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“Why should I pay a digital marketing agency? I employ people who do the exact same thing!”

“Hire a digital marketing agency? That’s so expensive, it’s cheaper to build your own marketing team”

“Agencies only give you junior staff who don’t know what they are doing. You’re better off hiring someone yourself who has more experience.”


Sooner or later, almost every health and wellness business (and even large ones) is faced with the decision of hiring a marketing agency. When that time comes you may find yourself asking questions similar to the ones above, which have been lifted from a Facebook group and reworded for anonymity - yes, these are real views and opinions held by real business owners.


For many businesses, outsourcing various functions to an agency or external supplier is an important part of growth. But for some reason, the decision to outsource your marketing is viewed differently to outsourcing your accounting or legal functions. 


When managing your bookkeeping and accounting becomes too difficult, you find an external accountant to look after it for you. When you need help writing a new contract you seek out a lawyer. When you want to hire more staff you turn to a recruitment agency.


All of these activities are seen as totally normal ways to run a business. If something becomes too complex, time-consuming, or requires skills you don’t have, you hand the task over to an expert.


But outsourcing your marketing? No thanks, I’ll keep doing that myself and bumble through everything hoping I can figure it out. 


Outsourcing to an agency has helped countless businesses continue to grow, especially once they get to a certain size and there is a lot of pressure on their time. Creating new products, servicing existing customers, managing and training employees - at a certain point you need to release some of this pressure.


That’s where hiring a digital marketing agency can help - you bring in experts to handle a vital aspect of your business, freeing up your time to concentrate on the stuff that you can’t outsource.


So, when you find yourself at crossroads, weighing up the decision to keep marketing in-house or hire an agency, reviewing the following reasons and benefits of hiring a digital marketing agency may make that decision easier.



Table of Contents

1. Access to Skills

2. Experience in New Areas

3. Expert Application of Theory

4. Better Budget Allocation

5. Gain a New Perspective

6. Allows You to Focus on Growth

7. It's Cost Effective

8. No Employment Costs

9. Agencies Are Flexible With Time, and Have More Of It

10. Forces You to Have a Strategy

11. Agencies Are Across the Latest Trends

12. Agencies Are Up-To-Speed With Platform Changes

13. Accurate Reporting

14. Access to Technology

15. Agencies Scale With You

16. Agencies Support Internal Teams

17. Better Allocation of Resources

18. Improved Performance Across KPIs




18 Reasons You Should Hire a Digital Marketing Agency





1. Access to Skills You Need/Don’t Have


This tends to be the number one reason why businesses turn to marketing agencies. Marketing agencies employ a wide variety of people, with skills in different areas of marketing. When you hire an agency, you get access to all these skills and knowledge that you don’t have within your own team, which can be vital when you’re exploring new opportunities to promote your business and drive revenue. 


This allows you to focus on the skills that are most important to your business, whatever they may be. 



2. Experience in New Areas


This is particularly true for businesses that have an in-house marketer or marketing team, who can handle some aspects of your marketing strategy but aren’t knowledgeable in all areas. 


Let’s say you’ve decided to start email marketing, but so far your team has only handled your social media accounts and a small amount of paid advertising on Google. They’ve done some training and are knowledgeable enough to run a few campaigns, but they quickly come up against a wall they can’t seem to get over.


Hiring an agency to help your team improve their email marketing game is a great option for a few reasons. Firstly, you get expert advice in a new area, making sure you’ve set proper foundations. Secondly, you are also investing in your team by providing them with some training. Finally, an agency can look for opportunities to improve how you use email as part of your entire marketing strategy, implementing advanced techniques and tactics such as automated sequences and behavioural-based email sends.



3. Expert Application of Theory


No one knows your business better than you. But since you don’t know everything about marketing, it’s common for businesses to have trouble in communicating with their audience, despite having an amazing product or service.


Despite what you’ve heard in the movies, “if you build it, he will come” is not an appropriate marketing strategy - you need to get your message in front of your audience in a way that resonates with them.


Marketing agencies have expert knowledge of marketing theories, strategies and tactics, and have lots of experience implementing them. Combine this with your knowledge of your business and customers and you have a formula for success.



4. Better Budget Tracking and Allocation


Because marketing agencies have years of experience managing budgets and running campaigns, they tend to have a good idea of how best to allocate budget and how much to give to each channel. What’s more, they can also make the right decision for different businesses.


Allocating budget is a huge priority for small businesses who want to ensure they see a return on investment for their marketing spend, so naturally many marketers and owners do their own research before committing to a campaign.


