Let alone an agency, do you realize that you need some sort of marketing for your startup or company? Of course, you do!
Whether you started solo or with a team, you completely understand that you’ll ultimately need customers to add fuel to the engine you started. Your customers help you put on the lights and pay your bills. You can’t run your company on mere pocket investment. The trick is to reinvest the money you make from your business, back into the business to help it grow.
Read: 10 Reasons Your Startup Will Fail & How You Can Save it
But, where do these customers come from?
You can’t keep on hitting the target in the dark. You have to have a strategy and work on marketing your business. If your marketing works well, then only your sales people will have enough leads, and only then you’ll have customers for your business.
It’s a process. I know, being a business owner, you sometimes have to indulge into ten different job profiles. That’s understandable. You can do that when you just start up, when there are not many customers to look after to. But, as you grow, you need to have a competitive marketing team that knows the job well and takes your company to the next level.
Now, let’s take a look at what does a good marketing team look like!
Senior Marketer: This employee will take charge of managing the whole marketing team. He/She will create and update strategies from time to time that will be followed by the team. He will assign tasks to everyone in the team.
Approx salary: $85,000 to $90,000
Analyst: This is the employee who will be responsible for analysing the marketing data available, Google Analytics, data of the the running campaigns and do the competitor research. He/she will present the data in readable format and marketing strategies are based upon these results.
Approx salary: $60,000 to $65,000
Junior Marketer: This employee is not into strategising but will use the data provided by the Analyst and instructions given by the Senior Marketer. He will be into SEM, PPC, Social media Ads, Online display ads etc. Sometimes, he/she can also work as an analyst, if the company is small.
Approx salary: $60,000 to $65,000
Content Writer: This employee is accountable for writing all the content required for marketing. His/her job would include writing website pages, blog posts, emails, landing page content, eBooks, video content, white papers, presentation slides, and so on. This part of the marketing process involves a lot of time, effort and creativity. So, mostly there must be more than one content writers in a marketing team.
Approx salary: $45,000 to $55,000
Social Media Manager: This employee is completely required to be a social media buff. He/she has to plan for the strategy on various, work for brand awareness and online reputation, social media platforms, create engaging social media content, find out new ways of fascinating the online audience and ultimately implement ways to generate leads and sales from social media platforms. He/she has to be highly motivated and creative to fit the requirement.
Approx salary: $50,000 to $55,000
Graphic Designer: This employee must have all the design aptitude required to be able to design anything of any sort, any size. He/she is capable of using all the professional designing softwares like Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, CorelDraw, Fireworks etc. Also, he/she is expected to be efficient in using at least one video making software like Final Cut Pro etc. All the marketing and advertising creatives are this person’s responsibility.
Approx salary: $50,000 to $60,000
Website Designer: This employee has the task of creating the company website and maintaining for any bugs and issues. He/she has to constantly work upon updating the website with better design that helps the visitors with the information they’re looking for and ultimately make it interesting. All the landing pages required for the campaigns are his/her chores.
Approx salary: $50,000 to $55,000
Now, this is what your marketing team must look like. You require a budget of $400,000 to $445,000 to afford the in-house marketing team.
Have you hired already? Before starting to hire all of these, just remember that all of these are important and incomplete without each other. You can’t miss out on any one. So, if you have the budget to pay the monthly salaries to all these employees, with the overhead maintenance cost of hiring, firing and training the employees, provide them with basic necessities like internet, electricity bills, paid leaves and so on, then go ahead and hire the team and start your marketing full on!
Not only hiring people, you also have to subscribe to a lot of paid marketing tools. You must add those costs as well. These tools could either be one-time purchases or require an annual/monthly subscription. These softwares and tools are required for tasks like in-depth keyword research, landing page creating, CRM, email marketing management, database management, invoicing and billing, social media management, graphic designing, data analysis, business metrics, employee management, and the list never ends.
Gif Credit: Behance
What? Sounds heavy on the pockets? But, you can’t go without them. This is the case with almost every business owner. If you add up the cost of having an in-house marketing team with the required tools and softwares, it comes to $550,000 approximately and that goes way beyond the budget and so, there’s a concept of hiring a Marketing Agency.
A marketing agency is a complete marketing team and you don’t need to pay the team members individually. It’s a monthly bill that you pay the agency for their work – not for their internet or coffees!
Secret Tip: A competent marketing agency has partnerships with a lot of software companies so that they can help provide those softwares and tools at a lower prices to their clients. You must ask for it, if you’re associated with a good marketing agency. This would help you reduce the overall marketing cost in the resources.
A lot of business owners hesitate in hiring a marketing agency because they have some doubts about their work, quality, business understanding etc. But, if you go for an experienced marketing agency, stay assured that you’ll not be ditched.
A good marketing agency even tells you openly about the problems in your product/service. If the product/service is not good, then any awesome marketing strategies would not work effectively. So, this type of marketing agency focuses on helping you with refining your existing solutions. This helps you add meaning to any marketing campaign and gets you real customers, not deceiving any of them for fake information.
