You might not be ready for an agency if…

As marketing professionals, we talk to lots of companies about their marketing needs. These people usually fall into three camps: 1) Those who want to work with an agency, 2) Those who prefer to go it alone, and 3) Those who THINK they want to work with an agency.

So, where are you on the spectrum? If you are completely thrilled with your business, products are flying off the shelves and you can handle any needed marketing tasks yourself, you may be fine to go it alone. However, if you think you could improve on the status quo, would like to position yourself for future growth, are interested in expanding your portfolio or entering new markets, or need help with moving the needle, you should consider an agency.

But first, you need to know if you are ready. Here’s a little checklist for those playing along at home.

You might not be ready for an agency if…

  • Your organization is more reserved and unaccustomed to open communication and honest feedback to and from your customers, the market and your agency. Marketing is not for the faint of heart, and it often takes some constructive criticism and a free flow of ideas to get the job done.
  • You hesitate to put a stake in the ground to determine what your company represents. You can’t be all things to all people, and you shouldn’t try. An agency needs to understand your company’s DNA to convey your value to the marketplace, but first you need to self-identify.
  • You can’t give an agency the resources it needs to get the job done – such as timely responses, basic content and access to people and information. While good agencies can often run with little every-day direction, they are only as good as the information and access they receive.
  • You are looking to design the ads or give orders that simply need to be filled. The value of an agency lies in its ability to create the right solutions for your needs, not in serving merely as extra sets of arms and legs. If you simply need bandwidth, you are better off with a lower-cost freelancer.
  • You expect incredible results overnight. While agencies can help differentiate your product in a crowded market, seed preference and generate leads and demand, they can’t work miracles. Beware of any agency that tells you it can.

Not ready yet? Trying to move forward with an agency can cost you and them dearly in terms of time, resources and stress. Just a little bit hesitant? A smart agency can do a lot to calm your fears and ease the burden. An agency relationship is definitely worth exploring. Ready, willing and able to take this leap of faith with an agency partner? Great! The rewards can be truly amazing. What are you waiting for?

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