October 17, 2019
No one knows more than you that your brand and company culture and everything it stands for is special. So how could an outside agency possibly do even half as good a job as an in-house team could do? Believe it or not, this is the same type of question that keeps agencies up at night, too. Is the client happy? Are we providing enough value? They’re not thinking of firing us for an in-house team, are they?
This is the age-old question that internal marketing decision makers have to answer – should we hire outside, or build something in-house? Certainly, there are advantages and disadvantages to both, but at the end of the day, we strongly believe hiring an outside agency is the easiest way to maximize your outcome as cost-effectively as possible. That’s why we built a whole company around it. Here are a few reasons we feel that way:
1. Access to early feature releases, better customer support, and more
When it’s just you and your little old brand spending $300,000 on Facebook every month in comparison to the millions of other brands spend, you’re probably not going to get a lot of attention from the social media giant. But when you’re a part of an agency that’s spending millions on behalf of all of its clients, you get to enjoy the privileges that come with that without spending an extra dime.
2. Get more out of your budget and time.
Yep, you read that correctly. Agencies have the reputation for being expensive and charging clients out the wazoo for every little thing, but think of it this way: If your budget would only allow for the hire of three key employees, you’re going to have to outsource what’s missing, and then manage each of those partners on top of everything else. A one-stop-shop like a growth advertising agency provides everything and will be able to offer different tiers of service depending on how much you have to spend and be able to flex into new contracts should your company take a hit that affects your advertising budget. Additionally, because the agency has visibility into dozens of accounts and what works best, they’ll be able to recommend tried-and-true strategies for paid social, paid search, and any other pieces that fit into your advertising blueprint.
3. Outsource work you don’t have time for (or just don’t want to deal with).
Don’t worry, if this is the reason that tipped the scale to hiring an agency, we won’t tell your boss. Your day-to-day is already insane, wouldn’t it be nice to hand off some of the larger pieces to someone you can trust to do just as good of a job as you (and dare we say, maybe even better…)? Sometimes requests come up that you’re being forced to prioritize, but you know switching gears to handle them would be a detriment to in-progress work that really matters. This is when you kick it to your agency and finally take that lunch break you’ve been neglecting for 8 months.
4. Avoid your own red tape to get things done quickly and efficiently.
Agencies aren’t worried about pleasing the powers that be in the same way in-house teams are. Agencies want to move the needle, exceed KPIs, and provide the utmost value to clients, and that’s the day-to-day focus from the top down. In-house, the day could quickly be eaten up with team meetings, the demands of other projects, and waiting for approvals. With an agency, the only approval that’s being waited on is yours.
5. Get a fresh perspective and valuable insights from other verticals, platforms, and clients.
You love your brand, but it’s easy to get bogged down in the routine and lose sight of the creative opportunities an agency could recommend. On a daily basis, agencies are exposed to new ways of thinking and creative that pushes the norm. Whether it’s from other clients, industry conferences, relevant agency blogs, or any other outlets, one of the values agencies bring to clients is fresh ideas, so you better believe they’re always looking for new inspiration and tools to help build their creative thinking. As mentioned before, agencies also have loads of insights from the other clients they work with. They’ll apply all of those learnings to the work they do for you.
6. Utilize a full stack team made up of leading talent.
This reason applies specifically to growth marketing agencies, who provide talent and solutions no matter your business goals or challenges. Top growth advertising agencies are extremely discerning about who they hire because they need experienced performers who can provide value to clients at a reasonable cost. When you hire a growth marketing agency, you won’t be training up fresh out of school newbies. You’ll work with an accelerated team who’s done this before.
When you do hire an agency, there will be an onboarding period where you get them up to speed and everyone starts figuring out how to make the relationship successful. Here are some best practices on how to work together:
Share everything – Agencies don’t know what they don’t know. What might feel as natural to you as breathing could be a foreign concept to them. Compile a library of documents and share them into it. Schedule meetings to go over intricate topics in person so they can ask real-time questions. Don’t assume something is basic or repetitive to what you’ve already shared. In this case, more is better.
Collaborate – Agencies want your input, so don’t be shy! Give feedback, offer your ideas, send them inspiration you come across, join brainstorming meetings. Just because you hire outside doesn’t mean you have to (or should) go hands-off.
Set expectations early and clearly – Whether it’s a deadline, a budget constraint, or how you want meetings run, let the agency know what you want, put it down in writing, and get them to agree. That way everyone is literally on the same page about what needs to happen.
Communicate – This theme runs through each of the best practices listed above, but it can never be overstated. Ask your agency for weekly status reports, schedule recurring meetings to go over reports and discuss action items. Whatever works best for you to make sure you have a strong connection with this vital partner.
If you’re still feeling a little trepidation about entrusting an outside organization with your brand, know that you’re in control the whole way, and that starts with making sure you hire the most amazing agency on the planet. Here are a few tips to make that happen:
Look for an agency that has experience in your vertical – If an agency can jump right in without having to familiarize itself with your brand and industry, it will save a ton of time and money.
Peruse or ask for case studies if they’re not posted on the agency’s website – Proof of work can tell you a lot about an agency’s capabilities. Go one step further and ask to speak to someone at one of the featured companies.
Ask for numbers – Maybe the agency’s work looks amazing, but did it provide a measurable outcome?
Request to meet your day-to-day team – The agency might send the big guns out for the first meeting, but you’ll want to know who’s servicing your account daily.
If you want a more complete list of qualifying questions to ask a potential agency, check out our post 7 Most Valuable Questions to Ask A Potential Growth Agency.
At Bamboo, we love what we do! If you’re looking for a new growth agency, we’d love to chat.
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