When is the Right Time to Hire a B2B Marketing Agency?
You may not be aware of it, but there are probably a bunch of signs at your company right now suggesting you need to hire a specialized B2B marketing agency. You may not see the red flags or hear the alarm bells ringing, but chances are, it’s time.
Look, we get it. Hiring a B2B marketing agency is a big decision. We’ve heard the excuses:
We can just have the interns write the blogs, right?
We’ll find a young person to handle social media because they’re clever and internet savvy.
The website was set up years ago, it’s still working great!
We’ll just use the same booth and print materials from last year.
I think Karen’s daughter is studying graphic design, she can redo our logo, right?
Unfortunately, answers like these usually lead to minimal B2B growth and a whole lot of headaches.
That’s because B2B marketing is unique and requires experience to succeed. It takes a comprehensive marketing program to drive real change in a competitive B2B landscape. Here are five signs that your B2B company needs to hire a B2B marketing agency right now.
When Overworked Employees Make Mistakes
Focus. Focus. Focus. That’s what managers say all the time. But that’s easier said than done.
When employees are given new or additional marketing tasks, time is taken away from other responsibilities, and the overall quality of work suffers. Worse yet, research suggests rushing actually increases the number of mistakes made.
Experts agree, too. According to Wanda Thibodeaux, of Inc, “Rushing to get done as fast as possible so you can take more on can mean you don’t think through the job as critically, and that you make more mistakes”.
Further, when interrupted from one task to deal with another, the average person requires 25 minutes to find their concentration again.
In short, if employees are overloaded with marketing tasks, they are more likely to make mistakes and need to revisit the tasks in the future. That costs their employers time, money and resources. For their effort, employees are rewarded with headaches and poor efficiency.
When You Can’t Find the Right Talent at the Right Time
Hiring expert marketers outside of big cities is tough. Think about this: what type of marketer would you hire first?
A web designer may be useful to launch a B2B site, but what do they do after the site is live? And who writes the content on the site? If you think copywriting is an easy job, guess again. Agencies have professional copywriters on staff for good reason: It’s really hard to do well. Hop on Facebook and scroll through your feed. See a few typos? See a few things that are confusing, unprofessional, weird? That’s what happens when regular people write copy.
Maybe you take another route and opt to hire a graphic designer to craft social media ads and print collateral. But, what happens when that designer moves on from the company and nobody else knows how to edit the design files? You’d be stuck, or forced to hire an expensive freelancer.
Small Town Talent Shortages
This isn’t a new problem. There are tons of articles on how to overcome “small town” talent shortages. Remote employees and freelancers can help with those talent issues. But, those types of hires come with their own baggage. Managing time, sorting through differing hourly rates, poor communication, cultural clashes, and a lack of availability are only a few of the issues that come with freelancers and remote employees.
Conversely, hiring a B2B marketing agency means your B2B has an entire team of seasoned professionals with various skills, instead of just a couple of limited employees. Not only can a B2B agency produce the tangible marketing materials a company needs, but they can also help with every small step along the way, from setting goals and objectives, to developing strategies and tactics.
When You’re Too Close to the Problem
Your business means the world to you. You live and breathe it. But when it comes to finding objective solutions, that closeness can be a problem. After all, we’ve all heard the saying “Can’t see the forest for the trees.”
Good owners and managers are experts at their own businesses and the industry they represent as a whole. You know the history, the cycles, the ups-and-downs, what works and what doesn’t. While that’s great for business, it also takes away your objectivity and your ability to think like a customer.
That’s when you need a fresh start. By hiring someone outside of your company, you get a new perspective – including solutions you may not have ever considered. When you sign on with a new marketing agency, they usually do a deep dive on your company. This can lead to a rediscovery of what makes your company, or the products and services you offer, unique. After all, you’ve been dealing with them so long, it’s just routine for you. What’s more, an outside team can challenge the status-quo and question how your company works or assumptions you and your team may have, even if you’re not overtly aware of them.
And finally, marketing pros are experts at boiling down your strategy and messaging to its most basic form, without years of insider information or company policy getting in the way. That’s the clarity you need for fresh, and effective, marketing solutions.
When The Industry Has Changed
Industries change fast. Year over year, new developments, technologies, regulations, and consumer demands force B2Bs to change what they offer and how they offer it. Over just the past decade, a lot has changed in the world of B2B marketing.
Here are a few changes we’ve noticed. Has your B2B marketing plan stayed up-to-date?
- B2B sales aren’t just made over the phone now. While the buyer’s journey is still longer than in its B2C counterpart, when it makes sense, B2B buyers expect the ability to make purchases online, quickly and securely.
- B2B SEO is critical to online success for B2Bs. Be sure to read our article on the importance of B2B SEO and why it is different than traditional SEO.
- Social media, especially LinkedIn, is by far the number one generator of digital sales leads for B2Bs, and most B2Bs should utilize LinkedIn in organic and paid formats.
- Digital ads are a game-changer for B2Bs. Google ads not only generate leads and make sales, but they also allow B2Bs to learn about their customers and how they search for the products they need, creating opportunities for website and content optimization.
- Google isn’t just useful for ads. Google’s Search Console, Tags Manager, Analytics, and Data Studio are critical to gathering data about your business and customers and following up appropriately.
From SEO to proper data collection, each of these issues should be addressed strategically by a comprehensive marketing plan.
When Failure Isn’t an Option
Even the most seasoned B2B marketing agency can’t guarantee a marketing campaign will be successful. But, what they can do is bring decades of experience to your company’s marketing efforts. In fact, experience is the most important asset an agency brings to B2B marketing. And with experience comes a deep understanding of the strategies needed to create marketing success in B2B industries.
Without a proper strategy, marketing campaigns are doomed from the beginning.
Let’s say you do try to manage your marketing with an internal team. The team designs all the graphics, builds a beautiful website, drafts beautiful copy, and creates all the social media accounts they can. What’s next? Who develops the strategy (Which should have come first)? What do you post and when do you post it? What does a marketing campaign rollout even look like? Do you run advertisements on Google, social media, radio, and TV? Would you even know how if you needed to?
Is your company in need of marketing help? Nichols B2B has the proven experience to grow B2Bs. Have questions or want to start a conversation to see how Nichols can serve your B2B? Email me anytime at barmbruster@WeTellYourStory.com.
- Resident B2B expert
- First agency position in 1997, joined Nichols in 2002
- Splits time between creative leadership and account service
- Remembers every detail about clients and their businesses
- Coffee connoisseur, music enthusiast and fair-weather runner