As a small business owner, you have a lot of responsibility. With so many things going on, marketing is often the first thing that gets pushed to the side. Many small business owners think they’d rather handle their marketing themselves, but a marketing agency partnership can actually be a great help to your company.
Companies that are large have the ability to do strategic marketing from the beginning, which can make it difficult for small businesses to feel as though they are succeeding. However, if there is a clear plan for marketing and a good relationship with an agency, then the company can do well.
What’s the Hesitation?
Many people believe that marketing agencies only work with large, multi-million-dollar companies, but this isn’t always the case.
There are a variety of agencies dedicated to helping small businesses grow and thrive. A marketing firm like this will know how to use your budget where it matters most.
How Can a Marketing Agency Help Your Business?
There are many advantages of working with a marketing agency, but here are the five main ways small businesses can benefit: 1. Increased reach: A marketing agency will have a network of contacts that your business may not have access to. This increased reach can help you to connect with more potential customers. 2. Improved clarity: A marketing agency can help you to clarify your marketing goals and target audience. This clarity can help you to create more effective marketing campaigns. 3. More resources: A marketing agency will have a team of experts that can help with various aspects of your marketing, from copywriting to design. This can save you time and money as you won’t need to hire separate freelancers for each task. 4. Greater experience: A marketing agency will have experience working with a variety of businesses, which means they’ll be able to provide you with valuable insights and advice. 5. Ongoing support: A marketing agency can provide ongoing support to ensure that your marketing campaigns are successful. This support can help to relieve some of the stress of marketing for your small business.
You’ll Probably Save Money
It may sound counterintuitive, but hiring a marketing agency to help your small business will actually save you money in the long run. An individual marketing employee will cost more than you expect when you factor in their salary and benefits, whereas an agency will provide you with more comprehensive services for a fraction of the price.
You’ll Benefit From a Team of Experts
The advantage of partnering with a software development agency for creative agencies is the access to technical talent. If you need to provide a simple technical consultation to clients, having access to another talent pool can be very helpful. With a partnership, you don’t have to go through the process of hiring technical talent.
While it might be tempting to hire a “jack of all trades” type marketing employee, it’s usually not the best idea. It’s usually better to either work with an agency, or have a marketing specialist on staff that works with an agency. The agency can help fill in any skill gaps and make sure that what is being created is actually best for your business.
An efficient marketing team needs:
- A strategist who can look at the big picture and create a map for getting from A to Z
- A copywriter who can write on a business’s behalf
- A graphic/web designer who can create the visual elements your business needs
Although adding three positions to your company may be expensive, it may be more cost-effective to work with a marketing agency full of experts in strategy, copywriting, and design.
Everyone Can Focus On Their Responsibilities
You might think that a few newspaper ads or social media posts will be enough to attract the right customers, and that all you need to do is get a current employee to do a bit of extra work. However, that employee may find it difficult to take charge of the marketing while also dealing with their other responsibilities.
If an employee without a marketing background is given new responsibilities that slow down his or her primary job, this can lead to burnout and affect your company’s retention rate. Using an agency to outsource your marketing can provide the right quantity of high-quality marketing while allowing you and your staff to stay focused on daily operations.
Your Company Will Have a Professional, Credible Appearance
When you look at a website, the quality of design probably influences how professional or credible you think the source is. Customers agree. For example, the use of color in branding ________.
You want your customers to have a positive experience on your website so that they will purchase your products or services. If your website is difficult to navigate, has little information, or doesn’t have a consistent brand appearance, people are less likely to buy from you. An agency can help you create a website that is easy to use, informative, and safe.
After studying your audience’s preferred visuals and content, a marketing agency can make your business look trustworthy and competent. Your website and other marketing materials will be aligned with your brand, and what your audience wants to see. The good news is that this type of branding increases revenue by 23%.
You’ll Gain an Outside Perspective
It can be difficult for small business owners to see how their company looks from the outside because they spend a lot of their time working inside their business.
It is not always easy to know who your customers are and what they want. An agency can help you by researching your current marketing methods and seeing what is and is not working. This can save you time and money. If you make changes based on this information, it may lead to increased sales and more people knowing about your business.
