When you want to start increasing your businesses’ marketing efforts, you are presented with a few different options. The most apparent is to build an in-house team to handle your marketing. The other options involve outsourcing to specialist businesses or hiring an integrated marketing agency to support your business.
30 Second Summary:
An integrated marketing agency is a marketing business that works alongside your business so you achieve your goals and grow. An integrated agency has a large service offering such as design, web development and various areas of marketing expertise to help your business.Why hire an integrated agency over building an internal team?
- Get access to far more expertise and experience
- It’s more cost-effective
- Get guaranteed productivity and activity
- You don’t have to deal with training and HR-related issues
- Agencies make it easier to scale-up your marketing efforts with ease and also to scale-down
- Agencies offer a new perspective to the business that is hard to realize with an internal team
What is an integrated marketing agency?
An integrated agency, often called a full-service agency, will have a range of necessary skills under one roof. There is the potential for different experts to collaborate on your work and bring together cross-channel marketing activity – if this is what your business needs.
At Digital Storm, for example, we offer web design and development, hosting services, graphic design including print design and of course a whole suite of marketing specialisms such as SEO and social media. While each has its own advantages, a full-service marketing agency provides substantial value to businesses of any size.
This is perhaps one of the primary benefits! A well-established integrated agency will have a mix of talented staff; all with vast experience from all the different clients and industries that they are working with.
Additional to understanding marketing strategy, marketing agencies also have expertise with a host of marketing specialisms such as paid advertising, social media, search-engine-optimisation, email marketing and data analysis skills.
What’s more, an integrated agency can also have graphic design expertise, website development and technical hosting capabilities, knowledge of user-experience, copy-writing skills… we can go on.
What ties this all together perfectly is the project management skills that allow all this expertise to be brought together and work to get projects delivered accurately and efficiently.
The cost of hiring an agency depends greatly on what you are looking to achieve and what support you require.
At Digital Storm our average monthly marketing contracts cost our clients less than the hire of a single marketing professional. As all of our fees are bespoke to the requirements and based on studio time, we are able to adapt for smaller business requirements and provide tailored service-related packages based for that budget.
Below you can see the average salaries in the UK for marketing talents, source: https://wesourcegroup.co.uk/digital-marketing-salary-survey-march-2020/
In addition to saving the cost of hiring multiple staff members, by using an agency you are getting access to the latest technology and tools to aid in delivering a quality service.
Tools such as design and media software, social media schedulers, email marketing software and website auditing tools all cost ££££ every year and by hiring an agency you get access to this software along with analytical data reports without additional charge.
Dedicated and guaranteed time
Hiring an agency guarantees a certain amount of time and budget dedicated to marketing each month. This makes planning and forecasting much easier and means that as a business owner or manager you can focus on the business without having to worry too heavily about marketing.
No More Training
Unlike hiring staff internally, when you hire an agency they won’t require training rather they will arrive qualified, experienced, knowledgeable, and ready to work for you.
In most cases, marketing retainer contracts are based on a fixed amount of time per month and thus you also no longer need to be concerned about things like holiday and/or staff sickness.
Scale-up with ease
Want to go after a new market? Need a website or branding refresh? Or simply want to increase current marketing efforts to further increase your market share?
Rather than with an internal team where you would need more staff in order to achieve these new goals, an agency already has the capacity to offer you an increased retainer agreement.
There is also the flexibility of looking at singular projects such as 3-month campaign or a new website as a one-off additional cost. An agency relationship allows not only the ability to scale up but also to scale down – this is something that can prove a lot more complicated when you have an internal team.
It’s very easy to get tunnel-vision when you have been working in the same business for a long time. And forcing creativity, especially when that isn’t your area of expertise, can be like squaring a circle.
An agency, however, has a whole team of creative individuals who are constantly working with a number of businesses and industries. This can help with the generation of new and effective ideas.
There is a large benefit from any outside perspective, especially with businesses that have been operating for a long time.
This is an example of how a seemingly simple marketing activity requires the mix of skill-sets:
Scenario: Your business is going to run a webinar and needs to promote this organically (without paid advertising).
Stage one: This starts off with our marketing team who will asses the direction and plan out what marketing materials will be required. In this scenario, they decide that email marketing will be used as the primary channel. They want a landing page set-up on your website so people can register for the webinar and they decide that a few supporting Linkedin posts will be put out from key individuals within your business.
Stage two: Our marketing team then brief our designers to produce visuals for the web page, email and social images. The copy is written for the materials before the designers start.
Stage three: The designs are passed to our development team who create the web page, setup the registration form and build the marketing email.
Stage four: The final stage sees everything back with the marketing team who execute the email, post the social content and monitor the results to see if additional marketing is required. They also report on the success of this initiative after it is done including stats such as webinar attendance, content reach, webpage traffic, form conversion rate and increased social following…
If you want to discuss anything about your marketing needs then feel free to contact Digital Storm. We are all available and we are happy to provide you with an initial consultation FOC over Zoom to understand your business along with your needs and concerns.