Why You Need A Digital Marketing Agency
Imagine you’re a small business owner. Today you have to finish your inventory, complete payroll, open the store, train a new employee and meet with your accountant in the afternoon. All of a sudden a local media rep walks in and asks for “two minutes” of your time. You don’t have any to spare but they’re an old friend and you feel obligated to give them a few minutes.
Of course, they let you know about a “special deal” that you just can’t turn down. The local media rep then proceeds to give you the quick pitch and because you are trying to hurry, you take them at their word and sign an agreement. You’ve just committed to a multi-month obligation with no discernible payoff. Your advertising invoices roll in a month later and you realize you spent more than you originally budgeted, or even worse, you never had a budget in the first place. This scenario plays out every day in the world of small business advertising.
So how much should be spent on advertising? A general rule of thumb for a business that is trying to grow is equal to five to eight percent of annual sales. However, this figure is highly subjective and greatly depends on your industry. Additionally, the simple truth is that many small business owners do not have a defined marketing and advertising budget and have no idea what they are really spending in these categories. Utilizing a professional marketing firm can remedy this situation and help small business owners concentrate on what they do best, running their business.
Why else should you consider an agency?
1. Save Money
Many business owners think using an advertising agency may be too expensive. In all reality, it’s quite the opposite. If you were to bring your own marketing department in-house, the cost of just hiring the first employee would be at least $40k a year or so. This doesn’t include a single ad running. This is just the cost of that employee. You would then have to consider all the money spent on placing your ad buys, potentially outsourcing design work, the cost of maintaining your website, among other things. When working with a professional advertising agency, you have access to an entire team for less than the cost of hiring that first employee. This includes Campaign Strategists, Web Developers, Graphic Designers and Social Media Experts.
2. Develop and Stick to an Advertising Budget
When a business utilizes an advertising agency, they develop a budget at the beginning of each year and stick to that budget so they know exactly where their advertising dollars are going. Not only are they avoiding surprise invoices but they also have an assigned campaign strategist offering strategic advice and adjustments along the way. A campaign strategist is continually analyzing campaign reporting and can explain the effectiveness of various tactics in a way that can be understood, keeping the business owner informed but not overwhelmed.
3. Overwhelmed By Local Media, Especially Digital Media
On average, a small business owner is visited by at least one local media account executive every three days. Fear of missing out makes it difficult for many business owners to say no. Couple this with the fact that media companies invest millions of dollars every year to train their account executives to sell. Getting the yes is all that matters.
Relying on an advertising agency allows the business owner to pass these meetings off to their representative, creating a “gatekeeper” between them and media sellers. A good advertising agency will listen to these ideas and make tweaks in the budget to include any of these products or services when it makes sense for the business. The key is continuing to operate within the yearly budget so business owners can finally make the most of their advertising dollars without overspending.
4. Professional Design and Cohesive Branding
Remember when we talked about having a design team? This is vital in developing cohesiveness in advertising campaigns across all channels such as social media, television, radio, Internet ads and print. When each media is creating their own ads, branding tends to get lost in translation.
Business owners don’t have time to explain their brand guidelines to each individual media rep. Even if they did, what are the chances that media rep will be able to translate those guidelines to their in-house creative team and execute effectively? Elements such as fonts, colors, tone of voice and logo presentation are all important components when it comes to brand and message. Utilizing one professional design team across all platforms ensures that the target audience will always associate brand with message regardless of medium.
5. Experienced Media Buying
A strong advertising agency usually will have a media buyer who has worked in sales or sales management for media previously. This positions each of their agency clients with a negotiator who has sat on both sides of the table. By working in media previously, they have the pulse on the price of competing media in the marketplace, what tough questions need to be asked, what quality of reporting you should receive, among other considerations. Experience such as this can save a business a up to 50% of their ad budget. An experienced negotiator can separate the “fluff” from what is really valuable in a media presentation and focus on what is truly effective.
6. So What Are You Waiting For?
These are just a few of the benefits that come with utilizing a professional agency for advertising and marketing. While an advertising agency may not be for everyone, it certainly should be a consideration for those looking to grow their business in a strategic and disciplined manner. As a business owner, you need to be able to focus more on what you do best, and delegate other important aspects of your business to professionals.
Are you considering an advertising agency for your business?
ThriveFuel is a full-service advertising and marketing firm made up of professional marketers, strategists, developers and designers. We can help you grow your business utilizing best of breed, proven media plans and strategies. We are the regions premier digital agency with offices in Victoria, Texas and Corpus Christi.