Let’s face it, nowadays, being on top of your marketing game is simply essential. With so many businesses beginning their digital journey and setting foot online for the first time, being able to execute excellent digital marketing campaigns becomes a much more valuable skill. Furthermore, with the high competition amongst brands and companies, having a marketing specialist on your team might help you get ahead of your competitors. And since that’s the thinking of many business owners (and they are absolutely right), the hunt for skilled marketing professionals is becoming obvious.
If we take a look at what digital marketing actually is, we’ll see that it’s a combination of a number of online marketing tools and current market trends, which are dynamically changing on a daily basis. Social media and email marketing, SEO, paid online advertising, content marketing, and even your business’s website – all of those things are a part of the digital marketing world. The goal of an online marketer is to convey your brand’s message to the right audience (through using the above mentioned tools) and guide your customers on their way to the check out page on your website, all the while making it a pleasurable experience for them.
So, if you own a business you need to keep up with the trends and (if you haven’t yet) think about your marketing strategy. There are three paths you can take here. First – you can dedicate some of your free time, sign up for a bunch of online courses, roll up your sleeves and get to creating your business’s marketing strategy. Your second option is to hire an in-house marketing team (or a marketer, depending on your budget). And last, but not least, you can get in touch with a digital marketing agency. We’re going to look closely at each of your options and explain what benefits and flaws you may encounter when choosing either of them.
Do it yourself
If you’ve decided to go solo and take matters into your own hands, we need to let you in on the biggest problem that you’re going to have (or should we say not have) – and that is time. In order to execute quality marketing campaigns you need to have time to prepare for them. And we weren’t joking when we said you’ll probably need to attend a course or two on digital marketing. Today, even if you have a natural ability to market, there’s always some new tool or feature that you must know about. Furthermore, you should be implementing those new features and trends to your marketing strategy right as we speak. Well, technically, as you read this, which brings us to our next point and it is multitasking.
If you’ve never done marketing before, this new duty will certainly require you to multitask, because you’ve already established a schedule, which works for you. Therefore, you have a specific way of going through the week, you have specific activities planned for each day and you’ve probably scheduled every minute of your days, so that you can achieve the planned goals for your business. However, once you need to also come up with a marketing strategy, implement it and analyze it, so that you know you’re not hindering your business at the very least, it suddenly feels like a ton of effort and you might even get a bit overwhelmed.
Furthermore, even if your business has active marketing channels – such as social media profiles, email newsletter or a blog platform, you still need to consider ways in which to enhance your marketing presence. As we already mentioned, you need to keep track of the constantly changing trends and you need to mind the fact that since Covid drove many businesses online, you’ll probably have more competitors in the digital world than before.
So, if you ask us, we believe that in order for you to be truly focused on your business goals and move forward with growing it, you cannot possibly juggle between social media, updating your website banners, answering emails from clients, creating content for your blog and executing online ad campaigns. We couldn’t put it better than wisworld did:
Because at the end of the day, time is money, and while you spend hours and hours on marketing, you’re losing time during which you could be delivering products or services.
Not to mention that besides pursuing your career you need to also pay attention to your mental health and practice good life-work balance.
Hire an in-house marketer
Your second option for optimizing your business’s performance in the digital world is to hire an in-house marketing team. Well, it depends on your budget whether it will be a team or a single person, to be exact. You need to provide monthly salaries to your employees, remember this fact when you are deciding whether to hire one specialist or a whole team of marketers.
Just keep in mind that although not long ago a single person could manage to do all of the marketing efforts in a small business organization, as Neil Patel puts it: no matter how skilled an individual is, they don’t have enough arms – or hours in the day – to get everything done.
Company culture and values will be better recognized, understood and therefore represented to your customers in a more detailed and accurate manner, by someone who works full-time solely for your company. That being said, hiring a marketing team could turn out to be not only more expensive, but also more time consuming. The first reason for that is the fact that the process of hiring individuals takes time. You need to go through the interviews and questionnaires, then through the analysis of the candidate’s performance and finally you need to handle all of the documentation. Furthermore, it will take some time for the new employee to grasp the needed information and to settle in the new position.
The next detail, that you need to consider when hiring in-house marketers, is the field of marketing that they specialize in. We’re not saying that there aren’t skilled marketing professionals capable of planning and executing marketing campaigns on multiple communication channels such as: email marketing, social media marketing, Google and Facebook ads, as well as website banners and SEO services. What we’re saying is, those professionals usually require an attractive salary and are very hard to find.
Easier to find, however, are, as we like to call them, one-man-orchestra marketers, who claim they can get it all done. However, at the end of the day it turns out that all they’ve done is spend all your budget with nothing to show in return. This is definitely a scenario, which you want to avoid. One of the ways, in which you could stay away from such outcomes, is to hire multiple marketers, each of them specializing in a different aspect of digital marketing. In that way you will truly create your own mini marketing team, which will be solely focused on your business and its goals. They will be easily accessible, when you need to talk to them, because (unless Covid hits again and we’re all home-office once more) they will be present during office hours and are directly under your management. Moreover, if they enjoy working for you, they will truly be passionate about driving your business to success, since they operate under the same roof as you and their salaries probably depend on your business’s success.
