• Kathy Svetina

How to Hire a Marketing Agency

From: "Help! My Business is Growing" Podcast


How to Hire a Marketing Agency


Your business needs an effective marketing plan to keep it thriving, resilient, and relevant.


And while you may have some skills in promoting your products and services, you may not be able to keep up with fast-paced industry shifts and marketing technology trends.


You can hire a marketing agency to help you make the right decisions. These specialists can handle all the marketing aspects of your business, from developing short and long-term strategies and solutions to implementing them to get profitable results.


By delegating your marketing efforts to a specialized team of experts you free up your - and your team's - time to focus on the other aspects of your business.


So if you plan to hire one, where do you start? What are the benefits of working with a marketing agency? What should you look for, and how do you maximize this potential partnership to ensure the success of your business?


In this episode of Help! My Business Is Growing; I talk to our guests, Alicia Williams and Chris Viscomi, about how your business can benefit from hiring a marketing agency.


Alicia and Chris shed light on the hiring process and how you can choose the right agency to match your business needs. They also discuss the intricacies of working with one and what that looks like on a day-to-day basis.


Alicia Williams and Chris Viscomi are the Co-founders and Marketing Experts of Aliste Marketing, a boutique marketing agency that helps companies build tactical marketing plans consisting of out-of-the-box marketing techniques, cutting-edge videos, and social media strategies that give brands a voice to attract new clients.



In this week's episode, we discuss:

  • 02:30 Why would a business choose to obtain the services of a marketing agency over hiring an in-house marketing person or working with a freelancer?

  • 07:42 What are some of the common mistakes that you see businesses making when they're vetting potential marketing agencies?

  • 11:06 What would be a realistic expectation for any marketing activity or strategy to start working?

  • 11:24 What are the signs that the marketing agency you hired is doing a good job, even though all your marketing activities or strategies are still in development?

  • 30:39 What is the next tangible step someone (who is just at the beginning of the journey of hiring a marketing agency and has no idea where to start) can take in the next week to get them closer to hiring the right agency for their business?


Transcript


Listen to the podcast here:






 

Having a (marketing) agency that has built an ecosystem of talented professionals, allows (companies) to scale faster and get way more work done than an entire in-house marketing department.

 




Why would a business choose to obtain the services of a marketing agency over hiring an in-house marketing person or working with a freelancer?


Marketing agencies have built an ecosystem of talented marketing professionals, allowing clients to scale faster and they can do more work efficiently.


You won't have to deal with people taking vacations, maternity leaves, disability, and all the other transitions and variables that occur in everyday life.


A marketing agency (ideally) ensures that their client (your business) never feels those hiccups; they have no idea when the team is away, they have no idea when somebody's on maternity leave, or if somebody's out sick.


Agencies also have specialists such as videographers, SEO specialists, Ad specialists, Social Media, and so on, and that's all they do. So you can expect higher quality output versus having one or two people in-house to do it all for you.




 
"At the six-month mark you should start seeing your marketing program or strategy move forward." - Chris Viscomi
 


What are some of the common mistakes that you see businesses making when they're vetting potential marketing agencies?



  • Thinking you can do it all yourself.

There is so much information out there - both good and bad - that makes brands and companies think that they can do it themselves. And while you technically can, it would be only on the surface level because you would not be able to sustain DIY-ing all things marketing all the time.


  • Not understanding your goals.

You need to know what your goals are. Is it to get more leads or more brand exposure? Are you organizing your assets or leveraging them, and so on? This is an essential foundational piece because you might be focusing on so many different things that don't actually pinpoint what your business needs. A business must know what it is looking for and what it hopes to gain.


  • Being scared to talk about budgets.

Many businesses are reluctant to share or discuss their marketing budget with potential marketing agencies. But when you talk with the marketing agency and are very open with them and let them know where you sit financially, they can develop a strategy that falls within your budget and get them the best results.





A lot of people look at the marketing strategy at the beginning, and then forget about it. Don't take a look at the strategy once -  review it every couple of months and say, "Where are we? What are the changes that we made?"




What would be a realistic expectation for any marketing activity or strategy to start working?



A reasonable time would be around the six-month mark.


This is when you should start seeing any kind of marketing program or strategy move forward.




What are the signs that the marketing agency you hired is doing a good job, even though all your marketing activities or strategies are still in the process or the development stage?



  • You can get a hold of them quickly; they are responsive and transparent about their deliverables and other operational concerns.


  • The strategy they come up with should be cohesive, from who the buyers are, to the different marketing goals, the activities planned, and the visual design elements. They should all fit together.

  • They should also measure the effectiveness of the programs post-roll-out.


  • You have open and consistent conversations so that you are both on the same page regarding where you are vs where you plan to be.




What is the next tangible step someone who is just at the beginning of the journey of hiring a marketing agency and has no idea where to start can take in the next week, or in the next couple of weeks, to get them closer to hiring the right agency for their business?



  • Onboard your agency with an updated brand identity guide (your logos, colors, all of your website and social page logins, etc) and hand it over so they can get started on a project as soon as possible.


  • You can also take a look at the past clients that they've worked with, and look at what your agency produced for them. Do you think they did a good job or you're not impressed? Evaluate if you think that their work is going to support and promote your brand.




We go in-depth with this topic and more over at the podcast. Listen here:



 

To Recap:


1. Working with a marketing agency allows for an uninterrupted flow of work, handled by specialists who are experts in a variety of marketing fields which allows your business to scale faster.


2. The three most common mistakes businesses make when choosing marketing agencies are that they think they can DIY their marketing, they don't really have a grasp on the business goals, and are not transparent regarding their marketing budget.


3. All your marketing programs and strategies should start bearing some fruit around the six-month mark.


4. Signs that your agency is doing a good job include how available, responsive, and transparent they are, if they have crafted a cohesive strategy for you, and if they have consistent conversations regarding the state of things - and are open to periodic evaluations


5. Get all your brand information, including logins to the website and social accounts they will handle, in order so your marketing agency can start immediately.


 

About Alicia Williams and Chris Viscomi

Alicia Williams and Chris Viscomi are the Co-founders and Marketing Experts of Aliste Marketing, a boutique marketing agency that helps companies build tactical marketing plans consisting of out-of-the-box marketing techniques, cutting-edge videos, and social media strategies that give brands a voice to attract new clients.


Website - https://alistemarketing.com/

LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/aliste-marketing/

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/alistemarketing/

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AlisteMarketing/

Twitter - https://twitter.com/AlisteMarketing

Email - alicia@alistemarketing.com | chris@alistemarketing.com


 

by Kathy Svetina

Kathy is a Fractional CFO and the founder and director of NewCastle Finance LLC. She is a financial puzzle solver, focusing on women-owned businesses, and providing financial insights needed for a healthy and sustainable business.