If you try to lay your company's marketing responsibilities on a single person, they'll always come up short. You need a team, but hiring internally is expensive. It may be time to hire an inbound marketing agency.
Getting more customers is the most important part of growing your business. Small to mid-sized businesses often start by networking and relying on referrals. Eventually, they'll reach a point where the old methods just aren’t cutting it. In order to keep growing, you need to reach new markets.
In order to sustain growth, you need new partnerships. You need digital marketing, so you're left with a choice: rely on your current team for marketing, create your own marketing department, or hire an inbound marketing agency?
Marketing Takes Specific Skills
Some businesses choose to rely on their current staff to take on additional marketing tasks. Employing more people is just too expensive, so these additional responsibilities most often fall on sales teams. Your sales team is one of your best assets. They’ve closed customers and obtained significant revenue for your business, so it only makes sense that they should be responsible for the entire customer journey: from outlier to lead to customer.
There are pitfalls to relying on salespeople for marketing, however. Mainly, they haven’t been trained with the right skills. Marketing and sales are intertwined. Both teams must align to be successful, but they are also different animals entirely.
Marketers are “top of the funnel” professionals, while salespeople focus on the bottom. Sales departments prospect, communicate, actively listen, and close deals. In short, they are good with people. Marketers tend to be more creative and technical. They create content, make designs and illustrations, and build websites.
In a perfect system, a marketing team attracts and converts leads while the sales team closes and delights customers. These are also the tenets of the inbound marketing methodology.
A fully staffed marketing team consists of a number of individuals, each with their own specializations. According to the marketing experts at Hubspot, there are 6 essential positions to fill when building a marketing team: a leader, a search engine specialist, a writer, a web developer, an analyst, and a creative person, such as a designer.
In-House Marketing is Expensive
You may be considering building your own marketing department. Depending on the size of your business and the extent of your marketing budget, this may not be a bad idea. You can easily supervise and scrutinize your own marketing team. They’d also be dedicated to your brand, espousing your company’s mission and goals. They could grow along with your business.
But with salaries and overhead costs, hiring a marketing department can be extremely expensive, especially for small to mid-sized businesses. You could hire an inbound marketing agency for a fraction of the cost. You'd still get access to the same skills, too.
A Chief Marketing Officer earns an average salary of $160,387 per year. Mid-level marketing professionals earn an average salary of $60,000 per year. To avoid the costs, some businesses hire a single individual to handle every marketing task.
If you do the same, you may get lucky and find someone particularly skilled. Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible for a single person to implement a fully-realized digital marketing campaign.
For example, if you hired a copywriter to write content, you’d also need them to optimize your website for search engines to get traffic on your blog, create forms and calls-to-action to generate leads, design gated pieces of content to nurture those leads, and manage social media accounts to encourage more web traffic.
A single professional just can’t handle the work of an entire team, and you need a team if you truly want your marketing to be effective.
Marketing teams are copywriters, graphic designers, web developers, digital strategists and others. To put an entire team in place, you could be looking at an investment of over half a million dollars each year for salaries, benefits, and other costs.
You’d also have to consider the costs of marketing automation software, metrics tools, design programs, and physical expenses like office space.
Why Hire an Inbound Marketing Agency?
You should hire a marketing agency to get the benefits of a full marketing staff without the costs. Agencies house the skills you need to implement end-to-end inbound marketing strategies in the digital age.
If you have a limited marketing budget and you need more help than your current staff can provide, an inbound marketing agency will start and manage all your campaigns on a strict budget.
An agency can work with you to determine which marketing strategies will work best for your business. Most importantly, your inbound marketing agency partner will do all the necessary tasks to put your campaigns into action. They do the writing, the designing, the website development, and the optimization.
All you have to do is consult with them periodically, give approval for their work, and receive reports about the results.
When you hire an inbound marketing agency, you can consult with professionals who have already served a number of other businesses. An agency will recognize your specific needs and become an active participant in your industry.
Copywriters and designers will then create beautiful collateral to target your markets. Web developers will optimize your website for industry-specific search terms and design it for lead capture, conversion, and ease of use.
Once you take the first steam, maintain a long-term relationship with your agency. You’ll see an influx of new leads and new customers each quarter, so you can continue to grow your business and reach your goals.