It’s a common misconception that if you have an internal marketing team you don’t need an agency.
John Lewis, the king of Christmas TV adverts have a large in-house marketing team, but ad giant Adam & Eve were responsible for 2019’s Excitable Edgar TV campaign.
So, if the big players with vast internal teams turn to marketing agencies for help, why do some smaller businesses think they can do it all on their own?
Hiring an agency is not a sign that your internal team isn’t up to the job, it’s simply recognition that sometimes an external partner can offer something the in-house team can’t.
Here are the top 4 reasons external agencies can help your marketing teams to drive more leads and target previously untapped opportunities.
1. Plugging the Skills Gap
If you can find a strategist, designer, copywriter, developer, social specialist, search professional and analyst in one person – please do send them our way as we will snap them up.
With the best will in the world, even the strongest member of your team can’t be an expert across the entire marketing mix.
An agency can work with your existing team to plug the skills gaps. Perhaps you have a strong copywriter, but you need a great designer to bring their work to life, or maybe you have a jack-of-all-trades marketer, but lack specialist skills to execute their campaigns.
Working with an agency gives your business a competitive edge, allowing you to reach audiences that have been previously difficult to access.
2. Additional Capacity
Most businesses experience some element of seasonality, where business peaks and troughs throughout the year. At these moments, the sales team tends to be flat out when the business is peaking and the marketing team flat out when there is a lull in opportunities as lead generation is ramped up to fill the pipeline.
A marketing agency can help with capacity at busy times throughout the year, but a well-planned strategy can help to minimise the impact of seasonality by planning ahead to implement campaigns at the right time to keep the pipeline more consistent.
Well-considered and planned marketing strategies will help to drive more leads throughout the year, and having an external agency will help your internal team ensure that work is completed on time and that there are no gaps in your ongoing marketing (consistency is key, after all).
3. Fresh Perspective
A valued employee whether in the marketing team or another area of your business will know the company inside out – the product, the service, the process; they will be very familiar with how things have always been done.
In some instances, this can be a company’s biggest downfall. When employees are so close to the business, it’s hard to see things from the customer’s perspective, making it difficult to create a go-to-market offering that is centred around what your customers’ wants and needs.
An agency can help your team to develop non-biased marketing strategies that are based on fact not assumption (or habit).
Good agencies will use data to inform the marketing strategies that they create, analysing what the market is doing and identifying what specific buyer personas want. This gives you a unique third-person perspective, one that can really help your business to thrive.
4. Increased Accountability
How do you account for the cost of your internal teams? In a lot of instances, internal teams get lost in staffing overheads – because not everything they do will deliver a direct return, e.g., internal marketing communications, branded merchandise, or quarterly newsletters – this is absolutely normal.
With an agency, you need to use them wisely. Get them involved in projects that will have a direct correlation to lead generation. That way there is nowhere for them to hide, and they are accountable for the return they deliver against the budget.
Marketing agencies (the good ones anyway) tend to have this in their DNA. Proving ROI is the only way to retain clients, so the recommendations they make and the campaign optimisation they perform is purely focused on achieving success and profitable results.
Is an external marketing agency right for you?
Your internal marketing team are likely doing a fantastic job. It’s not our aim to replace anyone, only to enhance their output.
If your marketing team have specific skill gaps, or they’re struggling to meet your business’ growing needs, then it’s time to talk with a marketing agency like Catalyst.
We work with SMEs from across the UK, partnering with them and becoming an extension of their team.
Arm your internal marketing team with the skillsets they need to thrive. Get in touch with our team today to learn a little more about how this partnership might work.