Written by Ashley Decker, CEO and Cofounder

6 Questions to Ask When Shopping for an Outsourced Marketing Agency

Nearly 25% of Americans plan to quit their jobs within the next 10 months, according to a recent poll. It’s why you can’t turn on the TV without seeing ads for Indeed. And why you’ll wait a little bit longer these days for a cup of coffee. 

The impacts of the so-called “Great Resignation” are massive, but what do they mean for growing organizations with marketing needs? 

In this post, we’ll talk about how an outsourced marketing agency can be an essential tool in today’s unprecedented hiring climate and some questions you should ask when shopping around for a marketing agency. 

Finding good marketing talent is tough

Getting good marketing talent has always been a challenge—especially if you’re building out a marketing team for the first time. 

What skill sets do you need? How will the new talent mesh with company culture? And after you go through all the trouble of hiring them, will they stick around? After all, reliability and longevity are hard to find in a cohort known for regularly jumping ship. (Zippia reports nearly 60% of marketing managers stay in their roles for less than two years.)

Enter the Great Resignation, and now you’ve got a serious marketing talent conundrum. Hiring is more difficult, costly, and time consuming than ever. 

Today, it’s estimated the time to hire and fill roles is around 36–42 days at an average cost per hire of $4,425. That’s a problem if you’ve got goals that only a fully functioning marketing machine can help you achieve. 

Fortunately, talent-shortage challenges can be easily overcome by outsourcing your marketing team.

Benefits of an outsourced marketing agency

Why should you consider an outsourced marketing agency? Here are a few of the biggest benefits you can see in your organization.

Cost savings

It simply costs less to bring on an outsourced marketing agency than to build your own team hire by hire. But one easy-to-overlook area of cost savings is around recruiting. 

Internal talent acquisition staff is also subject to the churn of the Great Resignation. And external headhunters can cost you up to 25% of each hire’s first-year salary. Turning to a marketing agency allows you to reserve your precious recruiting resources for areas where outsourcing isn’t a viable option.

Faster time to results

It’s no secret that the time needed to hire and onboard talent is up in 2022. (LinkedIn says, “Take your average 'time to hire' recruiting metric from 2021, and add at least 15 days.”) But even when you get a new employee hired, you’ll be waiting months before they can deliver results.

When you’re looking to move the needle this quarter, waiting the estimated 12 weeks it takes for a new employee to become productive can be a dealbreaker. 

There’s just no competing with the immediate results an outsourced marketing agency can help you achieve. That’s why an agency can be a smart choice for sales and marketing.

Marketing as a service

In a world where everything from data storage to HR is available “as a service,” on-demand marketing resources can be a gamechanger.

A good outsourced marketing agency gives you immediate access to a vetted, reliable team that can scale up or down depending on your needs. And if your agency doesn’t deliver, you can cut ties and find a new one without the cost and effort needed to rework or build up an internal team.

What to look for in an outsourced marketing agency

Not all outsourced marketing agencies are created equally, and it’s important to know what you’re looking for to find an agency that will best meet your needs.

Discipline-specific vs. full-service marketing agencies

If you only need marketing support around a specific area, there are discipline-specific marketing agencies that focus on things as broad as content and branding to more specific areas like SEO, explainer videos, or LinkedIn ads that convert.

For more of a “marketing team in a box” approach, you’ll want to consider full-service marketing agencies. Even here there are some options to keep in mind. 

  • Traditional full-service agencies rely on old-school, one-way-communication channels and approaches. (Think: newspapers, magazines, and radio.)
  • Full-service digital marketing agencies focus on delivering dynamic, tailored messaging via online channels like email, social media, and web search. 

We’re biased toward digital agencies—and not just because that’s what we do for a living. Digital marketing is the best approach for the overwhelming majority of organizations today seeking cost-effective, measurable ways to connect with potential customers.

You’ll also want to pick a digital marketing agency that understands your business model: B2B or B2C. While there’s true value in a human-centered approach in B2C and B2B marketing, B2B-focused agencies understand the intricacies needed to skate the line between impactful creative thinking and transitional approaches that yield results.

How to find the right digital marketing agency

When it comes to picking an outsourced marketing agency, there are a few questions you should ask yourself and your potential partners when shopping around.

1. What am I looking to achieve?

Outline your needs and set clear expectations. Then look for the kind of agency that matches those. Not sure what you need exactly? It’s likely that you need a full-service agency who can craft a complete marketing plan and execute on it on your behalf.

2. What is my top marketing priority?

Don’t keep your priorities a secret. It is fully possible to hand the wheel off to an outsourced marketing agency. But if you have specific desired outcomes, take the time to think those through and communicate them. 

Is immediate B2B lead-gen the most important thing? Or are you looking to build content that drives organic traffic to your site? The more you can share with your agency around your objectives and the reasons behind them, the greater the chances that they’ll succeed for you. 

3. Do you have any references?

Bringing on an outsourced marketing agency solves for many hiring-related dilemmas. But you’ll still want to approach selecting an agency like hiring a new employee. 

Grill them like it’s a job interview. Ask for references. Do your contacts feel like a fit? Will you enjoy (and be successful) working with them? Can they point to proven success and previous work that aligns with your expectations?

4. How much is this going to cost?

Shopping for a marketing agency is a bit like shopping for a car: there’s almost no limit on what you can spend. So know what your needs are and what your budget is before you begin shopping. Maybe you don’t need a Ferrari when a Toyota would meet your needs.

Consider your budget upfront. Then make sure the agency’s package fits in your budget—and that there’s a clear understanding of what you’re getting for that spend. 

On the flipside, be skeptical of anyone that promises too much for too little. Sure, you could buy a $100 car, but there’s a reason it’s so cheap.

5. When can we expect this?

You need to be kept in the loop about what your marketing agency is doing and when.

Look for an agency that is transparent and offers their plan for deliverables within 30, 60, and 90 days and shares a plan to communicate beyond that.

6. How will you measure success?

What counts as a success for your agency? What’s a miss? Talk to any potential agency about metrics and goal setting to ensure you can show clear ROI for your spend.

Why Thaynes Marketing might be the right fit for you

Thaynes Marketing is a digitally-driven marketing agency that utilizes extensive marketing experience and expertise to help growing software companies grow and thrive, especially those with a new product or service offering who need a team of Go-to-Market experts. We offer a proven record of developing and executing successful launch campaigns, along with tested, effective solutions for sustaining post-launch momentum that provides a deep and lasting impact, helps our clients to accelerate growth, and empowers their businesses to thrive in an increasingly competitive market environment.

We provide companies with the knowledge, competencies, and ingenuity required to design and execute smart, savvy, integrated GTM campaigns that command attention, engage target audiences, and persuasively communicate how these products and services will make a positive impact on the target’s business—today and into the future.

Want to know more about how our outsourced marketing agency can help you achieve your objectives? Get in touch and let’s talk about what we can achieve together.

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