Do I really need an Agency for my PPC, Paid Social or Display Activity?
In the world of paid media, everything comes at a price and it often feels like a pretty steep one. Paying out to Google, Microsoft, Facebook and any number of Programmatic partners every month adds up fast and with CPCs and CPMs continuing to rise then costs can feel like they’re spiralling out of control. With all of this going on then it’s entirely logical to ask the question: “Do I really need an agency, or is it just an extra cost that I could do without?”.
Why Agencies Exist
Agencies exist to provide incremental value to the
businesses they service. This seems fairly simple, but with the need for every
pound to have directly attributable revenue and the lack of sales journeys that
link to the agency fee then it can be perceived as an unnecessary cost. The
solution to this though is to understand what exactly that ‘value’ is so that
you can establish the true impact that the agency is having on your business.
Establishing Agency Value
Understanding ‘true’ value is important at every level, whether that be traffic, keywords, platforms or channels and it is the same for the agency itself. This is no simple process, but establishing it leads to smarter investment and, ultimately, better overall returns. In the case of an agency there are a few areas that can be examined in order to assess overall value.
1. Deliver Incremental Profit
This is first on this list as it is the primary goal for 99% of businesses. The agency should be able to spend your budget in a way that delivers more profit (inclusive of fee) than would’ve been achieved without them. If this isn’t the case then something has definitely gone wrong…
2. Saves Hiring Costs & Time
Outside of the simple monetary exchange, there is also a cost saved via equivalent in-house salaries. Even if there wouldn’t be a dedicated digital employee, it still takes time for someone to manage activity and that is time taken away from other business tasks. On top of that there is also the challenge of recruitment (time + fees + risk), which can be a minefield at best.
3. The Best of Digital
Agencies are set up to be at the very forefront of Digital with biddable experts constantly sharing ideas, cross-team integration with the likes of SEO and Data and ongoing platform partner interactions. This set up ensures that no opportunities are missed and that the latest and greatest insights and ways of running activity are applied instantly. For most non-agencies this just isn’t possible, which results in an outdated approach and gradually deteriorating results.
4. Strategic Direction
The day-to-day is around activation, but a good agency should be able to provide you with strategic input that helps you to achieve your goals. A true partnership that combines a client’s business knowledge with the agency’s experience and expertise always produces the best possible results in both the short and long term.
5. Agility & Flexibility
Working with an agency means that you have access to a hub
of specialist individuals. This means:
That should your business be struggling on Google Ads, but suddenly
take off on Facebook then the service you receive can change instantly without
the need to go through a lengthy internal upskilling or hiring process. This
isn’t exclusive to Paid Media channels either as we have proprietary tech that
produces SERP analysis to better inform our blended Search (PPC and SEO)
That should your business be hugely seasonal then we can tailor the service to align with those peaks and troughs, which means that you don’t have someone twiddling their thumbs for 6 months of the year and burning out for the rest of it.
6. Always on Hand
People need holidays, but if you have a team of one then
this can be a nightmare scenario for any business. Small issues like ad
disapprovals, feed errors, spend spikes or traffic drops can become
catastrophes in just a few days if they’re left alone. An agency provides the
security that there is always someone on hand to check accounts and make sure
that they are running perfectly.
So, do You Really Need an Agency?
If your business is looking for a best-in-class media
approach that is built for long-term success, a flexible and responsive service
that can adapt to the needs of the business in both the present and the future
and, most importantly, an incremental improvement to the bottom line then an agency
may in fact be exactly what you need.