Should I Hire A Digital Marketing Agency?

You’ve found it! This is your one-stop full breakdown of what to look for when choosing to hire (or not to hire!) a Digital Marketing Agency.

We explain the what, the why, and the how, and look at some essential marketing services for your business’s development. Ultimately, we will leave you feeling more confident and informed about your company’s marketing future.

I even made a nice table of contents for you to click on and save some valuable time:

average read time - 6 minutes

Let's get started, shall we?

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing refers to the promotion of an organization's products and services through online platforms, such as pay per click, social media marketing, and email marketing.
In an age where your potential customers are constantly occupied by screens, it’s pretty helpful to be able to distribute your information online (and when the world is on lockdown and everyone is staying at home, how else are they going to find you?).

Other avenues include ecommerce website design and development, content writing, video marketing, local SEO strategy & services, web development, banner advertising, RSS feeds… there are many, many services out there.

In essence, Digital Marketing is a way to help an organization be discovered online. And the beauty of it all? Most of this can be achieved from the comfort of one's own house (or very modest apartment).

How is this different from Traditional Advertising?

If it’s online, it’s not traditional advertising. Traditional Advertising covers the usual suspects for media placement, such your local newspaper, the radio (why are sirens noises still allowed on there, anyway?) television, and those billboards that interrupt the view. As the world shifts online, traditional advertising channels are losing steam. It’s not to say this avenue should be ignored, but ultimately the allure of digital marketing is that you can track your ROI from campaign launch all the way to conversion. Check out our article on full funnel marketing for more information.

What is a Full-Suite Digital Marketing Agency?

A full-suite (or “full-service”, it’s interchangeable) digital marketing agency is one that manages any and all aspects of a company's online presence. Every type of marketing channel you could think of would live under one roof, and each channel should have its own dedicated department focusing on the one area. For example, at Noble House Media Group you would find a department for design, another for website development, another for content writing, social media management, SEO, etc.

How is this different from a Digital Marketing Firm?

Back in the day, “Firm” and “Agency” were starkly different terms for the marketing world.

An “agency” meant a collective of individual “agents”. Real Estate, Insurance, Investment Agencies - these are good examples of the traditional sense of the term “agency”. The agents working for them are their own individual entity, acting in the best interests of the main company they’re working with.

Firms, on the other hand, had all those individuals be actual employees or partners, usually working for them and no one else.

In marketing agencies or marketing firms, however, this hasn’t been the case for quite some time. The two terms have become interchangeable for this industry.

Specialist vs. Full-Suite Digital Marketing Companies

We get asked this question a bunch: what is the difference between a full-suite digital marketing agency vs. a specialist agency?

A lot of people are employing the “full service” wording nowadays. This refers to an agency which offers the full, complete array of digital marketing expertise in-house. (I will take care to note the importance of the “in-house” part. Too many agencies outsource their efforts, pushing higher third-party costs onto the client. Keeping things in house means accountability, quality, transparency, and more competitive pricing from the marketing team straight to the client.

If you know that you’ll only need the one type of service for the foreseeable future, then perhaps a nearby specialist firm is the way to go. If you’re looking to grow your business over time and employ multiple marketing channels, then a trusted full-suite agency is the way to go.

Why can’t I just hire multiple specialists and get the best of the best?

I suppose you certainly could! Though if you’re at that stage, it might make more fiscal sense to bring all your marketing operations in-house. Hiring several separate specialist marketing agencies ultimately means more work for you, because now you’re having to try and coordinate them all separately - and pay fees to each on top of that.

Full-suite marketing agencies take on the responsibility to perform your business’s marketing holistically so you can focus on doing what you do best for your business.

What Are The Advantages?

Here are other advantagesAnd some more. There are so many great reasons, that I think it’s time for a bulleted list:

  • better results - we do this for a living after all
  • lower costs - agency discounts, larger client volumes, in-house goodness
  • less time - we’ve refined this down to an art… and a science!
  • no personnel investment required - why hire 10 new employees when you can hire one firm?
  • no need for technical skills - pixel installation, chroma key compositing, 301 redirects - what takes newcomers hours takes professionals much less time to achieve.
  • Minimal effort - full suite agencies take the load of your back
  • no additional subscription services - no need to pay hundreds a month for all these separate platforms - a full suite marketing agency has all the best ones available already
  • No additional equipment needs - why invest thousands in superior 3D product photography and drone videography equipment when someone else can handle that for you at a fraction of the cost?