The problem with this approach is the information available online is never tailored exactly to their business or industry. A marketing agency can combine their knowledge of the different platforms with data on past performance to give you an accurate picture of what your budget should be and where you should be spending it - no more guesswork!



5. Gain a New Perspective with ‘Fresh Eyes’


There is an inherent nature for in-house marketing teams to get ‘tunnel vision’ and focus only on what they know, based on their own limited experiences.


Marketing agencies are able to bring in new experience, knowledge and look at things in a new light. Having worked with a variety of businesses and in multiple industries they have access to new ideas and insights from previous campaigns they’ve managed - ideas that may unlock success for your business.


Agency employees also have time dedicated to professional development - after all, if we aren’t keeping our skills up to date how can we hope to attract new clients? This approach to learning usually results in new skillsets and new ideas as we take time to learn from industry heavy-hitters. This benefit then carries over to your business.

6. Allows You to Focus on Key Aspects of Growth


I’ll start this section with a disclaimer - I firmly believe that you will only ever grow a business by improving your ability to market and sell. A world-changing product, that is seen by nobody, will not change the world. Build great products and businesses, but learn how to get them in front of your audience (or hire a digital marketing agency to help you).


Ok, with that out of the way, let me explain what I mean by this. When you allow an agency to handle your marketing, it frees up your time to spend on other key areas of your business. Perhaps you need to build new products, or serve more clients, or spend more time managing and growing your team. Maybe it’s your responsibility to close more sales? Outsource your marketing, and let an expert grow it for you, while you spend your time growing your business.



7. It’s Cost Effective


One of the biggest misconceptions around hiring a digital marketing agency is the costs involved. On average, in a major city such as Sydney, most marketing agencies will charge between $3,000-5,000 per month. Over the course of a 12-month contract, you’ll pay between $36,000 and $60,000.


Taken alone, this figure can seem like a lot of money to pay a supplier. But you need to weigh up the alternative to really appreciate how good of a deal you’re getting.


For $5,000 per month you’ll have access to a huge variety of skills including graphic design, social media management, advertising, website design, and strategy development.


Now, you may get lucky and find a marketer you can hire who can handle all of this for you (something we like to refer to as a unicorn), in which case you only need to hire one person and avoid paying agency fees.


Great, right? Well, let’s look closer. From experience, marketers like this do exist, but they know they are few and far between and know what they are worth, and it’s going to be much more than $60,000 per year.


If you were to hire a team to cover all the skills listed above, Glassdoor estimates you’ll be paying:

  • Marketing Manager - $105,000/year
  • Graphic Designer - $65,000/year
  • Social Media Marketer - $70,000/year
  • Website Developer - $54,000/year


Total salary expense: $294,000 


$60,000 doesn’t seem so high anymore, does it?

8. No Employment Costs


Alongside salaries, there are other costs associated with employing staff - superannuation, payroll tax, staff benefits, additional equipment such as computers and desks, increased rent from a bigger office and more.


So that $294,000 becomes $391,230 just with super contributions.


When you outsource instead of hiring, you are also removing any human resource requirements such as ongoing training and support, performance management, workplace safety and risk reduction, staying up to date with the latest employment law and how to implement it, and general recruitment costs. So there are other, non-financial benefits for hiring a digital marketing agency as well.



9. Agencies are Usually Flexible on Time and Have More Of It


There’s nothing worse than feeling a deadline looming, knowing you’re not going to reach it on time. When it comes to launching a new campaign, delays can often mean reduced revenue or rushing to complete it and making mistakes.


Worse than this though is when you miss a deadline related to a product launch. Research found that in competitive markets, delays to product launches can have significant negative impacts on revenue. In the technology industry, for example, a delay of 9-12 months can reduce revenue by a whopping 50%.


Understanding the impact of time management is critical, and agencies usually have fail-safes in place to ensure deadlines are met. Whether this is a senior account manager doing project management, or the ability for others to step in as deadlines are looming, agencies usually have more spare time to dedicate when needed. 


This can also help your business by freeing up time to ensure you aren’t late on that next product launch.



10. They Force you to Develop a Strategy


A survey by Smart Insights found that almost half of all businesses operate with no strategy in place.


No marketing agency will bring on clients and commence work without first putting a strategy in place. Most agencies will actually develop their own strategy for you, since we don’t really like doing the work someone else started or came up with.


This means you get all the benefits listed in this article, and an actual marketing strategy - win-win!



11. Agencies are Across the Latest Trends


Whether it’s a new design trend, the latest TikTok dance craze, or simply just the best way to engage with followers on Instagram, agencies need to stay up to speed on the latest trends since it’s our job to ensure our clients are capitalising on them. 



