If you own and operate your own small business, you most likely started out handling all aspects of marketing it by yourself. At some point, however, you may need to hand that job over to a professional advertising agency. To determine whether your business needs a professional agency, analyze your business’s finances as well as your goals. Below are some things to consider before making a decision.
1. Determine whether you can afford to pay a marketing agency. Advertising agency fees can be expensive. Look at how much you’ve spent on advertising in the past and estimate how much more you can spend.
2. Get quotes from advertising agencies. Determine what the going rate is for marketing services. You can choose from full-service agencies to more limited services according to your needs. Most full-service agencies charge a considerable sum for their services, and some will only keep clients who agree to a lengthy contract. Working with a boutique ad agency will allow you to pick and choose what you need and only pay for certain services. Along with a smaller price, you’ll have a greater voice in the overall marketing scheme.
3. Think about the advertising cost as an investment. Set a goal to determine how you want your advertising dollars to translate into sales volume. Weigh the costs of an advertising agency against the return for your money. In general, your advertising budget should account for 2 to 5 percent of your business’s gross sales. You may want to spend as much as 10 to 15 percent when launching a new service or product. Most ad agencies won’t guarantee results, but they should offer you a way to track advertising success. The easiest way for you to manage this yourself is ask your customers where they heard about your company or product.
4. Determine how much your time is worth. Decide whether the amount of time and effort you need to spend on advertising outweighs the financial cost of hiring out the job. By leaving the burden on an advertising agency, you can focus on increasing your sales volume, expanding into different markets and focusing on customer service.
5. Evaluate if your current advertising is effective. Think about the message you want your target audience to hear. Advertising works when the audience is enticed into buying or at least intrigued to learn more. If you find that your creativity is waning or you’re having a difficult time coming up with the proper resources to promote your business, it might be time to bring in fresh ideas by the hiring a professional advertising agency.
6. Consider hiring an ad agency if you are developing a new service or product. Ad agencies can also be particularly effective in helping promote a new service or product, or a major event connected with your business. Other major changes, such as switching names or locations or undergoing a significant expansion, warrant a marketing campaign that may be beyond your scope to do alone.