At Powered by Search, we’ve been lucky enough to speak with thousands of companies interested in growing their business. We’ve noticed that a lot of managers and C-Level execs aren’t sure when to invest in a digital marketing agency. This usually stems from an incomplete understanding of what agencies are capable of, and how they help companies succeed.

When it comes to marketing, timing is everything. If done too early or too late, it lacks impact and can be a huge resource hog. So here are 7 different signs that suggest you should work with a marketing agency. If you can identify at least one within your organization, don’t wait until it’s too late.

Marketing is Always an Afterthought

It’s tempting to solely focus on your product or service in order to ensure it’s of the highest possible quality. After all, you wouldn’t want to hedge your bets on the success of something no one wants. Does it really matter if your product is good if no one’s buying it?

Not all businesses can effectively split their attention across product development and marketing. Sometimes it’s due to a lack of resources, other times it could be due to a lack of vision. Either way, if your business isn’t really thinking about marketing, it’s time to hire an agency to do it for you.

You Can’t Afford a Marketing Budget

Hiring internal marketers gets expensive fairly quickly. Your business could be out of $200,000 just from two or three quality hires. Factor in a typical 3 month ramp up period, and you’re looking at a major investment. A major investment with less of a proven track record than a reputable agency.

If the above doesn’t sound affordable to you, then it probably isn’t. You might be surprised at the value you can get out of an agency, and you definitely don’t need the resources of a Fortune 500 company to afford one.

You Aren’t Happy With Your Sales

Unless your scalable business is actively saturating its market, it’s virtually impossible to run out of customers in a lifetime. If sales have started to decrease, have reached a plateau, or are generally slow, it’s likely to be a by product of something you or your competitors have done.

As any respectable marketer will tell you, the goal of marketing is to create new customers and brand advocates. Don’t think of it as an exercise in “improving your image” or “increasing brand reach.” Those are certainly positive side effects, but at the end of the day ROI is what matters most.

Your Past Marketing Results were Meh at Best

We’ve come across some companies that have told us marketing “isn’t for them.” It’s extremely rare to be a business that truly needs no marketing. Most of the time, this response comes from a place of past woe. These companies tried marketing, didn’t fully understand how to leverage their potential, and ended up squandering their resources.

Past failure is not an indicator of an inability to market a specific product or service. A reputable agency can help fix the mistakes you (or someone else) have made and show you the path you should be on. An established agency should have years of experience marketing businesses in or adjacent to your industry, so they’ll have a thorough understanding of your needs and goals, as well as how to exceed them.

Here’s an example of us helping Garaga get the most bang for their marketing dollars.

Your Sales Team Has No Good Leads

Sales and marketing go together like those 2 inseparable friends in high school that would immediately look at each other the second that the teacher announced a group project. They share a symbiotic relationship, meaning each one needs the other in order to survive and prosper.

If your sales team has bad or no leads to work with, then there’s not much point to having sales team. A marketing agency can work closely with your sales team to create the mythical sales-marketing alignment you’ve heard of so many times. An agency can stuff your sales pipeline full of marketing qualified leads, and your salespeople can take over from there.

Here’s an example of us helping Public Storage convert relevant leads.

You Don’t Like Marketing

You don’t need to love marketing to recognize its value. A lack of passion and interest will reflect all across your brand, even when you think you’re doing a good job of hiding it. Consider the dozens of ads, emails, social media updates, and blog posts you see every day and never click on. Do you want your company to be ignored in the same way?

Meanwhile, marketing agencies have to be passionate about what they do. It can be a thankless job full of grinding, and the end result feels invisible and natural if done right. Unless you’re in a marketing related field, you don’t really stop to think about great marketing, it “just works” and leads you to a desired product or service.

You Don’t Have Marketing Skills

Business owners already have a lot on their plates, so adding marketing to the mix is not an effective way of driving more revenue. There’s only so many ways you can effectively split a person’s attention.

There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you or your organization lacks marketing skills. In fact, if this is really the case, owning up to a deficiency will help your business move past it in the long run.

Once you’ve realized that it’s time to work with an agency, the next challenge is determining which one is a best fit. If you want to know which questions you should be asking and how to come to the best possible decision, download our agency hiring worksheet. It’s a free resource that we’ve created to make communication between agencies and businesses just a little bit easier.

Download: How to Hire a Digital Marketing Agency

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About Goran Popovic

Goran is the Digital Marketing Strategist at Powered by Search.