It is our belief that if you insist on hiring in-house marketers, the best way to do it it is to hire a whole team. However, as we already mentioned, this is also probably the most expensive way, in which you can manage your business’s marketing. Aside from the monthly pay that you need to provide to your employees, you also need to think about training costs, as it will take time before your new employees reach full productivity. Furthermore, you cannot have a digital marketing team, without having the appropriate technology, which they need to use, in order to fulfil their goals. So you need to provide devices such as laptops, tablets or smartphones, as well as the needed software such as video editing programs or subscriptions to 3rd party digital tools. It is clear to see how the expenses keep getting bigger.
Hire a digital marketing agency
Last, but not least, you can partner up with a digital marketing agency and improve your business’s marketing strategy with their help. At first glance, this option has some similarities to hiring an in-house marketing team (and we’re really talking about a team, and not just a one-man-do-it-all marketer) since in most agencies there are people, specializing in diverse aspects of marketing. However, oftentimes partnering up with an agency can be much lighter on your wallet. That is so because hiring a team will cost you around 5 salaries (if your team consists of 5 marketers, that is), whereas for the same amount of brains (or for even more, as some agencies consist of up to 10 people) you may end up paying less.
One of the biggest benefits that you get from hiring an agency is that you will receive a marketing strategy crafted specifically for the needs of your business but most importantly, at the end of the day you will get measurable results.
The professionals there usually have many years of experience working with diverse brands and businesses. Therefore, chances are, they have done a lot of diverse campaigns and have worked with different types of audiences throughout the years. Furthermore, although they may have done similar campaigns to the ones you want for your business in the past, they will carefully listen to your preferences and propose the best solutions based on your budget and desired outcome.
As Covid drove businesses online and the hunt for skilled digital marketers began, professionals put more effort into improving their performance and became more competitive. So if you’re looking for skilled marketers, who are implementing the latest trends and tools in the digital world, then hiring a digital agency is the right choice for you. That is so, because with all of the disasters happening nowadays, including the economic crisis, which arose as a consequence of Covid, marketers cannot afford to make mistakes.
If you decide to work with a digital marketing agency, you will skip the time consuming task of recruiting in-house marketers. Furthermore, it is easy to distinguish a good agency by simply listening to what people are saying about it. Usually when hiring new employees, you cannot tell straight away whether they are a good fit for your company or not. This can sometimes take up to a few weeks. Plus, your only knowledge about this person comes from their biased CV and from the recommendations (which are rarely, if ever, negative). Therefore, you really have no way of knowing whether or not the person you are willing to hire is actually a good employee. When it comes to digital agencies, however, it’s very easy to conduct a quick google search and see what pops up. Often agencies will also have accounts on platforms such as Trust Pilot, so you can access customer’s feedback from there as well.
Another great feature of digital agencies is that when working with one, you get an outside perspective.
Since agencies’ teams are not entirely and solely engaged with you and your business all the time, they will be able to provide a fresh view over the things you do. Additionally, since they aren’t completely involved in your company and aren’t participating in the day-to-day culture inside your company, they can offer curious ideas, which may be surprisingly good, that you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of. Furthermore, when it comes to growing your business, they will come up with strategies way beyond what you have planned (or thought about), simply because they are looking for the best solution and are also offering you multiple strategies along the way, so you can choose the right one for your business together.
As we already mentioned before, digital marketing agencies are result-driven. This means that you will know exactly what you get out of your agreement. At the end of the day, the marketers, working there, will analyze the performance of your campaigns and diverse communication platforms. Then they will create a report and will often visualize the results, explaining to you what worked well and what not so much. Furthermore, they will calculate your ROI and give suggestions on what could be changed in order to obtain higher rates during following campaigns.
Which option is the right for you?
Which option you choose is entirely up to you and the needs of your business. However, if you ask us, we advise you to definitely avoid making an attempt at doing it yourself, simply because it’s too much work for one person, especially if you are not a marketing professional. Furthermore, we believe that hiring a jack-of-all-trades in-house marketer (a.k.a the person who does everything) is not going to help you either, because it will be extremely difficult for one person to keep track of all of the channels and to plan and follow through the implementation of quality campaigns.
So the two options, which you need to carefully consider are hiring an in-house marketing team or partnering up with a digital marketing agency. According to marketmotiv.com, in the UK, a full time digital marketing employee’s salary can vary (depending on his/her experience) anywhere between £1 916 (equal to €2 140) or up to £3 916 (equal to €4 374) a month. On the other hand, approvedindex shares that a digital marketing agency can cost between £1,200 (equal to €1 340) a month up to £5,000 (equal to €5 586) or even more, depending on how intense you want your strategy to be. However, keep in mind that if you hire an in-house team of, let’s say, 5 professionals, then you’re looking at a minimum £9 580 (equal to €10 702) a month worth of salaries (and that is in case they are inexperienced, which shouldn’t be your first option, if we have to be honest).
Therefore, our advice would be to go with the digital marketing agency, simply because it will be lighter on your wallet, you will get the opportunity to work with multiple marketing specialists, who will provide constant support and advice on how to successfully grow your business. Furthermore, you will receive clear, measurable results and suggestions on how to further increase your ROI (return on investment). Moreover, when hiring an agency you will have plenty of time to finalize those projects that have been piling up on your desktop and grow your business further. Plus, while you are focusing on your business, you will also have an exceptional presence in the online world without having to move a finger.
If you are convinced that you need to partner up with a digital marketing agency, Interval’s team will be glad to help you fulfill your business goals. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance with every aspect of your digital marketing strategy. We’re ready to define your company’s goals together with you and plan your way to success.
We believe in the power of creativity and through it we build strong human relations between customers and brands in the online world. Let us be a part of your digital journey, get in touch now.