In my line of work, I often come across clients who are faced with this dilemma. Is it better to hire an agency or employ someone who will be in charge of marketing, increasing income, the entire digital advertising and the company’s online presentation? There is a lot of “superstars” on the market who believe they know it all, but to find someone who truly masters the entire digital specter and also has time to run the campaigns, test different ads, and so on is a true miracle.
Pros of an agency: more people, more experience, more knowledge?
Of course, there are pros and cons. Every agency has its own fee, which covers the work of all the people on the project. Often, potential clients are under the impression that agencies are expensive and it is therefore better to hire one person who will be in charge of everything. But is that really the case? What is “expensive” in the first place? Already 10 € or 100 € is a lot if a project turns out to be a bad investment. But if we invest 10.000 € and make a profit, it is surely not a waste?
In an agency, projects are covered by multiple people.
To begin with, in an agency, projects are covered by multiple people. People who are experts in their fields. For example, someone is an expert in AdWords, another one in advertising on social media and the third one an expert for something else. You will rarely find someone who encompasses all of that. Of course they’re out there, but this person would probably turn out to be even more expensive than an agency. Whoever is an expert for a certain field and is keeping up with all the trends and changes will not work for a minimal wage – at least not the people I know.
If we assume that an agency charges 2.000 € (with VAT) for its work (depending on the terms of cooperation, amount of work, etc.), a company can hire an expert for that same amount. For the same monthly expense of 2.000 €, the experts receives 1.200 € of net income. I don’t doubt that there are people who will accept that kind of offer immediately, but there remains the question whether they can assure the same level of quality as an agency. Experiences are also in favor of the latter, since experts from an agency meet good and bad practices on a daily basis, while regularly educating themselves and upgrading their knowledge.
Slovenia is a great example of a large amount of companies with top-quality products and services, but who are afraid of advertising due to different past experiences or because the development of the digital world went by so fast that they got stuck in the past. Whatever worked 5 years ago, isn’t working now. Whatever was bringing money six months ago is no longer working today. A business can quickly come to a dead end, not knowing how to continue. Why is their good practice not working anymore? And to quote a client at one of our last meetings: “This Facebook keeps changing everything”. That’s true; we need to stay in touch with the changes, new rules and legal constraints.
On the other hand, I believe it’s very easy to have a bad experience with an agency, since there is a lot of semi-professional agencies who cannot keep their promises. Once a company gets burned once or twice, paying for who knows what, it understandably becomes more cautious, skeptical and makes an even bigger mistake – it reduces marketing expenditures or cuts them altogether, while marketing remains a vital part of the company. It’s difficult for poor marketing to sell a good product, while good marketing can sell a bad or mediocre product.
It’s difficult for poor marketing to sell a good product, while good marketing can sell a bad or mediocre product.
So, how to fix this dilemma? What are your experiences? If you don’t own a company, put yourselves in the shoes of a CEO and ask yourselves whether you would rather trust an agency or hire one individual? There is no right answer, but I would love to hear your argument for one or the other.
Personally, I believe that, before deciding on anyone and entrusting them with the development and growth of your company, you need to conduct a thorough research about the person/agency you wish to work with and see their advantages, references, growth. How many people would work on your project? Agencies differ from one another. Some are stronger in one field and others in another. It is therefore of vital importance that you define the goals of cooperation, your vision, what you wish to achieve in the long run, what are the goals and how to monitor them. Go on a meeting, take your time, talk to different people. The energy between the client and the contractor shouldn’t be ignored. And last but not least, don’t be fooled by promises and guarantees of making it overnight – because there’s no such thing.