The Real Cost of Hiring a Digital Agency – Why it\’s not as much as you think

You\’re a small to mid-sized business looking to pin down your branding, boost your ads performance, and spruce up your website. Sales are floundering or inconsistent, word-of-mouth isn\’t bringing in the leads like it used to, and your sales team has enough time on their hands to take a midday nap.

You aren\’t alone.

As marketing changes and adapts to new tech (think of the new ChatGPT), businesses have to pivot constantly to stay ahead of the curve and keep the leads flowing in.

Even businesses with dedicated marketing staff find that they are struggling to coordinate all the many facets of their marketing engine.


The Many Functions of a Successful Marketing Department

Have you taken audit of the many aspects of marketing that need to flow together to work effectively?

An often overlook piece of marketing is the invaluable integration with your sales team. If you have BizDev people on staff, they should be working closely with your marketing people to ensure that their efforts are being supported via ads, social media, email marketing, and the website.

Sending your team off in too many directions means that you don\’t have a way of tracking success from your various efforts.

Here\’s an example:

Your sales person goes to a conference and brings their business cards with the homepage as the URL.
Suddenly, there is a spike in direct traffic on your homepage.
Your SEO person (out of the loop on your sales person\’s attendance) can\’t decipher where the spike in traffic is coming from.
Your next SEO report says, \”Great! Traffic is up!\”
The following report says, \”Well, traffic is back down, but we don\’t know why.\”

See the dysfunction?

There are dozens of examples of Ad Campaigns not aligning with upcoming events, unfocused attention to products that don\’t align with your targeted customer, social media campaigns that don\’t relate, and ongoing blog content that doesn\’t really answer the questions that people are asking.

The importance of finding the right digital agency that fits within your budget.

A good digital agency not only works on your marketing but also coordinates your resources to work like a fine-tuned engine.

If you view an agency as filling the roles of the many sections of the engine, then you can see you\’re hiring multiple resources at once – not just a marketing person. You get a web developer, a social media marketer, an SEO Specialist, graphic designer, sales support, strategist and more.

Even if you have these people already filing some roles, your digital agency can be their back-up and provide expertise they may not have working with a single company. Working with multiple companies exposes a digital marketer to a range of issues that a dedicated marketing person may not be familiar with.

Now, let\’s talk costs.

As a rule of thumb, B2B companies should invest 2-5% of their revenue into marketing.

Let\’s say you\’re a small IT company pulling around $3 million in revenue each year.
With a 5% investment into your marketing, your total marketing efforts should be around $160,000.
If you have a dedicated internal marketing person, this will cover most of their salary (approximately 90k).
This leaves you with a monthly budget of around $3300 to put toward marketing efforts.

If you want to err lower on the percentage investment, you can see now how a digital marketing team may be a more effective investment overall than a dedicated marketing team member. You can fill in more of those marketing engine functions without hiring out each individual person.

The importance of accurately defining goals and outcomes when engaging a digital agency to ensure cost-effectiveness.

The most successful digital agency partnerships come from companies that are willing to invest in their brand. If you believe in your service offering, then you know that you can narrow down on your best customer and target them effectively.

Working with a digital agency goes beyond developing a new logo and upgrading the look of your website. Digital agencies help strategize your marketing to set clear goals and outcomes for real-time tracking of leads and success.

You should be able to confidently look at your investment and believe in the cost because it\’s helping your business grow.