The Pros and Cons of Hiring an Internet Marketing Agency

Editor’s note: Yes, Good Monster is an Internet Marketing Agency – or ‘Engagement Agency’ as we like to call ourselves – so it seems odd that we would give you any ‘cons’ to hiring a company like us. But honestly, there might be for some companies. Before we take on a new client, we always want to make sure that the relationship is going to be a partnership, and that it works perfectly for everyone. So in the spirit of being transparent, we thought it would be a good idea to explain why a company might want to outsource their internet marketing and why they might want to bring it in house.

Internet marketing is a crucial part of any small or medium sized businesses’ growth strategy, and can be critical to their success. Many smaller businesses lack the expertise to effectively market, but they balk at the idea of letting another company control such an intimate segment of their business. There are many advantages of outsourcing these tasks to an internet marketing agency, however, and we at Good Monster have taken the time to list both the pros and cons of hiring an outside company to take care of your marketing.

Let’s start off with the benefits:

Decreased Payroll Costs

While outsourcing will incur the cost of hiring an internet marketing agency, you may end up saving money in the long-run. You will avoid the extra costs of keeping these processes internal, which can include hiring new employees and providing them yearly benefits, hiring contract or temp workers when you are working on a new project or campaigning heavily, and providing training to your current employees so they can complete certain tasks for you. Finally, by outsourcing your marketing content, online blog, or other projects, you provide yourself a more structured marketing budget which allows you to spend wisely and only incur additional costs when absolutely necessary. Keeping the cost variable frees you to spend more of your budget producing value for customers in other ways.

Leverage Their Expertise

It’s certainly possible that you have the ability to write an article on your company’s online blog, but without expertise in search engine optimization it isn’t going to generate any additional traffic or revenue. One of the most significant advantages of outsourcing is utilizing the expertise that these internet professionals have developed working with other small businesses in the area. An internet marketing agency is going to have experts in a wide variety of areas. They will be able to help you with local business website design, or develop a new email campaign utilizing automated email marketing services. There will be expert writers, designers, and social media specialists. You will be able to combine your expertise with your industry and customers with their expertise in marketing and develop a much better strategy than you could by yourself.

Time

Taking care of all your marketing endeavors in-house can be a significant strain on employees in all departments. Your Human Resources Department will have to spend time recruiting contractors when you require temp work on a special marketing project. Your IT staff will need to spend time maintaining and building your website, even if they don’t have sharp local business website design skills. And somebody on your staff has to take the time to type up an email to blast to your customer list, rather than utilizing automated email marketing services. By freeing your staff of tedious tasks related to marketing, you allow them to focus on their expert skill sets and grow in their strengths. Left to focus on their actual jobs, it is highly likely that you will see an increase in performance of all departments, not just marketing.

Additional Perspective

You know the inside and outside of your industry, and know exactly what your company’s strengths and weaknesses are. It is likely that you view your company through a very particular lens, which is natural since it is such a personal part of who you are. When you are marketing, however, it’s important to view your company through a customer’s perspective, and that’s what internet marketing experts do best. Your thoughts on marketing efforts are going to have a bias, and likely won’t be as effective as they could be. Another wonderful benefit of bringing in outside help is being given a fresh perspective and brand new ideas that likely would have never even crossed your mind. Utilizing these customer-focused ideas can quickly take your marketing to the next level.

Clearly, there are many advantages of outsourcing your small business marketing tasks. There are however, some disadvantages as well. A truly exceptional internet marketing firm will be able to alleviate most of these disadvantages, so this can also be read with an eye towards the types of things you must consider when looking for a firm to work with.

They Aren’t Employees

If you keep marketing in-house, you can call a meeting at any time to discuss a new idea or concern you have. When you’re working with an outsourced marketing firm, you won’t have access to them 24/7. You won’t have the chance to stop by their desk for a chat about the latest campaign. A good marketing firm will keep in constant contact and make an effort to respond as quickly as possible, but it isn’t the same. You certainly aren’t their only client and (probably) aren’t their biggest client, either, so it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle and take longer to engage than you would like. It is important to find an agency who will treat you as a true partner and focus on exceptional response times.

Easy to Get Comfortable

Marketing is a fluid, agile market that requires companies to be flexible and quick on their feet to bring new customers in consistently. When you aren’t getting your hands dirty with your marketing efforts, it can easily get stale without recognizing it. Ensure that you have more than one measurable in place to track how effective the marketing is, and the ability to recognize immediately if it begins to falter. Put into place a plan of action in case there is ever an emergency or something that needs to be taken care of immediately. An exceptional firm will be happy to oblige and will be working to find these opportunities for you even when not asked.

Exaggerated Expectations

Especially in the competitive advertising market, there is a tendency to exaggerate results in order to gain business. Be very wary of a company that promises to double your sales in only two months, or triple your internet traffic overnight. These promises sound like golden opportunities, but if they were able to offer services that were able to deliver they would be billionaires. Find a company that is willing to create an action plan with measured, achievable goals and milestone to ensure your marketing strategy creates sustainable growth. Another point to make here is that if a company uses false advertising to earn your business, there is a good chance they will employ the same tactics to bring in customers for your company. Stay away from these firms and focus on more realistic agencies.

In the end, a partner that has been carefully selected and managed properly can provide a great deal of value to your company. The Human Resources Department, accountants, and the rest of your staff will appreciate the opportunity to focus less on menial tasks and more on their strengths. You can gain a customer-based perspective and rely on the expertise of niche professionals to create exceptional content. If you are able to temper immediate expectations and develop the ability to work and grow with your chosen agency, the sky will be the limit for your company.

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