Is an online marketing agency the right fit for you?

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Thomas Padula

As you’re looking to grow your business and expand your marketing, you might be considering hiring a third-party agency to help you. Whether your in-house team is limited or you’re looking for a specific online marketing agency

, there are extensive benefits to partnering with an agency — but only if your business is ready for it. 

At Padula Media, we help clients improve their digital marketing in Pennsylvania and beyond. Focusing on web design, SEO, and digital branding, we take an innovative and collaborative approach to our clients in Philadelphia, Chester County, Montgomery County and Plymouth Meeting.

Here are 5 things to consider as you research whether an internet marketing company or agency is the right fit for you, and your business at its current stage. 

 

Investment

As you begin to research if hiring an online marketing agency is right for you, the first thing to consider is the financial investment that is required. While hiring a third party to assist with marketing is usually much more affordable than building and hiring an in-house team, there are still risks involved and costs associated. If your business is agency-ready, you’ll likely already have key marketing strategies in place — like a robust organic audience that will keep the business afloat while you invest in growing your paid strategies to generate new business. If the business is rocky and your finances are unstable, it might not be the best time to expand your marketing strategies. 

Aside from a monthly retainer, there can be costs for goods and services associated with marketing strategies like improving your website infrastructure, mailing promotional material, or filming a commercial. These costs are often outside of an agency fee and are centered around marketing materials associated with campaigns. Consider these costs when budgeting for this next step in your business.

 

Time and Transparency

Just like any good relationship, the working partnership between a client and a marketing agency takes time and effort. You want to build a relationship with your account team that is centered around communication, transparency, and trust-building. This sets both you, and your agency, up for success. Make sure you find an agency that you click with — one you can trust to grow your business with —since transparency is the backbone of a good client relationship. From providing branding guidelines to being responsive to emails, the more information an agency has from you the more likely they are to succeed, as the partnership is a two-way street. Be willing to ask questions of your account manager to ensure you understand why a strategy is recommended or why something failed.

If you’re considering hiring an online marketing agency, it’s important to prioritize the time out of your workflow that is needed to not only initially kick off the relationship but also to continue nurturing it as the partnership grows. Similar to the time needed to onboard a new team member, invest in the time needed to get your account manager up to speed on your organization. Consider your agency partner as a member of your in-house team.

Setting aside the necessary time will ensure both your relationship and your marketing, reach their full potential.  

 

Type of agency

When you’re beginning to research what kind of online marketing agency is the right fit for you, it’s important to understand the different levels of service and offerings that different types of agencies offer. Not all agencies are built equal, so take some time to research which will be the best for your goals.

An inbound marketing agency will focus on strategies to drive traffic and leads to your business. This type of strategy is mainly focused on driving visitors to your site through their own organic research and can include strategies like online reputation monitoring, SEO services or curated landing pages to generate leads through website design.

A full-service marketing agency might be the best fit for you if you have limited to no in-house marketing support. Instead of hiring an internal team, a full-service marketing agency can help you with early-stage marketing like brand conceptualization, design, and strategic planning.

If you have a solid foundation of your brand and business, a digital marketing agency could help you grow your business and increase your online presence through tactics like content marketing, paid social advertising, video production, pay-per-click advertising, and more. Digital marketing agencies can help grow your already existing organic audience so you can reach more customers and improve leads.

 

Goals

While it might seem obvious, understanding your business’s goals before hiring a digital marketing agency will help you, and the agency, determine what kind of support is needed. If you’re not able to articulate your goals and what you’re looking to accomplish, it will be difficult for a third party to know what services they should offer. Take the necessary time to audit where your marketing currently is, and what you’re looking to accomplish as you enter into a partnership with an agency. Set internal KPIs (key performance indicators) that are specific, measurable, and data-focused. This way, when you hire a marketing agency, you’ll have a clear vision for what success looks like for both you and your account manager. 

While setting your goals, make sure you specify who will be held accountable for what. Creating a clear delineation between what you, as a customer, are responsible for, and what your agency is responsible for when it comes to your marketing. By doing this, you can outline that everyone is working towards the same goal and not overlapping or neglecting duties.

 

Ability to Scale and Perform

Lastly, and maybe the most important, is to make sure that your business is set up to grow! Will you be able to serve your new clients? Do you have the bandwidth to grow your business? Are there operational issues that might prevent you from success? You should ask yourself, “If my marketing agency delivers on their end of the agreement, will I still be able to deliver for my customers?” 

If you have concerns about your ability to scale, make sure you’re transparent with your agency. They might be able to help you work around these issues by implementing specific strategies. By communicating openly and honestly about these potential issues, your agency will have a clear picture of what the concerns are and how their work plays a role. 

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When you’re ready, an internet marketing company can help you take your business to new heights. The partnership between client and agency should be one centered around mutual respect, collaboration, and innovation that will empower you to reach your goals and grow your business. Is now the right time for you to hire a web design company in Philadelphia? If so, contact us at Padula Media to see how we can help you meet your 2022 marketing goals. As a leading internet marketing company in Philadelphia, Chester County, and beyond, Padula Media offers best-in-class digital marketing, SEO services, web design, and more.