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Should You Invest In Hiring An Agency?

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Let’s face it, hiring an agency is a big deal. Determining whether it is a good investment is a critical question when making the decision to hire somebody or to do it yourself.

I’ve seen articles that make the case that one should never hire somebody to do any public relations (PR) or marketing work. The reasoning always comes down to money and the advice the same: Save your money and do it yourself. I like saving money where I can so I certainly understand the sentiment.

Like you, I always go through a process in which I make a decision. Whenever I am considering a purchase, whether it’s a service or a tool, I look primarily at three things as part of my evaluation: What is the benefit? What is the cost? Is it going to be a good investment?

Of course the bigger the cost, the longer the process is to make a decision and rightly so. Today, let’s look at the reasons why you should and shouldn’t hire an agency for your marketing communication efforts.

Why You Shouldn’t Hire An Agency

There are some good reasons why you wouldn’t want to hire an agency. Your organization could be in an industry where there is little to no competition. This puts you in a unique position where people are actively seeking you out. There isn’t a need for much, if any, marketing in this situation.

You could also have somebody on staff who has the knowledge to do your marketing as part of their job duties. Alternatively, you may have an individual or team that is solely focused on marketing. If you have a person or even a team who has the expertise, hiring an agency may not be the best investment for you.

If you’re a small organization or a solopreneur, you may have little choice to but take care of it yourself. That’s the case for many (I’m one of those people but then again, I run a marketing communications agency).

The elephant in the room is money. Most, (though not all) agencies are mainly interested in developing and executing a plan and those services aren’t cheap. If money is an issue, hiring an agency may not even be an option.

This ties in to what I mentioned at the beginning of the article. Why spend your money when you can do it yourself? You know your business. Why should you hire somebody to tell your story when you know it backward and forwards?

Why You Should Hire An Agency

Time is money. Developing a marketing plan and executing it takes a fair amount of time and expertise. Engaging in marketing activities is time you aren’t working on your business. Hiring an agency and outsourcing that work solves this problem.

Another consideration is that marketing is constantly changing. Do you have the knowledge you need for the many aspects you need to know and consider such as SEO, identifying media contacts and influencers to pitch, what tactics are the best for your business and how to use them to build your brand? That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Having the knowledge is going to be key in your efforts. If you don’t have it, you may find yourself creating more problems than you’re solving.

Part of the reason to hire an agency isn’t just because they are going to do the work. It’s because they have the expertise. An agency can help guide you in the right direction based on your goals and use models to help you get the best results.

Just because you have a person or team in place doesn’t mean your organization doesn’t need help. Many organizations that have PR and marketing groups still contract out some of this work. It could be that there is too much for the team to get done or they just lack the knowledge in some area. It could also be that they just don’t deal with it.

Part of my planning process with clients is who is doing what work. You may want to keep control over your social media but want to outsource content creation because it’s not you’re strong point. Every conversation with an agency should include what they would do and what you would do.

You shouldn’t be ashamed of this. Even large corporations need help in certain situations. Years ago, I was at a conference in Seattle and I met people from three of the biggest PR agencies in the world. I found it interesting that Microsoft, who has its own PR group, hired all of them for some PR work.

Marketing Is An Investment

If you run a business, there always costs involved. Some of those costs are things that you need to have in order to run your business. If you sell a product, you need to have that product on hand to sell. Yes, it costs something but you are going to sell it for more than your cost and make a profit. The upfront cost is really an investment in your business.

Marketing is no different. Yes, there is a cost involved. That’s true whether you are hiring an agency or not but don’t fool yourself, marketing isn’t an expense. It’s an investment. If your potential customers don’t know about your organization’s services or products they won’t consider buying from you.

However, marketing is more than awareness. Your customers will go through different stages such as interest and consideration. You also need to determine what kind of marketing you need to do for existing customers.

Hiring An Agency…Or Not…

So should you hire an agency or not? It depends. When you boil everything down there are three factors involved. Cost, time, and expertise.

For many organizations, it comes down to money. After all, money makes the world go around. The cost to have an agency plan and implement is not cheap and this could preclude you from hiring an agency.

However, there are agencies that are more flexible. They have multiple services that range from products you can buy that provide much of the expertise you need, to coaching, to planning, to full execution. We happen to be one of those agencies (you must have seen that coming).

This is a big decision and there are good reasons why to hire or not to hire. Just remember, there are options. Weigh them carefully to your budget and your business goals and the right decision will be obvious.

If you have any questions in the comments. You can also contact us (it won’t be a sales call unless you move in that direction). We are happy to help guide you in the right direction for your situation.

*Image by www_slon_pics from Pixabay

Shane Carpenter
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