Digital Agency? In-House Manager? How To Make the Best Decision When It Comes To Digital Marketing Needs.

April 11, 2016 - 7 minutes read

One of the biggest challenges that a business faces is making the right decision on what direction to go for their digital marketing.  Should I hire someone internally to do that?  Will it save me money?  Who really is the best out there…I am getting calls from every TV, Radio and Newspaper rep out there claiming to “have the best”  and that “we are different”, but how do I know who is the best?

One of the first things I say to ANY client I meet is simple… “We all do basically the same thing”.  What do I mean by that?  Well I know that most of the media companies out there have SOME form of digital marketing to offer.   The truth is the basics of SEM, Audience Targeting, SEO, Social, etc. all have the same concepts when it comes to what they do.   We are either helping to bring in leads or branding ourselves to bring in more leads and make us top of mind.  How do YOU know as a business owner who to trust and if it just makes sense to bring someone in to do for you.  Just like when you are deciding on the best person to handle your tax returns for your business.   You can do it yourself, you can go online and pay someone $19.99 to do it, or you can hire it out and let the experts find all the loopholes and refunds possible. Just depends on how important it is to you.  Here are some basic questions to remember and ask yourself when you are making this decision.

  1. Is the digital strategy CUSTOMIZED specifically to fit your needs? What do I mean by that?  Did the sales rep dig deep enough to make sure all your challenges are being met with a solution?  Are there clear expectations with the recommendations?  There really is no such thing as a digital package that fits all your needs.  If you are an auto dealer, you don’t want a company bringing the exact same plan to each of your competitors do you?  Believe it or not some people don’t need SEO….some businesses don’t need SEM.  It really all depends on YOUR NEEDS.
  2. Do you trust that your sales consultant or in-house person can deliver AFTER the sale? Another one of my favorite sayings… “The Marketing starts after the sale” .  The real work in any digital campaign starts once the campaign is live and you are able to measure, optimize and strategize.  For digital marketing we literally have a blue print for our marketing plan through Google Analytics.  Regardless of who you are using for your digital marketing, make sure that all the great strategies are happening fluidly as the campaign progresses.  Digital marketing is not just 1 person who is the expert and running your campaign, there should be a team of people working on optimizing, strategizing & reporting out of google analytics, to make sure that all goals are being met.  But you have to be able to trust that the person you are contracting with is able to bring that to you.
  3. Are you specifically discussing conversions and results that the agency can bring you, based on your goals?  This is so important!  Often sales reps or media companies want to focus on the great “products” they have or the “best solutions” they can possibly bring you.  Where they fall short often is talking about the most important thing to you, and that is results.  Whether that be conversions with form fills or making the cash register ring.  How you measure the success of the campaign needs to be discussed at the beginning of the campaign.  Most business owners are NOT creating their website and thinking about landing pages or conversions on the website.  That is the job of the digital marketing consultant to recommend and make suggestions so that ultimately you are getting the best conversions or leads.
  4. If I hire someone to come in to handle all my digital marketing are they capable of being the expert on all things and will it save me money? The honest truth to that is it is hard to be the expert at everything (although we all know that 1 person who knows it all…lol).  The digital world is constantly evolving and changing and it can be a full-time job just to keep up.  A good Digital Marketing Manager will know that it is almost impossible to do it all themselves and they will still outsource a lot of the digital for many reasons.  In the end there is not a lot of cost savings, specifically when it comes to SEM as most of the cost to that digital solution goes back to Google and Bing.  And most individuals are not getting the “wholesale” cost like a digital agency is capable of because of their spend level.   Just like at Sam’s Club or Costco, you buy in bulk and you save and get wholesale pricing.  You really need to weigh out the costs and basically ask in the hiring process of any Digital Marketing Manager to bring you their game plan or business plan on what they are going to do.  If they want to do it all themselves, this is a red flag.

Think of digital marketing like a large jigsaw puzzle.  All pieces need to fit together and complement each other for the long-term goals and challenges that are SPECIFIC to you!  SEM, Audience Targeting, SEO, Blogging, conversions, Google Analytics, social…so many pieces to the puzzle, but they will fit together and be complete if done correctly!  The end goal is always to bring YOU the customer the best return on your investment.