5 Reasons to Choose a Digital Agency

Many times we encounter businesses that don’t know what situations call for a digital agency and which don’t. We’ve worked with various clients, in many different industries, all with their own unique set of challenges and opportunities. While these circumstances are specific to each client, the reasons they decided to use us have all been fairly similar.

This is the first of a two part series where we’ll focus on what circumstances make the most sense for hiring the right digital agency for you. Part two of the series will discuss the times where you shouldn’t partner with a digital agency. While this article is by no means a comprehensive list, we’ve provided several scenarios we typically see when a client chooses to partner with us.

You might need a digital agency when…

  1. You Lack A Good Strategy
    • Have clear obtainable goals. It’s great to think your business can grow 68% in 6 months, but stretch goals can take your eyes off of progressive sustained growth. Without careful consideration, this can cause your promotional strategy to become too aggressive which hurts brand loyalty, and pushes away existing customers. Utilizing a digital agency can offer an outside perspective from people who’ve seen many businesses through these types of transitions. They can help to set obtainable short term objectives that empower you meet long term goals based on actual data and experience.
    • You haven’t effectively measured your current business and marketing efforts. A GPS doesn’t work without a destination AND an origin. Most people set goals without accurately measuring the current state of their business and marketing. A good agency can help you with this challenge. Many times the business has all the information they need to analyze where they are as a company and it just takes someone putting it into the right perspective to bring it all together. If your business doesn’t have the right data to measure your performance, a good agency can help to gather the information needed to make decisions moving forward.
    • You’re jumping in head first into a shallow pool. Simply running Google, Facebook, or Instagram Ads is not a strategy- it’s essentially just spraying and praying. A digital agency can help you establish how each placement within each platform fits into the customer journey. This is probably one of the biggest things we run into when a client struggles. Using a tool like Google Paid Search or Facebook Ads is great but it needs to be rooted in an overall strategy. An agency can show you how to have all these tools be used in the appropriate places of the customer journey.
    • You feel your digital efforts are in silos and not working together. It’s a must to have a strong point person to develop, measure, and modify strategy. That’s where the right partnership with a digital agency can help. Moving your investment from one tactic to another at the right time can be the difference between wasted money and new customers. The best digital agencies spend a large portion of their time evaluating and shifting the strategy toward approaches that work and away from those that aren’t performing. It’s critical that you’re talking about where to shift your investments on a regular basis – if you’re not, you’ll likely be overtaken by your competition.
  2. What You Are Doing is Not Performing or Measured Effectively
    • You are not getting a return on your investment. Not all marketing efforts are going to give you direct sales, but the tactics that are sales or lead generation focused should be providing you a return. A digital agency that knows what they’re doing can rebuild Paid Search campaigns to maximize returns, evaluate social ads to determine the best creative for the right promotional campaigns, and revamp your email marketing to drive sales by drilling down to focused offerings. There are times when bottom of the funnel tactics like Paid Search only work well when paired with another tactic that drives awareness or interest. Many times it is knowing when what you need and when you need it in order to turn a campaign from an expense line to an income generator.
    • Your website could be the main reason your efforts are lackluster. A digital marketing agency that understands how a website engages with a person, drives interest, and converts to a sale is arguably the most important thing in getting a return on your marketing efforts. An agency that knows their stuff should be placing a great deal of focus on your website and you should be prepared to make changes to it, otherwise be prepared to continue to have low returns on your marketing investment. Many times the reason a campaign is not driving results is because the website is not converting.
    • Information on performance is in multiple places and needs to be integrated to get a clear picture. There are two components needed to gain a strong measurement of your results: choosing the right platforms and making sure those platforms INTERGRATE with each other. If you want visibility into the performance of your advertising, website traffic, leads/sales, or brand advocacy you need to gather your data into one accessible place. Many times we see companies using platforms that simply do not talk to other systems. We also see businesses choosing platforms simply because it’s what everyone else around them knows and uses. Nearly every time we discuss platform choice with a client there is some form of regret regarding what platform they are on. From websites, CRM, ERP, email, to analytics, there are a lot of choices out there. Finding a digital agency who has a vast amount of experience here can be a game changer for a business. Since agencies have to work with so many different platforms on a daily basis they can be a wealth of knowledge as to the strengths and weaknesses of each platform.
  3. You Lack Resources or the Right People
