Digital Marketing Agency Guide: Everything You Need To Know To Grow
In this resource, I share with you all the knowledge, skills and insights you need to have to be able to upgrade your marketing capability and make educated decisions when it comes to hiring the right digital marketing agency in Sydney, upgrading your in-house marketing team as well as setting up a hybrid capability of in-house and external marketers. I also share with you pros and cons of focusing a completely outsourced model vs. a completely in-house model. I will also shed some light on some best practices that you and your digital marketing agency can take advantage to put some numbers on the board, make quick wins, and set the foundation for long-term sustainable growth.
Are there a lot of excellent digital marketing agencies in Sydney?
That’s an interesting question. There are definitely a lot of good digital marketing agencies in Sydney but there are a few things that separate the ‘good’ from the ‘great’ and there are certainly some very competent agencies out there that have done really well for their clients. The issue I find generally speaking with a lot of the good agencies is that they tend to be very niche and specialised in one or two areas of digital marketing, creative, UX, web development, etc. You rarely find an agency that’s well rounded.
To me (and perhaps because I’m a huge fan of the sport), the marketing and tech world today, is like MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). You’ve got to have it all to survive and thrive. You can’t just be good at one, two or three things. You’ve got to be excellent in every area. From content marketing to SEO, Ads, Creative, UX, performance marketing, web design, and even the software development space including big data and machine learning. Every part of marketing and technology is crucial to enabling businesses to make a dent in the world. It all really comes down to marketing and technology.
So, back to being all rounded, it’s not very common you see digital marketing agencies in Sydney that have strong capabilities in every area of marketing and almost never do you find an agency that covers marketing and technology under one umbrella.
To me, this is one of the biggest things that I would take into consideration when looking for the some of the best digital marketing agencies in Sydney, nationally or globally for that matter.
Internal marketing team or a digital marketing agency?
This question or debate doesn’t have a clear right or wrong answer and it really depends on a lot of factors but I will give you some insights that will help you make better decisions.
The major advantages of having more of your marketing resources be in-house is greater control, more visibility, clearer communication and more alignment with the business.
The major advantages of relying more on a digital marketing agency is tapping into greater and wider skillset, diversity in approach, more creative power, ‘usually’ more extensive experience, less emotional decision making and more objective approach to your marketing.
A digital marketing agency is by nature less confined by the business ruleset, politics, legacies and is more free spirited and operates from a more creative place by virtue of it’s organisational structure and relationship to your business vs. your internal marketing resources. That’s generally speaking obviously. A lot of in-house marketers are the reasons many brands and businesses are where they are today.
Hiring an in-house team also means that you have a higher level of risk when it comes to availability. When your ppc campaign manager is away on holiday or sick, you may or may not have the right person to look after you campaigns. On the flip side, your digital marketing agency’s responsibility is a 100% uptime.
Cost of capability is another (very important) way of looking at it. In digital marketing, there are a lot of areas that people specialise in. Indeed some marketers are competent in more than one area but to ace every area in marketing, you’ve got to hire a lot of people and at time, you might hire a resource that’s not fully utilised. The agency model is an economic model because their resources will be fully allocated to you should you need that but if not, they are going to look after other businesses to fill the gap.
The downside to relying more on a digital marketing agency is the lack of control and alignment which tends to be much lower with internal staff. But, and this is a huge but… a great agency is one that’s able to mold into your business’ culture and be a seamless part of it, like the missing exact puzzle piece.
Best practices to follow when working with a digital agency
- Treat them like a part of your company
This is super critical and one thing that many businesses fail to understand and apply. A lot of businesses treat agencies, well, like an agency – in the sense that they are an external entity. What that tends to do is create unnecessary gaps that can potentially lead to disconnect in the vision and direction between both sides. Treating your digital marketing agency like part of your organisation means that you constantly communicate with them, brief them on what’s going on, involve them in your events, etc.
- Ask open ended questions
Rather than requesting for things to be done in a certain way, ask them open ended questions that indicate that you are open for options and alternatives on how the goal / objective can be achieved. If you fall in the habit of ask for things to be done in a specific way, you will get less value from them and if that doesn’t change, any competent agency that values it’s work, will probably move on and drop you.
- Acknowledge their achievements just like you would for your internal employees
The agency staff that’s allocated to your business are humans too. Appreciating and acknowledging them goes a long way. Make it a point to share internally and externally the great work they’ve done. This is only going to incentivise and motivate them to give you more of their time and effort. Everyone wins!
In this other guide, I share more insights on how to approach the best digital marketing agencies.