After all, more leads isn’t the goal, better leads is. It comes down to the agency understanding what motivates your customers and then developing actionable initiatives that move the needle for the results you’re after.
5. They provide real results and analytics to help you grow
Your agency shouldn’t mince words, it should be knowledgeable and honest enough to clearly communicate what’s working and what isn’t. They should have the behavioral marketing tools and automated marketing processes in place that enable companies to gather information about individuals or groups at each stage of the customer journey. This enables them to identify new opportunities and analyze the real-time numbers and results. The goal is to get smarter and smarter over time so that you can engage and influence your target segments at each stage of the sales cycle. And to do that, everything must be trackable.
Bottom Line: An Agency of Record helps you build sustainable growth
Having a good product/service isn’t enough. Knowing your customer base isn’t enough. You no longer control the message, your customers do. They have more information and solutions at their fingertips than ever before. Keeping their loyalty requires your consistency—ongoing, useful, engaging information that they need/want to help make their lives better or simpler or more fulfilling.