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Looking for an inbound marketing agency you can rely on?
For most businesses, an inbound marketing agency is a terrific partner who can help you achieve your goals faster. Many business leaders find that, after they finally “take the plunge,” it’s hard to imagine how they ever got along without digital marketing expertise.
Of course, as with anything, Your Mileage May Vary.
It’s essential to have the power of digital marketing automation and inbound marketing on your side. Still, not everyone finds that an inbound marketing agency is ideal for them. This might be because of workflow, technology, or many other reasons.
At Bluleadz, we want you to make an informed decision – even if it means passing us by.
In this post, you’ll get to see the ultimate list of pros and cons for partnering with an inbound marketing agency. There’s no sugarcoating: Our team understands that one size doesn’t fit all. If we’re not right for you, then the sooner you learn that, the better for everyone.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Hiring an Inbound Marketing Agency: The Pros
1. Hiring an Agency Tends to Be Cheaper
When it comes to cost, hiring an agency is a far better move. Digital marketing is getting more complex by the day. Just paying for software licenses can be a challenge for some enterprises, let alone recruiting and training experts who understand how to use all the tools. Agencies come with the full stack of marketing applications and the expertise already packed in the box.
2. An Agency Can Get You Faster Results
No matter what your marketing plan or goals, an agency is the way to get there faster. Agencies bring with them best practices and proven results. Since they’ve already experienced “lessons learned” firsthand, you don’t have to spend months or years reinventing the wheel. Any good agency can get you started on the road to your objectives within just a week.
3. An Agency Monitors and Proves ROI
How do you know if you’re getting where you want to go? In the marketing world, the answer is analytics and reporting. Agencies live or die based on the results they can deliver each month or quarter, so you can expect them to show you exactly what you’ve gotten for your money. And, if they underperform, they’re completely accountable – unlike employees who often slide by.
4. An Agency Keeps You Focused
No matter what your company does, it takes time, dedication, and effort to be the best. What happens if you split your focus to develop your own robust in-house marketing team? In a few years, you might have a pretty good organization ... but what are the opportunity costs? With an agency, you get to keep your resources focused on where they will get the best use.
5. An Agency Drives Automation
The years of doing everything by hand – from coding entire websites to posting on every social media platform – are over. With marketing automation, you stand to save hundreds of work hours each year over and above what an agency already does for you. By automating the most tedious and error-prone processes, you can achieve twice as much in half the time.
6. An Agency Helps You Differentiate
To get the most from any marketing agency, you have to understand your customers and your unique value proposition. Any agency can help you define these aspects of your business, but a truly excellent one takes that a step further by ensuring your marketing communicates your brand at every step. With this approach, your marketing sets you apart from the competition.
7. An Agency Makes You More Scalable
New products, services, geographies – it all takes more resources. Most internal marketing teams aren’t ready to turn on a dime if a new project comes up or an existing one needs a new spin. With an agency, you have huge flexibility in how much capacity you call on at any one time. If you need support for something new, your agency can step in right away.
8. An Agency Means Lower Headcount
Everyone knows that payroll is the most expensive part of most businesses. With an agency, you don’t need to worry about it. Not only do you save money compared to hiring, but you simplify and streamline many aspects of your business. You’ll never have to be concerned about whether your agency partners have the right skills, insurance, or retirement plan.
9. An Agency Controls Duplication of Effort
Even with the best of intentions, an internal marketing team often ends up doing things twice. With more than three people, it’s hard for the left hand to know what the right is doing. Without documented standards and procedures, it’s easy for your marketing to drift off track and become inconsistent. Agency pros understand how to cut through the clutter.
10. An Agency Means Less Wasted Time
“To manage, we must measure.” Everyone knows the quote, but everyone also has at least one story about jumping into a business project that didn’t follow this crucial truth. When all is said and done, a marketing campaign has to produce bottom line results. An agency knows how to get a campaign on track and when to admit that it won’t work as planned.
Hiring an Inbound Marketing Agency: The Cons
1. You Lose Some Level of Control
For those who love to delegate, an agency relationship is perfect. You can be more efficient and focused while leaving the tough stuff in expert hands. If you like to do everything yourself, then you may find yourself frustrated by the constraints of an agency. Maintaining the balance means committing to communicate with your agency partners and building trust on both sides.
2. You Have to Get In on the Technology
At Bluleadz, we’re firm believers in the inbound marketing vision set out by Hubspot. Hubspot truly brings marketing automation and centralization to the next level. At any given moment, it does the work of dozens of tools. If you’re not ready to streamline, simplify, and synthesize your technology stack, you might find this to be a bit of a bummer.
3. You Have to Streamline Approval
An agency relationship works best when your marketing partners are out there building value for you every hour of the day. If production has to slam to a stop every few days for a complicated sign-off process, you simply won’t get the full benefits. Some large, complex enterprises – especially in regulation-focused industries – might chafe at this.
4. Processes Have to Be Aligned
So, you’ve heard tons and tons about the value of inbound marketing ... but your marketing and sales processes are still focused on old-fashioned outbound approaches. It’s no problem: Here at Bluleadz, we can help guide the change. But ... there has be a taste for change. If your organization is full of holdouts, they may well undermine your inbound marketing results.
5. Sales Has to Be Part of the Transformation
Speaking of sales and marketing ... the days of a single-silo vision for digital marketing are over. To get the most from inbound, sales and marketing pros need to learn together. After all, sales teams have firsthand insights on what customers are saying and thinking when real money is on the line. An agency functions at its best when this knowledge is shared proactively.
6. Work Has to Be Delegated
For some entrepreneurs, the idea of outsourcing collides with the reality. You can hear about all the benefits only to realize that it’s simply not right for you once it actually starts happening. This mostly happens in smaller enterprises with 30 employees or less. Unfortunately, it’s a business challenge that goes beyond marketing ... all part of developing as a company.
7. Results Take Time
An inbound marketing agency will deliver faster and better results, but it will still take time to get there. You WILL see ROI, but results are incremental and build up through consistency. Each week should represent a step forward, but it may take up to a year for all of your efforts to work together and bear fruit. Which is still better than a year spent not marketing!
Choose an Agency that Will Make Working Together Easier
Last, but not least, there’s this to remember: All agencies are different.
Even among inbound marketing agencies that use Hubspot, for example, you’re going to see wide variation in focus, methods, and execution. So, it’s important to ask yourself: Is this inbound marketing agency the right one for me?
You can figure that out in a number of ways:
- Does the agency offer the tools, techniques, and strategies that we want to implement?
- Does it provide a proven record of results based on trusted testimonials and reviews?
- Does the agency team truly understand my business, industry, and unique needs?
- Do I feel “comfortable” with the agency – can I imagine working with this team?
In the end, online research only goes so far. To be sure you make the right choice, it’s vital to contact the agency directly and talk to a pro who can give you one-on-one insights. Only then can you start to experience the difference and know your questions are being answered fully.
Let’s be clear: For some firms, an inbound marketing agency is the best investment, bar none. For others, not so much. If you want personalized help deciding on the right move for you, we’re always here to help at Bluleadz.
Published on September 18, 2017