If you're a business owner or in charge of your company's marketing, you're probably solicited non-stop by digital marketing agencies. Each company claims to offer something others can not. Each claims it can solve your online marketing challenges.
Deciding who to hire can be a daunting task. You want to get it right, but your time is limited and your other responsibilities are beating in your head.
While you may be focused on cost, keyword limits, or tiered service packages, a potential suitor’s people (and your access to them) should be at the center of your attention. In other words, hire the team.
Here are five reasons why.
The landscape of digital marketing is ever-changing:
The digital marketing space is comprised of several different areas, including (but not limited to) organic search, paid search, display, social media, web analytics, and web design/development. Each area is continuously evolving thanks to new technologies and shifts in user behavior. Your digital marketing firm should have individuals that specialize in each of these areas in order to stay on top of emerging trends and identify new opportunities as they arise.
Your needs will inevitably change:
To stay competitive online you must be able to seize the next new opportunity. Meanwhile, a strategy that used to be effective eventually experiences diminishing returns. This means you must be ready to change directions and focus frequently.
Hiring a dynamic team of specialized individuals will allow you shift focus without hiring a new firm each year. Each team member has their finger on the pulse of their respective discipline and can bring forward new ideas when it’s time to take action.
Individual consultants offer you one perspective (their own):
When hiring an individual consultant, you are paying for one person’s perspective on how to solve your unique challenges. You put your faith in this one person to keep on top of each area of digital marketing.
When you hire a team of specialized individuals, multiple minds are at work. Team members collaborate together and with you to solve your challenges. This helps ensure each area of digital marketing is spoken for by someone dedicated to each discipline.
Account managers with no technical experience cost you time, money, and results:
Some firms provide you an account manager as your single point of contact. These account managers often have little to no technical experience (meaning they've never developed and executed a successful campaign). They are hired for their customer service chops and act as a gate-keeper to those actually doing the work. Each question you ask gets passed from the account manager to the technical expert then back to the account manager and back to you. In the process, valuable time is wasted and breakdowns in communication occur. If you're lucky, you'll temporarily get direct access to the person actually managing your campaign. Unfortunately, these technicians are often not experienced in dealing with customers or solving your business challenges.
A successful digital marketing plan requires both strong strategic and technical skills:
Because so few individuals possess both strong business and technical skills, firms rely on multiple people, including outsourced contractors, to execute a digital marketing plan. Outsourced labor tends to be much less involved in project collaboration. They are reduced order-takers, hired to complete a task outlined by the account manager and deliver it back on time.
By comparison, teams comprised of in-house strategic planners and seasoned technicians have experience working together on a daily basis. They know each other personally, constantly share thoughts and ideas, and are used to solving problems together. This ultimately leads to better collaboration and a more seamless execution.
Few great achievements come without a great team behind them. While there are many factors to consider when hiring any outside partner, the strength of their team and their commitment to you should be second to none.