Read: 5 Easy Steps Introduce Your Brand New Company
Why Marketing Agency?
To help you make a decision as to whether or not you must hire a marketing agency and, if yes, why you must do so, I have some major points of concern you must look at. Read ahead:
1. Hiring a marketing agency is a cost effective option
This is something we’ve already discussed in very much detail. But, I’ve included it here as the first point so that you realize how important it is.
When you start up your business, you try to be as practical as possible in your expenditures. And, this simply supports your idea of being practical. A marketing agency need not be located in your area of business. They use technology to the extremes and provide you with all you need virtually.
You save your funds in hiring, firing, training, and other costs. The trick is to go for a good marketing agency that understands your business well and helps you grow along the way.
Once you’re worry-free about the spendings, you can focus on the real work, that is your product/service.
2. A marketing agency has the right expertise
Whoever you require in your marketing team, an agency already has. They know their job well enough to craft marketing strategies for you and implement them according to the plan.
You just need to explain your requirement correctly, and set a timeframe, the marketing agency will start working towards the goals. Everyone in their team knows about your business and its audience, and hence the information flows smoothly through their team and their campaigns.
Sometimes, a lot of big companies invest a lot of money on leveraging the expertise of their in-house experts. But, a marketing agency already has experts who have worked before on businesses like yours so they completely know about the twists and turns of your business. You can depend upon them to reach your goals.
3. A marketing agency stays suited to your intention
This is their job and their passion. People in a marketing agency keep themselves updated with the latest technology trends and practices. This helps them to be innovative in their strategies and campaigns.
It is the responsibility of the agency to do a thorough market research on your industry and study about your competitors. They follow and create their own inbound marketing game plan based upon their research.
Starting from persona development, brainstorming on the marketing funnel, a marketing agency works with your team to deliver high quality customer experience. They know about your audience’s interests and behaviors.
4. A marketing agency thinks from a consumer’s point of view
You might already be indulged into some marketing activities from your end before joining hands with an agency. Whatever steps you take must be only and only to serve your audience.
Your marketing agency will help you look at things from your customer’s angle so that you can provide solutions that they like and want. In today’s attention-seeking world, everyone is looking for attention. When you start thinking while standing in your customer’s shoes, you get the 360 degree view of what they’re actually looking for and what will make them feel happy.
The agency might suggest you some drastic changes in your business just to build a customer-centric business. Don’t ignore the suggestions offered. Ignorance might be harmful. Difficult to digest, but try to chew on those points slowly and understand why doing that is important for your business. What kind of impact – positive or negative – would these changes bring?
It might be a change in the marketing message, the tagline of your business, an add-on to your product, a removal of some features from your product, alteration in the specific design elements of your product or website, and so on.
Stop thinking that what you like is what your customers also like. Dangerously, it might not be the case. Wasting time and resources in selling your product in the way you like is obviously not profitable. You must embrace the viewpoint of the customer and a good marketing agency can help you look in that direction.
5. You never have to expand your team
This sounds like a doubtful statement. Now, when your business grows, you have more number of customers and hence you obviously need to have more employees for that. But, this is only true for the rest of your staff that is working on your product, never in case of your marketing team because you have hired a marketing agency.
However huge you grow your business, you will never have to hire the marketing employees if you’ve got a marketing agency to back you up. A marketing agency has the required bandwidth to accommodate your added work for the scaling business.
If you require your marketing team at the agency to deliver more results, you simply need to switch to their next plan to cover your growing needs, not hire more people and expect results.
6. A marketing agency measures your performance
A marketing agency does an audit of your website and your current marketing activities. This audit tells you whether it’s profitable to continue or stop those activities. Accordingly, folks at the agency fix and measure the key performance indicators (KPIs) and see which campaign worked well and which one failed.
The marketing agency decides on the parameters to be measured on different platforms for different marketing campaigns. They give you clear insights and action points for improvement so that customers can better engage with your brand.
Moreover, the marketing agency also prepares a monthly report for you which includes all the details about the activities that happened in that month and the results, and also what must happen the next month. Some high-paying clients also receive a quarterly report.
Although going for a marketing agency is an intelligent decision but it might turn around to be a dangerous one. So, choose the one that best suits your requirement. A lot of good marketing agencies provide for the first free consultation.
Don’t hesitate to give them a call and explain them your requirement. If they understand your requirement and are able to communicate well, you can go ahead with them.
Companies looking for a marketing agency make the mistake of comparing a lot of agencies at the same time on the basis of their fee alone. This mindset might falsely make you believe in the beginning that you’re saving money by going for a cheaper option. But, this might lead you into the black hole and you’ll be lost and lose your money and time forever.
Of course, money is an important factor, but not the only one. Talk to them and understand how they can address your problem. If you think they’re capable and you can pay them for their work, definitely go for them.
If you compromise on the cost, they will compromise on the quality. Directly proportional.
Good luck in finding the best marketing agency for your business soon!
Must-Must-Must Read: Startup Marketing Game Plan and Growth Hacking