Many small business owners start out solo. Sometimes it’s out of necessity, and sometimes it’s what they want. Over time, however, you’ll have to begin enlisting help for one set of tasks or another. You might start with a support person, take on a salesperson, and hire a customer service representative.
Not long after those key hires, you start to wonder – could I get better marketing results if I used a marketing agency? But, how do you know when it’s time to stop doing it yourself (or delegating it to an overworked support person)? Here are eight ways you know it’s time.
1) Sales are Stagnant
If you know there is a market for your product and service, and you’re confident that your customer service, sales team and pricing are stellar, the problem with lagging sales could well be ineffective marketing. One easy way to tell? Many marketing agencies offer a free brief consultation. Take a couple of them up on it!
They’ll take a look at what you’re doing now and offer some suggestions for improvement. You’ll come away with a feel for how much your marketing is holding you back – and hopefully, a feel for which agency you should work with.
2) It’s Not Getting Done
We get it. You are doing five jobs. It only makes sense to give priority to the ones that immediately pay the bills or put out the fires. Because marketing takes time and strategy, it quickly moves to the bottom of the pile. Since marketing is the only thing a marketing agency does, they can simultaneously take it off your plate and make it top priority.
3) You Don’t Enjoy Marketing
Trust me, it shows. Ho-hum blog posts, uninspired emails and landing pages, and a half-hearted approach to social media will not bring the desired results. Agencies love this stuff. Let them bring their passion for marketing to your passion for your business. You’ll be amazed at the results.
4) You’ve Realized You Don’t Have the Skills
Why should you? It’s puzzling when talented and intelligent business owners sheepishly admit that they don’t know anything about marketing. I have no problem admitting my very limited knowledge of their job! A good marketing agency will get to know you and your business really well and then apply their skills
5) The Sales Department is Complaining of “No Good Leads”
Assuming your salespeople are skilled and hard-working, it could be that current marketing efforts really are producing few leads or poor-quality leads. A good marketing agency will learn about your sales process and integrate their marketing with your sales team. With the support and input of your sales team, they’ll refine and adjust your marketing based on real results.
6) Your Marketing Results are Hit or Miss
If your marketing results have been hit or miss, you may have come to the conclusion that inbound marketing doesn’t work for your business. Could the blame instead lie with your shot-in-the-dark approach?
A marketing agency will look closely at your challenges and goals and put together a strategy to overcome those challenges and meet those goals. Over time, the strategy will be refined.
7) You Wonder What is Working
If you suddenly experience an increase in website traffic, phone calls, or new leads, do you know where they’re coming from? If not, you’re likely wasting your time on ineffective marketing strategies and squandering potential opportunities for even greater success.
How are your marketing efforts contributing to website traffic, leads and customers? If you can’t answer that question, let a marketing agency answer it for you.
8) You’d Love to Hire a Complete Marketing Team, but Lack the Budget
Hiring an inbound marketing specialist, a content producer, editor, social media manager, PPC specialist, and graphic designer gets expensive fast. Even if that is out of reach for your smaller business, when you hire a marketing agency, you can still get the benefits of all that experience and all those skills - for about the cost of one employee.
If you’re currently working with a marketing agency, what made you realize it was time? Do you wish you’d enlisted them sooner? Please tell us about it!
Originally published Apr 24, 2014 10:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016