12. Agencies are Up-To-Speed with Platform Changes


The latest iOS14 changes to the way Facebook collects data for advertising purposes has thrown many advertisers through a loop, looking for ways to change how they report on their Facebook ad campaigns.


At the time of writing, there aren’t really any definitive answers yet, as the marketing world comes to grips with the changes, but many agencies, including us, have developed work-arounds for reporting and are using new tools to try to fill the gap left by Apple’s changes.


Outside of this particular example, agencies are also tracking changes to Facebook and Instagram algorithms and features, how Google rewards websites in search results, and what email service providers such as Gmail and Outlook are doing with their spam filters.



13. Ensure You’re Informed with Accurate Reporting


Nobody likes compiling reports. It can be tedious, boring and downright frustrating trying to get all your data together and then make recommendations based on the insights it provides.


This is why so many in-house teams do very little or no reporting at all.


For agencies though, this is usually a key deliverable. Providing a monthly report, detailed past performance and recommending future actions is something we do for every client each month. For clients, this gives insights they may not have had access to previously, and gives a great understanding of how they are performing and helps them better understand their customers.



14. Access to Technology 


Agencies usually have subscriptions to multiple technology providers that can help businesses improve their marketing. Whether it’s a social media management tool, social listening software, SEO tools, email monitoring software, new analytics software or data dashboarding tools, when you hire an agency you get access to this tech stack, usually for little or no cost. For example, all our clients have the benefit of our subscriptions to various software, and we don’t charge them extra, it’s all included in our retainer.



15. Agencies Scale With You


As your business grows and you need more marketing work, or need to hire for new skills, all you need to do is increase your investment with the agency. 


Agencies are, by nature, scalable. They develop internal processes that allow them to optimise their inputs to maximise their outputs. This means it is often easier for you to invest additional funds each month to pick up a new service, say for example email marketing, than it is to either hire a new employee or upskill an existing one. 



16. Agencies Support Internal Teams


Usually, one of the best ways to hire a digital marketing agency is to have a small internal team that acts as brand champions and a bridge between your business and the marketing agency. 


This achieves two things: firstly you ensure your brand is represented by employing someone who knows the business back-to-front and can communicate this to the agency, and secondly this internal staff member gets support from the agency. They get to see how things are done, learn new skills, and have someone to turn to when they are unsure. This is particularly useful if you have no senior marketing leaders in your organisation.



17. Better Allocation of Resources


Similar to point 7, hiring an agency usually ensures resources are allocated more efficiently. 


When you hire a full team you need to make sure there is enough work for them to sustain the capacity you hire them in, either full or part-time. If you don’t have enough work to justify hiring them, and they’ll have too much downtime, hiring a marketing agency might be the best option for you as you’re only paying for the time and skills you need.



18. Improved Performance Across Key Metrics


This one may ruffle some feathers, but in our experience, agencies can often get better results than an internal team can.


Now, I will mention here that the most important guarantee any agency can give you is the promise to be upfront and transparent with you. If they aren’t doing this, drop them as fast as possible.


It’s very, very rare for an agency to guarantee particular results and be able to deliver on them. The marketing world moves at such a fast pace, and things change so quickly, that we all have to be open to the fact that s**t happens from time to time.


But if an agency isn’t managing your expectations around what they can achieve for you, they aren’t worth working with.


Having said that, one of the biggest reasons small businesses turn to agencies is because they have seen results stall, or KPIs are dipping, and they can’t figure out why. Marketing agencies, in this instance, are usually able to turn things around, and more often than not are able to get you to a better place than you were before.


The best agencies will start their work with you by undertaking an audit, identifying opportunities for improvement and working with you to set targets that are realistic and achievable. 



Final Thoughts


Hiring a digital marketing agency isn’t the best choice for every healthcare business, and a good agency should tell you upfront if they can help you or not. 


However, for most businesses, the choice to outsource their marketing, at least part of it, is a great idea and a solid strategy for growth. The flexibility and affordability of hiring an agency rather than an employee is something easily overlooked by most businesses, but it’s also something you shouldn’t ignore.


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Published by Brock Ashton

Brock is the founder of Hawk Health Digital, an experienced marketer and health and fitness enthusiast. With almost 10 years of experience in the industry, coupled with a Bachelors degree in Commerce and a Masters's degree in Marketing, he is an expert when it comes to helping health and wellness businesses achieve their growth dreams. When he isn't working you'll likely find him at a Japanese restaurant or on the beach with his wife, daughter, and their dachsund.