No matter how small or large a business may be when starting up, it will always face the question of how to get more awareness for its brand. Most companies lack substantial marketing or advertising budgets to begin with. They find their customers in the most organic way possible through one-to-one outreach. What happens when that route has grown stagnant?
That is when the business owner typically considers paying others to market and advertise for them. With that option comes many questions that can lead to paralysis by analysis. After all, there are a lot of aspects to consider when defining the approach your company will take to reach its next level of growth, including what its value may be currently and what its potential value may be with the correct marketing approach.
Word of Mouth or Word of Agency
When you are ready to spend money on additional advertising, you will look for the most impactful method available. You will find yourself questioning what your best options are for achieving customer growth.
You can continue to pursue sales the same way you have been and redirect any marketing stipends toward product improvements or infrastructure enhancement. After all, your business has reached its current level with only your hard work since you are far from being an absentee owner. Word of mouth has been your marketing approach so far, which has worked. Can a marketing agency make that much of a difference? Well, that depends.
The first question you will ask yourself is if your target customers are in a very narrow or niche market. Will they only respond to a very technically savvy or experienced approach? If your answer is yes then you can continue growing your business through a self-directed approach. For example, you can attempt to gain traction through organic advertising on social media sites. However, only two to five percent of your fans on a site like Facebook will see your posts in their feed unless you spend money with the host to advertise. That is where a marketing agency can be very useful for a business with a narrow market. They can keep you from wasting your money on low-impact pursuits and instead leverage your cash for higher-cost but more impactful advertising.
Ready To Hire
After evaluating your market and realizing that you need to gain new customers and not just repeat customers, you decide to move forward with getting some outside marketing help. A common question for small business owners at this point is at what level of revenue they should hire a marketing agency. Again, it depends. The cost of hiring an agency can vary from thousands of dollars to millions of dollars. You will need to evaluate what it is exactly you require so that you can get an idea of the cost.
The thing to remember when evaluating the need for hiring an agency is if you are looking for targeted areas of advertising or if you require a more holistic pursuit of marketing your business. As your need for more variety grows, so will the potential benefits of an agency.
Marketing is a scheduled activity that you plan for that is repeatable. If that planned activity is for paid search or SEO, finding an expert in that specific discipline will be more advantageous. You can spend more money on a singular targeted area with an expert than you would be spending for an umbrella of marketing services that you would find from an agency. The downside of choosing a specialist is that you won’t know how effective your advertising budget could be if spent on other approaches.
Another option is to find someone who is very skilled in multiple disciplines of advertising and hire them as an employee. That allows you to have your marketing handled in-house, with all the benefits of having them as an employee. These types of candidates can be difficult to find, however, as it takes years of experience and a gifted person to excel in multiple marketing skill sets. Even then, they are likely to be proficient in all areas of advertising. You will also have the added concern of them being poached by other companies, leaving all of your marketing pursuits unattended.
A final option for bringing in marketing help is to go with an agency that will typically have top-level talent in each area of advertising method. You will likely pay more for these services, but you can utilize their expertise in multiple campaign directions at a single package price.
Deciding how to proceed in improving your company’s reach is not an easy task. Knowing your growth goals and your available budget for hiring assistance to achieve those goals is critical to making the correct decision.
If you want to know some names of agencies we trust to help with your digital marketing, give us a call.