01 Aug When do you need an external agency?
Really, the question isn’t so much when you need to hire an external agency or when you don’t because there are always going to be arguments for both sides. What this article aims to do is to discuss ‘how’ you can use an agency.
Now, HOW is a much better term because it doesn’t confine the argument to either side. You can choose to partner with a specialist agency when you do not have the in-house expertise and if the in-house expertise exists, agencies can be a solution for overflow work when internal resources are running short.
In both situations, an external agency can come to save the day. There’s a reason why we still exist. So, the question isn’t whether you need one or not but rather, how they can fit into your organisation’s strategic puzzle (excuse the pun here).
Here are some points to consider:
1. An agency to fill in gaps – whether this is a gap in expertise or resource
a) An agency exists to be problem solver.
b) Your needs to be answered, not the agency’s.
c) If your agency brings along more problems than you’re ready to take on without solving your immediate problems, move on.
Whether this is a quick-fix resource issue or a longer term strategic partner, the kick-off meeting with the agency should give you a sense of peace and motivation of next steps.
2. A short term outsourced solution for overflow work
a) It’s not true that specialist agencies have the expertise that you doesn’t exist in-house. Our collective experience as client-side marketers tells us so. Sometimes, it’s not the lacking of strategic level input but a resource and prioritisation issue.
b) This is where an agency can plug themselves in to help.
c) We see this occurring mostly in more established brands, corporate marketing or even global agencies where the biggest challenge is to manage the workflow pipline.
3. A mid-term tactical solution to help kick off initiatives
Start-ups or new brands who have had a taste of what business growth and ready to make marketing investments yet have no time to dedicate into it.
4. A long-term partnership to drive strategic direction, integrated marketing insights and be an extension of your business/organisation.
a) This is where a business/organisation have made the informed and calculated decision to partner with specialist agencies/consultants.
b) Useful for businesses who have scalable marketing budgets and want to leverage the power of media buying houses or specialists agencies to offer ‘bulk buying discounts’ (essentially).
c) Where the specialist agencies have dedicated, proprietary tools and tech and scale to service larger clients.
At Efficient Media, we understand the problem to be unique to each business but largely falling in the above categories. In catering for the different groups, we have tailored different servicing groups and ppc management pricing models to fit each category.
What we would love is to invite conversation around this and hear from your experience with using external agencies or consultants.