A growing number of SMEs are seeing the benefits of new marketing technologies and are turning to marketing agencies to help them deliver the results they need. This is a comparatively new trend and is due to the explosive growth of inbound, digital marketing techniques. In the days before digital marketing, only enormous companies could afford marketing agencies – and then ‘marketing’ was usually just a synonym for ‘advertising’. Then came SEO, business blogging, commercial Social Media, PPC, remarketing and a host of other efficient, low-cost techniques that democratised marketing and made it available to even the smallest of businesses.
This article is about the cost of hiring a marketing agency, as compared with designing and implementing a marketing strategy in-house. To understand what these costs represent, we will start with a brief overview of what a marketing agency actually does.
What Does A Modern Marketing Agency Do?
There are seven main areas that marketing agencies usually focus on. These shouldn’t be seen in isolation, but as integral parts of a unified marketing strategy.
1) Training & Consultancy
The first task of an agency is to provide their customers with the encouragement, coaching and training to develop a personalised marketing strategy linked to achievable business goals.
2) Content Creation
Modern, inbound marketing involves lots of content. A lot of this content takes the form of blog articles, landing pages, social media updates and promotional e-books. Visual content plays its part too, with infographics and videos being important. Personalised content creation is a big aspect of an agency’s role.
3) Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing
Content is only effective in so far as it is put in front of the right audience. Combining blogging with Social Media integration is a golden formula for success. It also syncs well with SEO, encouraging inbound links and building an impressive online footprint.
4) Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
Inching your way to the hallowed first page of Google search results is the ultimate goal of SEO, but it doesn’t happen overnight. PPC bridges the gap by getting you instant visibility and additional web traffic. Pay per click campaigns should be carefully managed in order to keep your cost per click (CPC) low and your revenue high.
5) Web Development
An agency usually has a team of specialist web developers and designers to reboot your site for better search results and higher lead conversions. Additional web traffic is also attracted through keyword-specific landing pages.
6) Email Marketing
What to do with the thousands of information requests and email enquiries that come through your fancy new website? Set up a targeted email marketing campaign to nurture them through the sales tunnel! This isn’t a matter of simply writing an email and sending it off. An agency will spend a lot of time segmenting your data into different buyer types so that the content is relevant to each individual lead.
Without analytics there is no way to measure the results of a campaign. At JDR and similar agencies, data analysts spend hours poring over web analytics, click through rates, open rates and other metrics. It gives us the crucial information we need to adjust your campaign parameters and ensure the highest ROI. Learn more about analytics with this article - How To Analyse Google Analytics For Better Website Conversions.
How Much Would This Cost In-House?
At the same time businesses consider hiring an agency, they usually ask the question of how much it will cost in-house. The answer is that it would take a large, specialised marketing team to do the same role as an agency. Partially this comes down to manpower, as tasks like creating content, researching keywords and analysing data take a long time; but it is also a question of specialist knowledge.
A copywriter may be a wizard at writing blogs but know next to nothing about HTML or CSS. A web designer may create jaw dropping websites but may not be happy leading coaching sessions for senior management, or picking apart a PPC campaign to find the most cost-effective keywords. Marketers may have general knowledge of several fields, but they are usually only specialists in one or two. This is why, when you find companies that have marketing teams, they are normally pretty big, incorporating a variety of specialists. To get the best results for your business, you might need to employ 10 to 20 staff in your marketing team, which will be a significant investment.
How Agency Fees Compare
Compared with the costs of recruiting even a small marketing team, agency fees are very affordable. As a rough guide, annual agency fees will be similar to recruiting one marketing executive on a modest salary, and quite often it works out less than that. Working with an agency such as JDR gives you access to the expertise of more than 30 marketing professionals in different disciplines. Furthermore, with an agency you have none of the infrastructure costs of employing your own team, such as training, software licenses, office space and so on. You can focus your resources on your core business functions, while your agency partner uses inbound marketing techniques to deliver real value for your company.
Do You Want To Get More Inbound Leads?
Who wouldn’t want to spend less time chasing leads and instead letting them come to you? This is exactly what inbound marketing does – the Lynx effect for SMEs. To find out more about our inbound marketing approach and the results you can expect, we have written a free B2B Guide on How to Get Clients Coming to You. Click here to download your copy. To chat more about our agency services and the benefits of a partnership with JDR, please give one of our advisers a call today.