Does working with an agency work? Well, yes… and no.
This may seem like an odd subject matter for our blog, but as a trusted independent agency we like to ensure we’re offering our clients the best advice, and sometimes that may mean recommending that they do things on their own, or hire in resources.
What we do know is that there is no one right answer on this, every client is different. Some of our clients work with us for many, many years and then move away. For them it was the right thing to do at the time. For others, they did things in house for a long time and had the wrong people or didn’t invest enough so needed outside support.
What is right for you? Sometimes it is best to get outside consultants to guide and advise, even if it's just to sense check.
Why you should work with an agency
Agencies can bring a lot of experience about your industry that you might not know about - they offer new ideas and a fresh approach and can make you feel like you’re less on your own.
Agencies also work on other clients and can share best practices about what works for others to transplant ideas - whether this is in the same, similar or a totally different industry.
Most agencies keep their tools sharp by going to events throughout the year and keeping on top of the latest blogs and expert POVs to get new ideas. Our team in particular flourish with stimulus from events, and are committed to pushing their knowledge at every possible opportunity.
Investing in people who know what they are doing can get results quicker and change the fortunes of businesses. We like to work as extensions to our client’s marketing team or become that marketing team if it doesn’t exist - offering an immediate workforce equipped with the skills and aptitude to do the job to a high standard straight away!
And if things don’t work, then an agency can be changed without any HR headaches.
Why you shouldn’t work with an agency
If digital is core to your business, then outsourcing it is potentially risky and costly. Agency rates are often much more than you would pay for a full-time/part-time person in-house, as well as this the team (despite their best efforts) will be operating outside of your business so they will have to juggle priorities.
There are a lot of agencies who say they are ‘full service’ but aren’t and you may find you’re working with too many suppliers to achieve your targets. Likewise giving work to them which is outside of their core offering is not a good idea although it might make managing things easier
For many, there is still a lingering ‘agency’ culture where working 14 hour days is a badge of honour - in this environment, staff turnover can be high and knowledge of your market & business is often lost. This isn't us by the way, whilst we work hard we don't believe in more hours equals better productivity and output. A healthy work-life balance is important for our wellbeing and quality of work.
In-house, fully-managed agency or hybrid?
The question may not actually be about whether or not to use an agency, but what sort of relationship you may have with them, it's not always all or nothing. We work with clients both as a fully-managed service, taking all the day to day digital strategy and implementation off their hands, and as a consultant / trainer offering advice and support to allow their internal teams to do the leg work.
The relationship is often fluid and dependent on the skills, resources and budgets available to the client in-house. For example:
- Clients may have budding copywriters who know their industry better than anyone else, so we'll work with them to plan content, optimise and advise.
- Clients may run a Google grants ad campaign and just need an audit every once in a while to make sure they're getting the most of the budget granted to them.
- Clients may need to hand complete responsibility over to us to hit their targets and are happy for us to deploy whichever marketing tactics necessary to achieve them.
Whatever the requirement the relationship is a partnership, focused on a common goal with clear objectives and KPIs to ensure everyone is doing the right thing. Usually something between in-house only and agency-only is where the real value resides, and the magic happens!
The choice is up to you, but we like to think we’d be a good one
Knowing what we know about why clients should choose an agency vs. not we are proud to have long standing partnerships with our clients, and we have even longer working relationships with our team, with some of our senior specialists celebrating 5-10 years’ of service with us.
Our clients benefit from speaking directly with our experts on a regular basis, and we pride ourselves on our proactive approach and challenge mentality. We strive to do the best for our clients and run their web projects or marketing campaigns as if they were for our own business.
If in doubt, get in touch to talk with one of the team and find out for yourself!
"You came into the business, put in place a lot of the quick fixes on our site and marketing campaigns, you all pick up the nuances of the business quickly and guide us to further improvements."