Focus & Specialization
The most important thing for agencies when scaling is to become known as experts in a certain area. This can be accomplished by specializing in a certain growth strategy or area of expertise.
There are often significant overlaps between agencies in terms of clients and services. For example, if a software development agency is building a completely new website for a client, they may also need branding and marketing services to go with the launch. Instead of trying to do everything yourself, or simply telling the client, you can’t help them with that, a partnership allows you to stay focused while providing additional value, and ideally bringing in additional revenue.
If you are looking to generate leads, partnering with another company is a great way to do so. As Alex Berman from Experiment 27 highlights:
Building strategic partnerships with other agencies is an effective way to generate leads. If you own an agency, it’s usually easier to partner with other agencies than to acquire new clients.
3 Types of Strategic Partnerships for Agencies
While partnerships with other agencies are often the most common, it’s important to note that there are other options. In particular, there are several different types of strategic partnerships for agencies to consider:
Channel Partnerships With Software Vendors
Channel partnerships are beneficial relationships between two companies that share a common goal, such as growth in revenue. An example of this is when a software vendor, like Infusionsoft, partners with an agency, like GetUWired. As a result of the partnership, both companies see an increase in sales and growth.
A social media agency could partner with an influencer in their industry in order to acquire new clients and expose the influencer to more brands.
Finally, one of the most common types of partnerships is with other agencies within the industry, assuming they offer complementary and not competitive services. As the CEO of SingleGrain highlights:
The secret to constructing effective channel partners is to ascertain that they are providing services to your desired market (e.g. same sector, company size etc.) and that they have convincing success stories. Think about commissioning them to carry out a paid experimental project for your agency before they start working for a customer.
Tips for Successful Partnerships from Agency Owners
In this section, we asked agency owners about their experience with successful partnerships.
Look for Synergies
The most consistent tip from agency owners is to look for synergy in your service offerings. Michael Sena, founder of spreadsheet consultancy Senacea had this to say about partnering with agencies that provide complementary services:
If your company’s services work well with other agencies and you are in the same price range, that is a good foundation for cooperation. Although it may take some time and effort to discuss and plan it, it will be worth it in the long run and will come with other benefits. For example, a software development company that collaborates with a UX & acceptance testing firm will have more control over the results of its work. This will make their services more appreciated by customers and protect the agency from potentially inadequate testing by the client. In addition, there is a chance that the partner company will refer new clients.
Define Roles and Responsibilities
After finding the right agency partner, it’s key to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder before starting any client work. As Kevin Miller, the CEO and co-founder of the SEO agency GR0 suggests:
To have a successful agency partnership, you need to have a clear plan for the future roles, tasks, and duties of each team member. This means creating a partnership that is built around strategic alliances that will increase efficiency and effectiveness. You need to have a clear structure for every role, responsibility, mode of communication, and crisis management. By delegating a specific place for every team member, you will set your partnership up for success.
Set Clear Expectations
An additional suggestion to help solidify partnerships is to set clear expectations for each partner. Taylor Ryan, the CEO, and founder of Klint Marketing had this to say about setting expectations:
The most important part of forming an agency partnership is having clear expectations from the beginning. If a few months into the partnership it’s not working out, then it’s pointless to continue. Be sure to know the goal of the partnership, what you’re expecting from it, and when you expect those things. Make sure everyone involved knows what is expected of them and that they uphold their end of the deal.
Put the Partnership in Writing
One way to set expectations, define roles and responsibilities, and make everything clear is to put it all in a contract. Eric Clay, the CEO, and owner of the B2B digital marketing agency Vale Creative suggests the following:
It is important to have a written agreement when partnering with an agency, as this can help prevent issues from arising. The contract should include a nonsolicitation clause to stop the partner from going after your customers or employees.
Have an Exit Plan
Having an exit plan is important for both parties when developing an agency partnership. As Michael Hammelburger, the CEO of The Bottom Line Group highlights:
Come up with an exit plan that is reasonable and equitable for both sides. This will involve putting down in writing what conditions would necessitate the end of your agency partnership, which will make it simpler to lay out your parameters. Remember that another party may decide to purchase the other side, so it’s critical that proper planning is done to make any transition go more smoothly.
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