Fred Ryder, CEO of Secure Site Digital advises, "You might need to hire a digital marketing agency if your business has reached a plateau or suffered a loss in visibility, sales, or client base, and you want to get it growing again."
If the growth of your previously successful marketing efforts has been slowing down, or hit a plateau, it might be time to get some help.
Not making milestones
All businesses with a proper plan have growth milestones that they are waiting to reach (and celebrate). However, what if you aren't reaching them?
What's the possible reason?
"Over the years of providing companies with a marketing strategy," shares Dudayev, "I find that many overestimate how many resources they can allocate to digital marketing every month and end up falling behind or abandoning their digital marketing efforts altogether."
Abandoning your marketing efforts can certainly lead to you falling short of your milestones.
You've hit the ceiling
For other companies, even following through on marketing tasks can eventually lead to a growth plateau. As Ben Taylor, Founder of HomeWorkingClub.com puts it, "You might need to hire a digital marketing agency if you've reached the limits of what you and your internal team can achieve on your own."
"There's plenty that people can achieve in marketing by themselves — even people without that much experience," he adds. "You can pitch to journalists, produce articles that go viral, and have lots of small victories. But sooner or later you hit a ceiling — one that you may be able to break through much more easily with the help of an agency's expertise and contacts."
Cariad Marketing SEO/PPC Manager Jamie Burgess helps to explain why your internal team might be reaching its limits: "As awareness of the importance of digital marketing has grown, many companies — particularly small businesses — have been relying on in-house resources to cover their online marketing. In the best cases, this responsibility usually falls to someone in the marketing team, but usually, this person will be a generalist in terms of their knowledge and abilities."
More than just a generalist
If your team has a generalized knowledge of digital marketing, rather than in-depth specialized skills, an agency can help overcome your plateau, says Warren Diggles, President of Diggles Creative. He adds, "90 percent of businesses cited outsourcing as crucial to their growth and is considered the 'growth hack' for most small companies and startups."
Adding advanced skillsets and tools
"While [an in-house marketing generalist] is fine to an extent," says Burgess, "many of the different areas of digital marketing are very specialist skills that require both experience and ongoing learning to carry out effectively.
While a novice learning on the job may be able to gain some results, they will both take longer to do so and at some point hit a barrier where they are unable to take it further.
A digital marketing agency will have specialists in all of the key disciplines who will be able to assess the current efforts and quickly identify the issues and opportunities. As an example, an SEO specialist will be able to quickly find any technical issues that could be holding back progress, prioritize changes that will have the greatest effect, and highlight quick wins such as overlooked keywords or missed link opportunities."
"Perhaps the primary benefit of working with an agency," suggests Diggles, "is that marketing is their 'bread and butter' so to speak. They can bring to the table highly advanced digital marketing skill sets, knowledge of what works, and already have all of the tools you might need (e.g., specialized software)."
Access to these advanced skillsets comes "without the cost of hiring full- or part-time people in-house," says Ryder.
In addition to the lower cost, Dudayev emphasizes that agencies already "have the systems and know-how in place, which results in less trial and error. When you hire a marketing agency, they are required to deliver with deadlines in place. This ends up being a more disciplined marketing approach, rather than trying to do it all yourself."
Not only will hiring a digital agency add specialist skillsets to your marketing efforts, but it can cost less than hiring in-house specialists, and take less time to see results, but you get to let the agency worry about meeting deadlines.
Focused strategies help drive growth
Another way that an agency can help your business to overcome stagnation is by helping to focus and hone strategies. As Diggles says, "A digital marketing agency is more like a strategic partner — your marketing will have direction and purpose behind it in such a way that it provides just what you need to get your business growing again."
When it comes to marketing efforts, many companies see the internet as a deluxe Vegas-style buffet where no choices are wrong. Where do you start? What are your goals? How is there any way to lose? Just being here is awesome, no matter what I eat.
Just like a day at the Bellagio, you need a plan, or you are just going to eat a bunch of low-cost entrees, not worth your investment, and you will probably feel sick.
"The internet provides one of the biggest marketing offerings to all companies, big or small, with the ability to access your customer base and potential clients globally within their own home or mobile device," explains Ryder. "In our experience, what businesses that need digital marketing agencies struggle with is understanding how the internet and search engines work, how to make their company stand out from all the others — unpicking analytics, making a voice on social media, working out current trends, and how to market to not only people but an algorithm — is a skill that doesn't come from simply throwing money at an unfocused Adwords campaign, as this will often cause disappointment and frustration….
Digital marketing has the capability to be more targeted, personalized and adaptable than traditional forms of marketing. Because of this, a digital marketing agency will push you to think carefully about what you do, who your clients are, and what you are looking to achieve, honing your messaging in order to get genuine results
In our experience, through this process of honing a company's messaging and goals, we are able to get tangible results. Furthermore, using analytics to complement our campaigns means we can understand and share the results of our work with our clients in tangible ways. We can show that we are building the company, sales, and audience that they are hoping to achieve. As such, we look to not only increase our client's digital reach, but also to help them use the data from this to grow their company in the most effective way. The best part, from both our perspective and the client's perspective, is that digital marketing results are quantifiable. They are measurable, tracked and data-driven. It's a discipline that's not about design-based whims, it's about raw, hard data — hypotheses, tests, conversions, results, measurable ROIs."
Agency leadership drives consistent momentum
"I've found time and time again, and with my insights from reviewing hundreds of Google Analytics accounts, that fast-growing businesses cannot consistently sustain (digital) revenue growth if the leadership team is responsible for marketing efforts," says Shah.
There are too many balls in the air for such teams, and it's hard to keep up with the latest innovations, opportunities, and tactics while staying focused on delivering product or maintaining customer service.
A digital agency can help be another seat at the leadership table, providing opportunities, working through challenges, and helping find that next phase of growth."