By Andrew Macey

iStock_000075172163_Medium.jpgMarketing is always evolving. Each year there are new strategies and tools to master, all of which must be aligned with your business goals. Because of this, the responsibilities of marketers and business owners continue to grow as well. 

When businesses are in need of marketing help, the first thought is often whether to hire a full-time employee or give some of the overflow work to others already within the organization. What most organizations don’t realize, however, is that this can be quite costly and in many cases, doesn't produce the same return as working with an outside resource: the inbound marketing agency. 

Hiring an inbound marketing agency is a great solution in this scenario.  Not only does an agency partnership provide unparalleled expertise, it will allow you and your employees to focus on growing the business in other ways. Here's how: 

1. Spend More Time Growing Your Business

Many companies operate marketing with an “everyone helps” attitude. This means that everyone—from the CEO to the sales teamhelps by writing blog articles and content offers. This is great if each employee has a few extra hours each week to help out, but this is rarely the case.

For most of us, every week is jam-packed with an ever-growing list of things to accomplish. To hit marketing deadlines, team members often have to step away from their primary responsibilities and shift into a marketing mindset, which can disrupt productivity and derail reaching key goals. 

By hiring an inbound marketing agency, employees can spend their time doing what they were hired to do: driving the business forward. This will undoubtedly result in more business closed and better customer success. Now, instead of an “all hands on deck” approach to marketing, one key individual manages the relationship with the inbound agency, which is managing the day-to-day marketing activity.

2. Avoid the Costs of Hiring a New Marketer

Another solution could be to hire an internal employee. What often goes undiscussed is the total cost associated with the hiring of a new marketeror any employee for that matter. Filling a new position can turn into another full-time job.

When adding up all the time it takes to create the job listing, dig through applications, and then identify, interview, hire, and train a new employee, the total hours can be astonishing. In fact, it costs as much as six to nine months' of the position's salary to replace an employee! Also, the hiring process not only takes time away from your primary responsibilities, but odds are there will be additional hand-holding and plenty of training hours required over the next few months.

When working with an inbound agency, you can cut costs by immediately partnering with a team of marketing experts who have dedicated ample time and resources to learn about you and your business. Look for a partner whose process is extremely thorough, resulting in a true understanding of your value proposition, solutions, and a detailed plan to reach your goals. The time it takes to interview and vet an inbound agency will be a fraction of what you would have spent on a new internal hire, and we all know that time is money.

3. Optimize Costly Marketing Initiatives

Another way that an inbound agency can help you cut costs is with the optimization of existing marketing efforts that are costing you money. Many businesses spend a decent portion of their marketing budget on paid advertising, such as Google AdWords and social ads. With the right expertise, this spend can be greatly optimized. This can be done by removing ad spend for the channels that do not yield adequate results or by improving the overall conversion rate, effectively lowering the cost of acquisition.  

An inbound marketing agency will look at your current marketing activities with a keen eye, identifying areas to lower spend and drive optimal results. With the right tools in place, such as HubSpot, your agency partner will be able to generate in-depth reports and adjust campaigns accordingly.

4. Consider Fixed Monthly Costs

Another important factor in cutting costs is the fee structure for inbound marketing retainers. Most agencies work in a retainer-based model, which means that there is a fixed fee associated with the amount of work to be completed each month.  This statement of work is often laid out in terms of a set number of hours or deliverables, based upon an agreed-upon monthly fee.

This model allows you to properly allocate your budget for the next year or many years to come. With an internal employee, the cost of that person's salary theoretically increases over time through annual raises or an increase in the cost of benefits. In order to maintain a steady budget for marketing, while ensuring the highest ROI possible, hiring an inbound marketing agency is certainly your best option.

5. Access to Additional Technology

Although more and more new marketing technology is released every day, these tools aren't free. Yes, these tools help businesses drive new customers, while reporting accurately on their efforts, but the costs of multiple subscriptions can add up quickly.

By working with an inbound marketing agency, you can usually get access to a number of tools that they are already using. For example, many agencies use a variety of analytics tools to measure website performance and visitor behavior.  As a client, this software can be installed on your website, essentially adding you to their subscription. This can cut significant costs and provide you with more budget to allocate elsewhere.

The Clear Choice?

It’s clear that hiring an inbound marketing agency provides a number of benefits.  Not only do you get access to a full team of marketing and creative experts, but you can also significantly cut costs and increase ROI. When compared to hiring an internal marketer or splitting the responsibilities across your team, partnering with an inbound agency is extremely cost-effective and allows you to focus on what matters most: growing your business.

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Andrew Macey

About the author

Andrew Macey is a HubSpot alumni and Senior Consultant at SmartBug Media. He has more than 5 years experience in inbound marketing and is a graduate of the University of Vermont. He is excited to share his knowledge with you! Read more articles by Andrew Macey.

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