How to Know If Your Company Needs a B2B Marketing Agency
Hiring a B2B marketing agency may be the most beneficial next step for your company (if the price and time is right.)
Any high-level marketing executive will agree emphatically upon mention of the stress in hiring an outside marketing agency. Sometimes choosing the agency can be seamless, especially if it comes with a trusted recommendation. But there are still additional obstacles to get the partnership off the ground, including getting financial signoff from your CFO or the final go-ahead from the CEO. There’s also the occasionally bumpy transition of information, figuring out who does what, and the rarely avoidable “this is how we do things” conversation between your team and the agency.
But don’t get us wrong: Hiring an agency, specifically a B2B marketing agency, can be extremely advantageous for your organization. It just has to be the right fit at the right time. If you’re able to achieve that, your business will reap the benefits.
So how does a marketing lead decide if or when it’s necessary to bring in a third-party agency? Luckily, there are several telltale signs that point to a lucrative partnership for both parties.
If any of the following apply to your business, then hiring a B2B marketing agency should be the next bullet on your quarterly to-do list.
1. If you’re looking to increase your ROI…
And what company isn’t? Especially in today’s economy where cutting corners and the slicing of marketing budgets are everyday occurrences.
At first, hiring a marketing agency seems like just another expense, but here’s the catch. When you hire a B2B marketing firm, you’re hiring the following simultaneously: copywriters, graphic designers, content strategists, web developers, analytics specialists, plus an account manager. The cost of hiring all of those roles individually, not to mention the time spent interviewing, would far exceed the cost of bringing an agency on board.
When it comes to a greater ROI, we’re not just talking about your financial return. This also applies to the time your full-time employees would spend on executing campaigns. With an agency, however, these employees can continue to complete their daily tasks while working directly with the agency’s experts. Plus, an agency already has experience running marketing campaigns and generating valuable leads and sales; they’ll spend less time learning from data or mistakes and more time winning clients and bringing in revenue.
2. If your short and long-term goals require specific knowledge and skilled experience…
There’s little to no room for error in B2B marketing campaigns. This is especially true when it comes to account-based marketing, a strategy that focuses on a few high-quality accounts. Nurturing these valuable leads down the sales funnel can be a very detail-oriented, often confusing strategy. In fact, 90% of B2B buyers don’t go down a linear sales funnel path; so it’s even more complicated than your marketing or sales team might initially believe. Enter an agency’s expertise in the field.
Let’s talk SEO, for example. SEO is extremely helpful in generating brand or campaign awareness, as well as providing resources when a potential client is at the consideration stage in the buyer’s journey. But... there’s a lot that goes into figuring out Google’s preferences and optimizing content to appear on the first or second pages of search engine results. With the right agency in this field, you’ll be able to deftly bypass any stress of search engine rankings; their experts will get you where you need to be (and feed your campaign with paid search and programmatic ads).
3. If your product or service requires adaptability and flexibility…
Those who’ve experienced the digital marketing agency world are exceptionally familiar with clients across different industries; they’re also adept at managing client requests and last-minute changes. Pausing an ad set in the middle of the night? Rewriting a case study or switching out social media content due to a product change? It’s all part of the job.
And when it comes to hiring a marketing agency, you’ll never hear that ill-advised phrase mentioned in the first paragraph… Experienced B2B marketers know the key to winning campaigns is thinking outside of the box and working three steps ahead of other marketing strategies.
4. If you simply don’t have the bandwidth to execute a large or longer sales cycle campaign...
Many in-house B2B marketing teams are pretty barebones. You’ve got the writer, who also serves as the social media strategist. Add on the graphic designer who’s also the site developer, and then your analytics person who has a hand in 12 other different parts of the business. They just don’t have the mental or physical capacity to handle a three-month-long demand generation campaign.
This is where you let the responsibility fall on the shoulders of a marketing agency. And if you choose a full-service B2B marketing agency, everything from the analytics to the email marketing creation will be handled.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor