What Is a Full Service Marketing Agency in 2020 and Why Hire It?
During a recession or economic crisis one of the first places that companies cut costs is in the marketing department. Which, according to the Harvard Business Review, is a big mistake. Why? Because your full service marketing agency drives sales, supports your brand, and helps you understand consumer behavior in a fraught time.
Full Service Digital Marketing Agency Services
Full service marketing agencies are your friends in a hard time. To put it in the terms of the recent crisis, they are an essential service if you want to see your company succeed in the long term. And, if you don’t have a full-service marketing agency, you should hire one.
Why? Let’s take a look at a sample of full service digital marketing agency services. For example, some of the services that ComboApp provides are:
- Web and mobile app development and design
- SEM services: SEO, PPC and social media campaigns
- Social media management: Generate organic traffic, viral content, and engaged community around your product
- Social media advertising: Run ads across all the main social platforms to increase awareness and drive sales
- User acquisition: Run a programmatic campaign to pull in new users and customers
- Public relations: Earned media, sponsored influencer media, crisis management
- Qualitative research: Create a deep dive into your target customer base to test new concepts, products, and services
- Quantitative research: Focus groups, A/B testing, optimization campaigns
- Content creation: Graphics, photos, written content, video, animation, interactive ads, and more
- Hard collateral creation: Promotional products, professionally designed pamphlets, one-sheets, trade show displays, and more
- Email marketing: Reach directly into your existing and potential customer bases to engage them and drive them into the conversion tunnel
The ROI of Engaging Full Service Digital Marketing Services
The commonality of all these services is that they drive conversion. And, conversion means money in your pocket. A full service marketing agency is actually the place where you should invest money and keep engaging via custom tooled campaigns. Yes, you might want to control costs during a crisis – but use a scalpel, not a cleaver. Full service digital marketing will pay off for you in the long run as long as you maintain consistency.
In his book, Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, author Gino Wickman says,
“A problem for most companies is that they take a buckshot approach to sales and marketing. By defining your target market and creating The List, you’re abandoning the shotgun approach for the rifle approach. As a result, your sales and marketing efforts will be much more efficient.”
Marketing = sales and qualified leads. Marketers identify “The List” of targeted customers and drive them through the conversion tunnel where your salesmen (or, digital property) can close the sale. Without a full-service marketing agency, it’s a lot of cold calling and shotgun sales strategy. According to Forbes, cold calling converts 2% of the time, whereas qualified leads convert 20%.
How to Choose a Full Service Digital Marketing Agency
As we’ve discussed above, a full service online marketing company is a 360-degree service. It provides a range of strategies which help you target, optimize, and convert sales. They are an essential partner in creating success for your business. So, how do you choose the full service online marketing company that is right for your business?
Hiring an agency that creates full service digital marketing campaigns is as personal and unique to your business as choosing any partner to work with. You need to do some research into the size and structure of an agency that you think you’ll be most successful working with. Do you want a big agency with account executives as points of contact, or a boutique agency where you’re in closer communications with the strategists and managers? Maybe you want a full service, turn-key solution type of an agency? The only way for you to know the answer to this question is to closely examine your needs and the company culture you have already created. Then identify a problem and ask for an RFP demonstrating a strategic solution from any agency you think fits the bill.
What to Do Once You’ve Gotten RFPs
First, you need to read through all the proposals. That’s just polite. If you don’t have time to do that yourself, ask one of your direct reports to read them and pass any that sound good up to you. Generally, most companies narrow down their RFPs from a large pool to 2-3 good options.
Then the meetings start.
This doesn’t have to be the laborious process it first seems to be. As the Scouts and Scar the Lion say, “Be prepared!” Pull your team who will be working with your full service digital marketing team into a conference pod and brainstorm top level questions that they want to know the answers to. Your team will be the ones working hands on, shoulder-to-shoulder with your full service marketing company. Their opinion should weigh a lot.
If you’re the only point of contact for full service digital marketing, then you similarly need to brainstorm questions that you need to know the answers to in order to move forward with a test campaign.
Also, you should expect the agencies you’re working with to ask questions, too. If they don’t, be suspicious. At ComboApp we ask the following 3 questions of all partners we’re considering working with:
- What are your campaign goals?
- How quickly do you expect ROI?
- What is your budget?
While those seem very general, you’d be surprised at the information that asking those basic questions, sitting back, and just listening will elicit.
So What Should I Ask?
There are a variety of questions you can ask of a potential marketing team, but here are a few of the most popular:
- Who is your ideal client and why?
- What kind of core competencies does your agency have? What are you best at?
- What is the mix of employees to contractors? Do you have any hidden talents on your team you can pull out for our company?
- How long have you been in business?
- Tell me about the size and scope of a test campaign with your agency.
- If we are unhappy with the results of a test campaign how will you address that?
- How quickly can we scale up from a test campaign?
- What is your typical pricing structure?
- Do you have case studies we can read and references we can contact?
Depending on the answers to the questions you come up with, you may want to ask for an in-person pitch meeting. This is where you will have the chance to sit down with all the principals in the key departments you’ll be engaging with and ask them to demonstrate their skill/product. It will also give you the opportunity to meet and feel out the energy of the agency to see if they will be a fit with your team. Yes, we know that sounds hippy-dippy, but it’s a very important component of selecting a marketing partner.
(Keep in mind that in the current business climate, in-person pitch meetings likely will mean a Zoom or Teams video meeting.)
Then, like with any business decision you have made, sit down and evaluate the information you’ve gathered, and pick an agency. One important factor to consider is that you may want to have your RFPs reflect different tiers of budget. And, if an agency responds that they will perform marketing miracles for pennies are likely being unreasonably optimistic or don’t have much experience to base their calculations on.
Whether you’re a tiny or global powerhouse company, you can benefit from an outside digital marketing agency’s advice and strategy. Often professionals who are not part of the processes of the machine that is your company, will have fresh insights and can spot roadblocks that you might not see close up. Plus they will undoubtedly have techniques and products to create a roadmap for success that you have not thought of. Especially in troubled economic times, it’s essential to continue to engage with your full-service marketing agency to troubleshoot and strategize how to tap into your consumer base to retain what you have and build on your promise in the long term.
Do you want to explore how a full service online marketing agency can benefit your business? Reach out to ComboApp and let’s get the conversation started!