When Is It Time To Hire a Marketing Firm? (Ask 5 Questions)
When is the best time to hire a Chicago digital marketing firm to help you? The short answer is: the sooner, the better.
But if you are stuck with indecision, use these five questions as your guide:
- Are you generating leads or getting the desired results?
- Are you having difficulty keeping up with digital marketing trends and technologies?
- Do you require more advanced or specialized marketing services?
- Can you set aside a budget for online marketing?
- Have you hit a plateau in business growth?
Ready to dig deeper into each of these questions? Let’s go!
Are you looking for a full-service digital marketing agency? See the DAP difference below!
1. Are You Generating Leads or Getting the Desired Results?
Marketing is always the means to an end, whether a single or a combination of objectives. These can range from lead generation to better click-through rates (CTRs), lower abandonment rates, increased returns, or enhanced online visibility.
If you are barely, or worse, not meeting your objectives, you likely need a fresh set of eyes to look at your marketing strategy.
Hiring a digital marketing partner, or a digital strategy consultant, is beneficial because they usually take an outside-looking-in approach. They can give you an unbiased, independent, and creative assessment of your situation.
They study every part of your business by thoroughly:
- Analyzing your competitors and their marketing strategies (How are they doing? What steps have they been taking that you are not?)
- Examining your customer data (Have they changed? Are they the people you should target? Did you miss an under- or unserved market?)
- Optimizing the customer’s journey from acquisition to conversion (Are you using the right channels? Do you have any leaks in your funnel?)
- Taking a more holistic look into your business (Is your social media engagement translating to sales? Are you measuring the right key performance indicators (KPIs)?)
Every business owner craves success. But it will be elusive unless you confront the underlying problems.
2. Are You Struggling With Digital Marketing Trends and Technologies?
What do Blackberry, Nokia, and Blockbuster have in common? These former big brands made the fatal mistake of not keeping up with changing times.
Many small businesses are in danger of becoming has-beens, by failing to innovate or not keeping up with digital marketing trends and advancements.
A Chicago digital marketing agency has access to the latest applications and possesses the newest industry trends and best practices. They also help you where you or other marketers struggle: using knowledge and expertise to maximize these tools.
Below is a table of the best innovations today and how a team can apply them to your business:
Digital Marketing Trend/ Technology
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Uses machine learning and natural language processing to automate and optimize various marketing activities and applications.
- A chatbot that answers common customer inquiries and provides personalized responses on a website or social media platform
Voice search optimization (VSO)
Optimizes website and content for voice-based search queries, which are becoming increasingly popular because of smart speakers and digital assistants.
- Targeted keyword research, focusing on more natural search queries and user intent, such as long-tail, conversational keywords and phrases
- Optimization of product listings to include attributes commonly used in voice-based searches, such as color, size, and brand
Augmented reality (AR)
Creates immersive and interactive experiences for customers through mobile app development.
- Virtual try-ons
3. Do You Require More Specialized Marketing Services?
Many business owners live as Jacks- or Jills-of-all-trades, and masters of none. In many instances, this is fine. After all, they are often a one-person show who knows the basics of their business.
The problem arises when you do not know the most crucial aspects of digital marketing. These include:
- Analytics and reporting
- Customer segmentation
- Conversion rate optimization
- Account-based marketing
- Paid advertising and campaigns management
Outsourcing these tasks to a Chicago digital marketing agency provides the following:
- Gives you the edge to scale and grow.
- Provides you with insights, strategies, and technologies you may have never discovered on your own.
- Lets you access a wide range of skills, services, and resources.
- Helps you focus on the parts of your business of which you are passionate.
- Keeps your customers happy by giving them better products, services, and experiences.
4. Can You Set Aside a Budget for Online Marketing?
In 2022, marketing spending accounted for up to 9.5% of company revenues across all industries. Yet, this was still lower than the usual pre-pandemic percentage, which averaged 10.9%.
Marketing is expensive, consuming a considerable chunk of your budget. If you are a small business or a startup, you will feel this sting.
This is especially true if you want to work with a digital marketing firm. Retaining the services of an SEO team, for example, could cost as much as $5,000 a month.
But does this mean that you should forgo hiring specialists? The answer is no. Here’s why:
- You can never see any growth unless you market your products and services.
- The right marketing team helps you build and maintain strong customer relationships. Many studies have shown that it could cost you less to advertise to your loyal patrons than acquire new leads.
- Many digital marketing agencies offer flexible plans, so you can easily scale your budget.
5. Have You Hit a Plateau in Business Growth?
Are you experiencing any of these?
- Your revenues have been flat or declining over the last two quarters or a full year.
- The abandonment rate is increasing.
- Your company has not released a new product over the last 12 months.
- Employees are less engaged and feel burned out.
- The sales cycle is getting longer.
- You cannot keep up with the customer demand.
- Your company has not invested in any new technology or new equipment.
If you answered yes to some or all of these, you might have hit a business plateau. Feeling stuck is normal, however, you cannot stay there for long. Your customers and competitors will not wait until you get back on track.
How can a digital marketing firm help you get out of the rut?
- They can determine the possible root causes of the problem. Is it poor functionality of your website that is causing a bad user experience? Does your content resonate with your audience? Do you have the correct customer persona?
- Some teams offer a digital strategy consultant. This person can create and modify a more realistic business roadmap to success, and recommend actionable tactics that can quickly break the inertia.
- They can help you pivot. Sometimes the best solution is to move away from a particular strategy and try something new. Your team can help you change directions with the least negative impact on your bottom line.
Hiring a marketing firm demands careful consideration and cautious decision-making. Remember, you will spend money, share trade secrets, and work with people you do not know.
Use these questions to help you determine the best time to onboard them. Better yet, work with Digital Authority Partners (DAP). We are a reliable, experienced Chicago digital marketing agency that knows how to work with various clients to customize campaigns. Call us today to learn more about our specialized services.
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