Scaling is one of the most challenging things for businesses today. It takes time, money, strategy, and top-notch marketing to skyrocket from a successful small business to a more prominent, established brand.
But many retailers, e-commerce, and CPG brands get stuck on marketing. It makes sense. Marketing can and does feel quite nebulous to those who don’t do it as their primary specialty. Especially in the ever shifting digital landscape today.
It’s why many e-commerce businesses choose to leverage outside companies in addition to or instead of internal teams. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of using an agency to boost your brand’s marketing and ultimately grow your business? This article breaks down the best and worst things about hiring an agency to execute your brand’s marketing strategy.
Pros of Hiring an Agency
More Expertise, Skill Sets, and Creativity
An agency like Hawke Media has a wide range of experts on hand on a wide variety of channels. That means you get more expertise on more channels, for less money than you would get hiring and training a team internally. Agency experts work on their specialty daily with countless other brands, which makes them that much better at knowing what works best on which channels.
More Capacity With Less Cost
The number of employees you’d have to internally hire in order to get the same level of expertise as an agency would be astronomical. With an agency, you don’t have to pay for the training, onboarding, and benefits it would take to get a team up to speed on all the potential marketing channels your brand would be on and how they work best together.
Tested and Fresh Ideas
Experts at an agency tend to know what works and what is currently trending. This means that you get the freshest ideas and insights, while also being able to trust that those ideas were tested for efficacy and efficiency.
On that same note, an agency is well suited to understand the competitive landscape of your industry better than you might since they work in many different verticals, their talent is likely industry experts and they do extensive market research on an ongoing basis.
More Tools and Partners
Unlike retail, D2C, or ecommerce brands, agencies have wide networks of partners and tools that allow them to garner your brand more reach with less effort. Oftentimes they are able to leverage their network of partners to ensure you get preferred pricing for tech tools you might want to use and better support and customer service via dedicated agency representatives as well, not to mention exclusive access to alphas and betas within ad platforms that can drive bottom line results.
If the work an agency does for your brand works, it’s easy enough to scale. You can either increase your spending on a particular channel or service, or add new ones.
Cons of Working with an Agency
Longer Lead Up
It might take longer to execute projects using an agency, but arguably, if you’re starting from scratch, this might not be the case at all. Agencies need to take some time to get to know your brand before they start producing the strategic moves and creative needed to grow your brand and reach your target audience. That means they might not give you deliverables for at least a couple of weeks. But the same can be said with recruiting, hiring, and training an internal team.
An agency is likely to foster less trust than an internal team – at least initially. This is a valid concern that many have when considering using an agency. Internal teams are part of the company; so other internal stakeholders will likely trust them more as they have existing rapport. Internal teams are also vetted by recruiters and hiring managers, and have full transparency into workflows, budgets, and processes of the overall organization.
That being said, in the era of remote work, there are times when internal marketing has had a similar vetting process as an agency, with fewer expertise, reviews, and awards than an agency might have.
Often, agencies will require year-long contracts in order to work with brands. This can be understandably daunting, especially since it’s hard to know how an agency will work for your brand’s marketing until you give them a shot.
Luckily, not all agencies require long-term contracts. Agencies like Hawke Media offer month-to-month contracts and à la carte services, which means you only pay for the services you need for as long as you need them (or are satisfied.)
Less Control and Communication
Having an internal marketing team provides consistent and transparent communication with the ability to directly control the work that they do. The cadence of communication and control with an agency can be a bit different.
However, by setting up weekly syncs and ongoing reporting with a marketing agency, your brand will get the communication and control that it needs to ensure a successful partnership.
Here at Hawke Media, we can admit we are a little biased when it comes to whether or not you should choose an agency rather than an internal only team. But when it comes to the facts, there are more pros than cons to hiring an agency to take your brand’s marketing and growth to the next level. And we’d like to prove it to you. That’s why we are offering a free marketing consultation AND a free audit of a marketing channel of your choice. We can’t wait to hear from you!