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A while back I was asked to help facilitate a focus group of small and medium businesses regarding their perceptions of ad agencies.  I recall sitting down with the first participant and asking: What is the first thing you think of when you hear the term “advertising agency”.  Her answer was “Sounds expensive”!  This sentiment was echoed by other participants as well and has stuck with me through the years.

Certainly, hiring a marketing agency might not be right for every business. However, it might actually save your company money by spending your marketing dollars more efficiently and generating greater returns.

So, how exactly do you know if you need a marketing partner?  If you have recently asked yourself any of these questions, the time might be right now!

1. When I search for our type of business online, why don’t we show up in the search results?

If you’re asking yourself this question, you might not have a solid SEO plan. If that is the case, then the answer is that customers are likely having trouble finding you! A marketing agency that specializes in search marketing can build a custom online strategy that deploys multiple tactics whether it be SEO, listing management, or much more.

2. I am seeing inaccurate information about my business online. How can this be fixed?

It can be frightening to think about inaccurate business information existing on the internet, but it is an issue that we see far too often. When you aren’t managing your own listings, search engines and online directories may automatically create listings for your business, often containing outdated or inaccurate information. Duplicate listings containing wrong information are a danger to your search engine performance and your customers’ ability to locate you! A marketing agency can ensure that your business information is accurate and duplicates are eliminated across the digital ecosystem.

3. I need more customers but don’t have an unlimited budget to place ads and hope they work. How can I ensure I get bang for my buck?

Performance marketing solutions help to promote steady, consistent business growth. If your marketing efforts have stagnated, it may be time to give performance marketing a try. Pay for performance methods may include tactics such as pay per call, pay per click, cost per lead or even cost per sale. These types of programs require strategic expertise and execution so be sure you have an experienced marketing agency to maximize returns.

4. Our company prides itself on our quality work and customer service. Yet, we have few reviews while some of our competitors have a large volume of reviews. How do I get customers to leave me online reviews?

Online reviews are becoming increasingly important, and businesses with very few or no reviews can have a difficult time acquiring them. Have you been having trouble garnering a reputation for your business? Partner with a marketing agency to set up a customized review generation and reputation management plan.

5. How do I know if my marketing efforts are effective?

It’s important to regularly check your marketing reports to keep tabs on your business’ progress. If you have a marketing plan but no reporting, it’s impossible to know if your marketing is effective or how to improve it. When you partner with an agency, you’ll get regularly scheduled and highly customized reports that give insight into your business’ strengths and weaknesses. This information is essential to better inform your ongoing strategy and allocate your budget for maximum return.

6. I’m too busy and don’t have time for marketing! Should I hire someone to handle this in-house?

Sometimes, running a business and arranging all of the marketing at the same time just isn’t in the cards. Depending on your company’s situation, partnering with an agency can be more cost-effective than hiring an in-house marketing team considering the costs associated with hiring, training, and sustaining a full team of marketers each year, versus the rates of outsourcing to an agency. Partnering with an agency can give you your time back so that you can handle other aspects of your business.

7. My husband is insisting that I hire his brother as our new Sales Manager yet he doesn’t have any experience. What do you recommend?

Well, as the saying goes, we aren’t going to touch this one with a 10 foot pole! However, it sounds like your new Sales Manager is going to need some highly converting leads and solid brand positioning. In that case, we would definitely recommend finding a professional,  marketing agency with strong references. Agencies can work hand in hand with your in-house team (or Sales Manager) to optimize your marketing plan.

Are you interested in a partnership with a marketing agency? Reach out to DSG and let us show you what we can do.

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