Marketing isn't just a department. It's a process. In fact, it plays a monumental role in all of your systems and processes.
These systems and processes, in turn, create the cross-departmental collaboration that facilitates growth, success, and company-wide alignment.
Marketing is no longer a flat line in your company's org chart.
It's a vertical department, weaving itself into everything it touches, from branding to lead generation, sales enablement to automation, and everything in between.
It must seamlessly integrate with every aspect of your business.
The problem is- not every company understands this, leading to pernicious silos of information, abandoned initiatives, and strategies that could have so much potential- if only someone were in charge of executing them.
That's where hiring an inbound marketing agency comes in.
The Benefits of Hiring an Inbound Marketing Agency
When companies hire an inbound marketing agency, it's usually due to a handful of trusty reasons.
To start, there is typically a disconnect, a gap between ambition (an organization's goals) and actual performance.
Companies often find themselves in this uncomfortable gap through various complex, maybe even extenuating circumstances, creating unforced errors in their marketing approach, leaving them stranded between strategy formulation and execution.
Hiring an inbound marketing agency—the right one for your needs, that is—brings your businesses out of the uncomfortable gap between ambition and performance.
This decision provides the tools you need to set a strong marketing foundation for future success.
Depending on the breadth and complexity of the business or the industry in which you operate, inbound marketing agencies can be used in many ways—often as additional bandwidth for in-house marketing teams.
Hiring an inbound marketing agency provides supplementary skillsets to compliment your employees- rounding out your team with outsourced experts in content strategy and execution, technical SEO (Search Engine Optimization), or SEM (Search Engine Marketing), among others.
Conversely, inbound marketing agencies help organizations start from scratch, offering a solid, reliable foundation to begin promoting and marketing their product or service in the marketplace, enabling newer, greener teams to identify key marketing needs and position them on a long-term path to success.
Hiring an inbound marketing agency gives you a deep understanding of the strategy needed to meet customers where they are and attract them into your sales funnel.
Since an inbound marketing agency predominately works within the inbound marketing framework, this typically starts with keyword research and market visibility assessments.
From there, strategies like audience segmentation, product positioning, messaging analysis, and competitive research documents are created to provide your organization with a single, streamlined approach to begin your marketing efforts.
This marketing roadmap of strategy and documentation is integral to the success of your marketing engagement and your company's bottom line.
Silos can be damaging in any company—but can be incredibly destructive in companies with no clear marketing plan or direction.
Companies that employ a full-scale marketing team better coordinate their activities with other parts of the organization.
Still, we find that with or without a dedicated marketing team, initiatives and ideas can float boundlessly from one side of the company to the other, leaving even the greatest of ideas half finished or left on the table simply because no one was around to steer the ship and communicate tasks or facilitate cross-departmental communication.
Furthermore, it becomes harder and more frustrating to contribute to the overall goals and success of the organization when there is no cross-collaboration or general goals to begin with.
Whether your organization has 15 or 1500 employees, a silo mentality, especially in marketing, leads to missed opportunities, wasted time, and money.
Take the sales cycle, for example. Marketing and sales teams must communicate internally to ensure that the customer journey is designed, implemented, and executed as planned to satisfy the KPIs of both departments.
The process can be tricky, leaving room for error if both departments aren't operating on the same page. After a user visits the site, the process begins.
Marketing teams must ensure the user sees the correct information, enticing, customer-focused messaging, and perform the intended action, either downloading a piece of content, signing up for a webinar, or scheduling a demo or consultation.
Once that user completes the step mentioned above, their information must go to the right person so the sales team can follow up on the lead.
But when sales and marketing teams are misaligned, this can lead to chaos and missed opportunities.
Suppose a prospect ends up on a list designed for sales-qualified leads (SQL), but that person does not fit the criteria.
Perhaps marketing can see this information from their end, but the salesperson cannot, leading to wasted time on the sales rep's end.
Read More: 9 Stats That Will Make Sales & Marketing Alignment a Permanent Priority
Hiring an inbound marketing agency ensures that the right stakeholders are involved in the process and will optimize your marketing funnel so that the prospect information goes to the right salesperson at the right time and is, in fact, qualified.
Although the example above is simple, it provides insight into how teams work together and how a lack of coordination can create holes in a strategy or process.
When individuals, teams, or even departments don't coordinate with one another, the result can be a "silo mentality," an effect that can plague even the smartest of organizations.
The silo mentality doesn't allow each team member to come together around a common goal or objective, often creating splintered efforts with no long-term viability or success.
Often, a new client will come to PMG with a fantastic product or service—but with no clear direction on how it should be marketed across channels or even on their website.
Different team members may lightly monitor emails or social posts but push marketing activities by the wayside through no fault of their own, simply a matter of diverted attention or performing a role outside the scope of their regular duties or tasks.
Perhaps a key stakeholder has changed, or there has never been a key stakeholder in the first place.
Perhaps the marketing strategy has been propped up by an office manager who posts on Facebook or a tech-savvy Sales rep who works in an email tool for their prospecting.
When there is no dedicated stakeholder, there are missed opportunities.
An inbound marketing agency provides a source of consistency and direction and provides organizations with an entire marketing team for a fraction of the price.
For companies that do not have a fully-fledged marketing team, hiring an inbound marketing agency provides an account director to oversee the engagement, a project manager to drive the mission forward, a marketing strategist, a content strategist, a paid search and social expert, and even a creative director to facilitate design projects and keep your branding fresh.
This type of engagement provides organizations with the varied skillsets of each team member and provides consistency.
When there is no clearly defined marketing strategy, an agency offers uniformity and lets your employees get back to doing what they do best—the jobs you hired them to do!
The right marketing teams are screaming for support, help, and attention.
The word "marketer" is used in many different contexts and is often used as a catchall term that usually does a disservice when describing the rapidly changing and ever-evolving environment.
While businesses may have a marketing team, they are often overwhelmed and burdened with other tangentially-related tasks and responsibilities that may slow them down or reduce the time spent on more effective, complex marketing strategies.
Hiring an inbound marketing agency provides much-needed relief to in-house marketing teams that simply don't have the time or the knowledge to write consistent content, craft engaging emails, or create complex workflows.
Inbound marketing agencies will also help facilitate conversations between in-house marketing teams and other departments to ensure strong, strategic, company-wide alignment—a critical step in ensuring long-term marketing success.
Furthermore, not everyone in marketing has the same skillset.
There are dozens of marketing-related roles under the inbound marketing umbrella. In-house marketing staff may not have the skillset or experience to create a robust content strategy or the graphic design skills to produce compelling content.
Regardless of the size of your company or the industry, marketing strategies often require a slew of team members to execute a campaign.
Hiring an inbound marketing agency gives your organization the extra bandwidth needed to get the job done without hiring additional employees.
Hiring an inbound marketing agency is an investment.
But one that, when chosen correctly, will continue to pay dividends for years to come.
An investment that meets your organization's goals—finally closing the gap between ambition and performance.
For more on sales and marketing alignment, inbound marketing strategies, and how hiring an inbound marketing agency can help your business thrive in an ever-evolving marketplace, schedule a free consultation with Susan LaPlante-Dube, one of two PMG Principles.
We’ll walk through your business goals and objectives and provide you with a complimentary website assessment.
Taylor Rennick is an experienced marketing professional, specializing in digital content creation and strategy, email marketing, and website optimization. Taylor has helped several clients increase their online conversion rates, leading to double-digit revenue growth in several markets.