You’re the CEO or Marketing Manager working for the same company or in the same industry for more than 20 years. You know everyone in the industry — from the smallest start-up company to your biggest competitors.
As the CEO, you’ve invested hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars into this company. One day, you wake up and realize that you need help, so you decide to hire an inbound marketing agency. During your kickoff call or meeting, you explain to them what you do and what sets you apart from your competitors.
The inbound marketing agency says they are going to take a few days, possibly a few weeks, to let you know what their strategy team thinks about your website and your other marketing efforts. After their research and internal meetings, they come back and tell you that you’re doing it all wrong. You ask yourself, “who do they think they are? What makes them think they know and understand my industry better than I do?”
Why Should I Take the Advice of an Inbound Marketing Agency?
Do you look in the mirror and say, “wow, I’ve been living in this body for 65 plus years now — I know everything there is to know about it.” Or, “I’ve been driving this same car for more than a decade, I know it inside and out.” Or, “why do I need a lawyer? I was there and saw everything and the lawyer did not.” Of course not!
You take your doctor’s advice regarding your health; you listen to your mechanic when he recommends repairs; and you hire a lawyer because you don’t know your way around a courtroom. Well, it’s the same reason you should listen to your inbound marketing team: Experience.
While it’s true that marketing agencies do not understand or even claim to understand your industry better than you do, what they do have is experience. They know how to apply and integrate inbound marketing to supplement your current processes.
The marketing agency has a unique third-party perspective on how to identify the current pain points and what they have done with similar companies to create solutions for those pain points. Every company is different, in so many ways, but the role of the agency isn’t to step in and take control of the organization; rather, their role is to add a layer of experience and expertise to help your organization scale efficiently.
While you and your team's main focus is the big picture and the day-to-day tasks such as providing quality services to your customers, whether that’s B2B or B2C. Your marketing agency’s main focus, on the other hand, is trying to figure out what makes your customer personas tick.
As such, your marketing team:
- Focuses on keeping up with marketing shifts and design/development trends. They do this by performing hours of consistent research, A/B testing, and looking at key performance indicators/matrix using tools such as Google Analytics, Hotjar, and Moz to help narrow down the proper keywords and meta tags that are going to help Google and other search engines navigate prospects to your website.
- Creates buyer personas. This way they can better understand the people that are already buying from you and study their patterns .
- Designs modern user and mobile-friendly websites. While doing so, they keep all the above strategies in mind with added persona-targeted content that communicates the right tone to attract and convert visitors into leads using strategically placed CTAs/links, keywords, etc. This will keep the prospect interest and lead them down the sales/marketing funnel.
After this, they don’t just stop there; they rinse and repeat. All of these efforts are for one purpose and one purpose only: to have a clearer understanding of how to better nurture your visitors and personas so they can be converted into customers and future promoters.
Should I Not Have a Say in What Goes on in My Company’s Marketing Efforts?
When you visit your mechanic, doctor, or lawyer, they will provide you with a few pieces of advice and try to be as detailed as possible in their findings. They then ask, “what do you want to do?” This is the same relationship you should have with your marketing agency.
So to answer your question: yes. You, as the owner of the company, should always have the final say on everything your marketing company does. After all, it is your company. This is not to say that their efforts are wrong, or that you shouldn’t trust them. No, it’s so you’re all on the same page and for you to have an opportunity to offer any advice that can strengthen their efforts.
Keep in mind, you’re the expert in your industry. You understand the lingo as well as know the ins-and-outs much more than any marketing agency could. However, this doesn’t mean that you should throw your weight around. This is a team effort. Always remember that you hired them for a purpose — either because you do not have the time to invest in the marketing efforts yourself, or you just need a team who has a little more experience in this area than you. Either way, try to give them as much space as possible so they can do their job and get you the end results you desire.
How Should I Choose the Right Marketing Agency?
With so many marketing agencies, how do I choose the right agency that’s going to get me exactly what I need for my company? In order to choose the right agency that’s going to be the best fit, there are a few things you first need to ask yourself:
What Exactly am I Trying to Accomplish?
This is where your first thoughts would be, “obviously, more ROI.” But, you need to narrow this down a little more. Why do you think your marketing efforts are not performing as well as they should?
Is it that you need someone or a team of people that specializes in paid media to ramp up some quick wins? Are you looking for a team of designers/developers who can design a kickass website that outshines your competitors and get you tons of sessions and leads? Do you need a marketing strategist who will help you figure out what you’re doing wrong and what your next steps should be?
You need to figure out what you’re trying to accomplish before you can choose the best company to take on that challenge.
What are My Long- and Short-Term Goals?
It’s easy to say, “yes, I want to transform my company from a team of 10 to a team of 100 people.” Or, “I want to change my company’s net profit from $1 million per year to $5.5 million per year. I want my company to be the next Apple.” However, in order to reach those goals, you have to start somewhere. What are the things you would like to see happen between now and the next three months that can get your business on the path of becoming the next Apple?
Depending on what your long- and short-term goals are and what you’re trying to accomplish, you may just need a full team. Here’s a resource that can help you narrow down your options.
What Makes a Good Fit Marketing Agency?
Just because you’re a company looking to spend tons of money on an agency doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to be a good fit for you. I won’t dive too deeply into this, but check out this link for more information.
One of the biggest mistakes a CEO can make is walking into an agreement with an inbound marketing agency, thinking that this is going to solve everything—that, now, simply because you’ve invested in this agency, you’re going to start seeing huge spikes in traffic and conversions within the first 3 to 6 months.
Keep in mind, depending on where your marketing efforts were prior to hiring this agency, they may need to make some necessary changes based on their experience and expertise which could push your initial goal a few months back in order for them to set the proper foundation. While this is something you look at everyday, most of this information will be new to them, which provides an opportunity for them to put themselves into your buyer’s shoes and identify any missing opportunities.
To have a great relationship with a marketing agency, ensure you first do proper research so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself and your team into. After this, give them a few months to take the wheel while you provide them with needed support to help them in their marketing efforts, so they can do what they specialize in. This will build a healthy, two-way relationship between your team and the agency, which will help your efforts in the long run.