Why Marketing Director's Need External Agency Support

Agency Leverage

I was recently in a conversation with someone who said, "I'll never hire another marketing agency." When asked why he said, "they don't bring results I want and need." 

I couldn't argue with him. A lot of them don't. And there are a lot of reasons why clients might be disappointed with their agency. (see below for a full list!)

At the same time I know from my time as a marketing director inside an organization, there was no possible way I alone could have executed all the marketing that needed to be completed. That's why I had 3 outside agencies helping me. One for creative services and marketing, one for PR and one for digital marketing.

At this point you're probably saying, "Yeah but we don't have a huge budget like you did inside your organization." To that I would say, I really didn't have a large budget either. Now, size of budget is all relative of course but what I mean is that at the time I was working in a nonprofit. So, the budget was not huge. We did a lot with a relatively small budget! 

These days, I'm on the other side. Now, I help marketing directors (and CMOs, CEOs, business owners, etc) who need external agency support to get the marketing they need done. This way, they can look good in front of their leadership. Just like the marketing agencies I worked with back then helped me look good! 

So, how does having an external agency partner help your success rate with marketing?  

Here's Why Marketing Director's Need External Agency Support 

  1. Specialized Expertise: Marketing agencies often have specialists in various areas such as digital marketing, content creation, social media, SEO, and more. This allows the marketing leadership to tap into a broad range of skills without having to hire individual experts in-house. Agencies can provide best practices that a small, in-house team may not possess.

  2. Flexibility and Scalability: Agencies can scale up or down based on the company's marketing needs. This flexibility is particularly useful for handling seasonal campaigns or sudden increases in workload without the need for permanent hires. Agencies often have access to advanced tools, technologies and resources that may be too costly for an individual company to invest in.

  3. Cost Efficiency: Hiring and maintaining an in-house team can be expensive when considering salaries, benefits, training and equipment. Outsourcing to an agency can be a more cost-effective solution.  

  4. Fresh Perspectives and Creativity: External agencies can bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the table. They are not limited by internal biases or preconceived notions, which can lead to more creative and effective marketing strategies. Agencies, working with multiple clients (like we do), often have a broader view of market trends, consumer behaviors and industry changes. This insight can be valuable in shaping a company's marketing strategy.

  5. Time Savings: Outsourcing allows marketing directors and CMOs to focus on core business functions and strategic planning rather than getting bogged down in the day-to-day operational aspects of marketing campaigns. Agencies, being specialists, can implement campaigns more quickly than an in-house team that may need time to learn and adapt to new technologies or strategies.

The overall benefits of hiring an external marketing agency extends to the company or organization at large. Marketing is a broad discipline that requires you to stay competitive, creative and flexible in order to achieve success. Having external partners working alongside key internal marketing personnel allows the organization to experience cost savings with more creativity from more perspectives and resources. It's leverage!  

Reasons You Might be Frustrated with Your Current Marketing Agency 

If you find yourself frustrated with your current marketing agency partner, then some of these reasons might sound familiar. My goal as a marketing consultant is to overcome these obstacles by working closely with those accounts I project manage. Much of these challenges can be resolved at the outset and through ongoing communication which is something I value greatly. If you relate to any of these, please reach out to have a conversation because I want to help you overcome your marketing woes! 

  1. Misaligned Expectations: Sometimes, agencies overpromise results during the pitch just to get the client. When actual outcomes fall short of these exaggerated expectations, clients are disappointed.

  2. Lack of Clear Goals: If there is a lack of clear, measurable objectives from the outset, clients may find it challenging to evaluate the success of the campaign.

  3. Poor Communication: This is a big one! Regular communication is crucial for maintaining transparency and trust. Clients may be disappointed if they feel they are not adequately informed about the progress of campaigns, challenges faced and the strategies being implemented.

  4. Insufficient Research: If the agency lacks a deep understanding of the client's target audience or competitive landscape, the strategies developed may not be as effective as they could be. 

  5. Poor Execution: Subpar execution of campaigns, whether in terms of creative content, design or implementation, can lead to disappointment. Clients expect a high level of professionalism and quality in the work delivered when investing in an external agency. I work closely with client and agency partners to ensure quality work.

  6. Lack of Accountability: If the agency falls short of agreed-upon key performance indicators (KPIs) and does not take responsibility or make adjustments to improve, clients may feel let down. Proper education at the outset, tracking and reporting are all key here. 

  7. Budgetary Mismanagement: Clients may be disappointed if the agency exceeds the agreed budget without delivering proportionate value or if there is a lack of transparency in budget allocation. Client approval required! That's my motto.    

  8. Inability to Adapt: The marketing landscape is dynamic, and strategies may need to be adjusted based on real-time data and market changes. If the agency fails to adapt or update strategies accordingly, clients may see diminishing returns.

  9. Lack of Creativity: In industries where creativity is paramount, clients may be disappointed if the agency's creative output is uninspired, generic or fails to differentiate the client from competitors. 

  10. Limited Results Measurement: Clients often expect a clear demonstration of return on investment (ROI). If the agency cannot effectively measure and communicate the impact of their efforts, clients may be dissatisfied.

Marketing Leaders WIN with the Right Agency Partners

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Marketing is a broad discipline.

A successful marketing campaign has many layers, is well timed, is creative beyond the art used, is innovative, flexible and strategic -- to name a few. To do all of this well, and to have all cylinders running at full speed requires teamwork. The right fit with agency partners can help internal marketing leaders shine bright in their organization. And in turn, help the company or organization meet its goals. 

The wins I had as a marketing director, I shared with my agencies. They helped me look good and helped the organization I worked with win.  

If you want to stand above the rest as a marketing leader, then I'd love to help you shine in your role as your partner in marketing your company or organization. Reach out so we can see if we are the right fit for you

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