Marketing professionals sometimes feel threatened by outside agencies and therefore may not recommend partnerships with them even if it will make a business’s marketing program more effective. But a partnership with the right agency improves programs by complementing the talent already in place in-house.
When a company revisits its marketing apparatus and finds it to be lacking, it faces a simple but important choice: Can we do what we need to do on our own, or should we seek an agency partnership?
Meaningful marketing drives revenue. Many skillsets come together to achieve this—skillsets that no one person has. Meanwhile, marketing managers are stuck between understanding the advantages of an outside partnership and wanting to prove their worth to their organization.
The truth is, both can exist at once. Convincing the bosses to buy in to an outsourced inbound marketing program —and then seeing success because of it— could even earn you a fat pay raise and the steadfast trust of your superiors.
Strength in numbers (of skillsets)
As stated above, various skillsets converge to create effective marketing programs. Here are a few:
- Market research and knowing the niche.
- Understanding buyer personas and their behavior.
- Creative, engaging copywriting.
- Clean web development and design.
- Lead generation and nurturing.
- Web analytics and ROI measurement.
Marketing managers are talented folks, but rarely do they possess all the skills listed above. And when they work for a small- or medium-sized business, a couple road blocks stand in the way of building the perfectly well-rounded marketing team.
For one thing, there may not be enough salary room to afford to hire everyone needed to make a program work. For another, even if a company did invest in building a marketing team, it’s unlikely there would be enough work for that team to justify the cost of employing them.
Strong agency partnerships provide balance when a business’s marketing needs require a roster of rock stars—just not all day, every day.
Partnering with a well-rounded agency also ensures you, the marketing manager, are putting your time and skills to the best use.
Say you’re stellar when it comes to SEO. An agency’s writers and designers can take your keyword know-how and build compelling content that resonates with prospects.
Maybe your bread and butter is on the creative side. That same agency can turn its strategists loose on your ideas, ensuring your creativity is built, placed and seen in ways that drive conversions.
Perhaps you’re a Jack or Jill of all trades, working closely with an agency on every facet of a marketing program. That’s going to rub off on you. Your expanding knowledge base will ensure you’re irreplaceable.
Look good in front of your boss
Maybe you’re sold on the efficacy of an agency partnership but aren’t sure how to convince the folks in the C-suites.
Tell it like it is. Talk about what you know, concede the things you don’t and explain how an agency partnership can fill in the gaps. Put the conversation in terms of “now” and “later.” What can you, the marketing manager, achieve on your own now? What can be expected in terms of return on that effort? What could we accomplish with the added skills of an outside agency? Will that return be exponentially greater? What more can we accomplish in-house with marketing duties off our plate?
Having command over your marketing situation as it stands —and knowing what it’ll take to improve it— looks good to superiors.
Showing that the return is well worth the investment looks even better.
About the author
Toby Wall is a Thinker & Writer at Gorilla 76, a content marketing firm in St. Louis serving industrial clients throughout the U.S. He previously worked as a journalist covering breaking news, politics and business in the St. Louis area.