With the help of an experienced digital marketing company, businesses can increase their organic traffic, their paid traffic, and ultimately increase revenue, whilst decreasing their operating costs. Using digital marketing channels provides businesses with a lot of measurable exposure and popularity, that cannot otherwise be found with traditional advertising.

We have almost tripled all numbers because of the Noble House team’s hard work. Switching companies is always difficult, but Peter and Gregg made it easy. They always explained the process in terms that we could grasp.

Do you want more money?

It's time to get in touch with Fairfield County's preeminent marketing agency.

    What Will Digital Marketing Cost Me?

    You’re unlikely to find a cookie-cutter pricing sheet that is uniform across each marketing service and across each marketing company. This is because each marketing agency offers a different level of service and experience, and - more importantly - each individual business that they service is different too. A 5 page, static website is going to be very different to a 25 page, feature-rich website - even though they’re both “just websites”. This is why we encourage you to look at many agencies when you’re pursuing a service, and go with the one who gives you the best feeling, will be the best fit for your business’s needs.

    The 5% Rule

    At the very minimum, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, the rule of thumb is that 5% of your annual revenue should be invested into marketing your business to ensure you maintain and secure your current footing. We tend to agree, and our clients see incredible results with this in mind.

    The Situation You’re In

    This may sound familiar - your sales may have been declining owing to the pandemic or some other unforeseen external parameter. So, you cut your marketing budget. But now, your sales are declining even more! Sad.

    If you see sales are slowing down, this may be the time to actually increase your marketing spend, saturate the market, outdo your competitors (who might have gone with the budget cutting route), and recoup your investment.

    That said, if you’re spending more and seeing a decline in sales? Uh oh! If your company doesn’t have a good reason for this, then it’s probably time to reevaluate.

    Overall, the required investment from your end will depend on the competitiveness of your industry, your geography and target market, and what your competitors are up to. It also depends on what stage your company is in its journey, and what your goals are for the next few quarters.

    This is why you should always get quotes from multiple sources, and go with your gut. Afterall, you’re in the same team here, and it’s important to get along well with your agency, ensuring that they are results-driven and engaged in your business and your goals.

    What Services Should I Use?

    Marketing agencies can help your business develop a strategy, identify your target audience, and plan and manage your online marketing campaigns. They may also provide specific services, such as PPC or market research. Each marketing agency should have a services page on their website that explain each service in detail. They will most likely also have complimentary consultations to learn more about your business, identify your needs, and see if you could be a good fit for each other. Ultimately this is one of the quickest ways to find out what marketing services your business needs - call the experts, and find out from them.

    Can I Trust My Marketing Company?

    Perhaps the most important question yet when you’re choosing whether or not to hire a digital marketing agency - can I trust what they’re doing for me, and the results they’re showing?

    How’s the reporting?

    If a marketing agency is lauding their proprietary dashboards, turn the other way. Too many of these dashboards can be manipulated to display inaccurate data in their automated reports.

    Instead, you should always be logging into the actual Google Ads Dashboard or the actual Facebook Ads Manager to be able to confirm that the data you’re seeing is real.

    Not only must the veracity of the report be undeniable, you need to understand what it is you’re seeing. When the agency is providing you this weekly/monthly report, are they understanding the data that’s been gathered, and most importantly, are you? You’re both on the same team here, and so it’s important to have a firm understanding of the what, the why, and most importantly, how this has impacted your business.

    Show me the case studies!

    Yes, a marketing agency can have a full list of all these certificates indicating their awesomeness. Unless they have a track history of proven success, though, how can you be sure your money is being put to good use? This is not to belittle the work of the individual freelancer or startup like I say in this article (we’ve all gotta start somewhere, right?), but you should have an idea of what the company you’re partnering with can do for you.

    The rest is up to you

    Having read through the entirety of this blog post (congratulations, by the way!), you should be armed with the insight needed to make more informed decisions about finding and choosing to work with a digital marketing agency.

    If they check off and exceed all the criteria above, then they’re certainly a strong contender to fulfill your business needs. You should request a proposal and see if the marketing agency has in fact been listening and assessing your needs earnestly. If that works out, then congratulations! You’ve found yourself a new and exciting partner to work with.

    Now it is time for you to take that next step: Trust in their expertise.

    Agencies do this for a living, after all, and they need space to spread their wings and carry you onwards and upwards. Meet the agency halfway and provide them the ability to do what they do best. Be confident that you have done your due diligence to ensure that your new agency has your company’s best interests at heart. Trust is a two-way street, after all!

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