    • You lack a full team or your team is too busy. Usually companies that we work with fall into two categories. They have a full marketing team but they need more resources to get it all done OR they have a one or two person team and barely anything gets done. For the latter, hiring an agency is often less costly than hiring a full team. Any successful business owner or marketing director will tell you having a knowledgeable team behind them is what made all the difference. The best agencies work alongside their clients and act as if they are an extension of your business. Even if you’ve got a large marketing team, adding a digital agency to your strategy can breathe new life into your business. The bottom line is that agencies attract the best talent in the industry. If you want your output to take on that of a stiff competitor the best thing you can do is level up your bench with an agency that can take you from 0-100 right away.
    • The amount of content you need to be competitive is growing beyond what your resources can handle. We live in a constant cycle of throwaway content. People want to see what is new and hot today, not what content already made the rounds last week. It can be insanely costly for a company to create enough content on its own. Not only can a good digital agency provide you with more quality content, but they can help you to create a strategy that gives your business the volume you need at the best possible price.
    • You have a small or one person team to handle marketing efforts. We’ve worked with companies that have had a Graphic Designer running their Paid Search efforts. On the other hand, we have had clients who, prior to working with us, had one person handling social media posts, photography, videography, ad placements, reporting, website development, website design, web integrations, SEO strategy and implementation, paid search management, LinkedIn profile management, blog writing, managing a YouTube channel, etc. It’s just not possible or reasonable to put one person in charge of all these strategies and expect them to grow your business. There are simply too many disciplines to cover in order to be able to conduct all of those items completely and effectively. Instead use this person as a point guard for a good digital agency who can not only get the work done right, but make sure that you are investing your limited resources in the best areas. Since an experienced agency has seen a slew of unique challenges and opportunities from a myriad of industries, they can quickly adapt all of their resources to your business and make an impact much more quickly.
    • You want to save money by hiring an agency. We have many clients that tell us it’s simply not possible to hire a team to conduct all of the necessary work in-house while competing with our rates, and it’s not because we are cheap. It’s because we are specialized to get it done right and efficiently. Add up all the salaries of your department and compare them against the cost of having an agency handle those efforts. For some it does not make sense; for many it’s a no brainer.
    • You have a large marketing team but performance is lacking. It’s not uncommon to see teams that are not well balanced. Oftentimes, this is because whomever is responsible for hiring could not vet a candidate much past their own understanding. We’ve noticed teams are usually too heavy in creative/design or tech/optimization/analytics. A partnership with the right digital agency can give your team a diversification in skills they’re lacking and bridge those gaps to get the performance you’re aiming for. Large teams are great, but sometimes a fresh perspective is needed to break through the lulls in business.
  4. Administration is Draining Your Time
    • It is impossible to keep up on social media standards, placements, policies without significant effort and a team. Spinning 12 marketing plates is hard enough without the constant need to plow through intricate platform policies like, “you can’t say that,” “you can’t target this,” “you can’t boost that,” “you can’t advertise this.” We have a saying at SOLV: “Facebooked again!” which means they’ve changed something without any communication and that change can wreak havoc on your original strategy. Sometimes it’s an approval process that triggers your ads to be in review purgatory, which results in someone needing to sit on a live chat for 2 hours to remedy the issue. Sometimes it’s a new product such as the iOS 14 launch which drops a nuke on your social media plans. The policies that govern digital change so much that it can become a full time job to keep up, determine how to adjust, drink 3 pots of coffee, and spend 5 days in Facebook Business Manager rebuilding all of your campaigns from the ground up. When these things happen, it’s best to have someone who’s been there before, knows what to look for and can minimize its effects on your business.
  5. You Need Fresh Ideas
    • Fatigue of seeing and doing the same work all of the time can make it very difficult to break the mold. Marketing the same product to the same people day in and day out can be debilitating for your creative mind. If you are feeling that new ideas are hard to generate or a new competitor is stirring up the market, it may be time to get a fresh perspective. A great digital agency can put a new spin on something you’ve done in the past. They can also bring all new ideas to the table as they can view your business from a blank slate.

If any of the scenarios sound familiar it may be time to start thinking about what a digital agency can do for you. Keep in mind that many agencies have various non-competes and restrictions as to who they can work with. Make sure to ask about this if you decide to inquire, because it can save you a lot of time, money and hassle.

This article is written By Steven Scherzer. Steve is the Chief Problem SOLVer at SOLV Marketing. He has 13 years in the field of Digital Marketing and Business Strategy. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.