Many years ago, when I began my first leadership marketing job, I was still doing most of the work myself. I was the marketing leader for the organization, but for sure I was a lone ranger.
I, alone, thought of new ideas to execute. I alone did all the work! So ideas were limited to what I could dream up – and accomplish. And I didn’t have many tools, but to be honest, there weren't a lot of tools available. (Marketing has come a long way since the 80s for sure.)
Taking a leap of faith
So, rather than continuing to go it alone, I hired an ad agency! After hobbling along for a year a so, I thought: Why not leverage the things an ad agency could bring to the table to help enhance my marketing efforts?
When you’re a sole contributor in the role of marketing it's very lonely. Who do you ask to verify an idea is valid? The finance guy? How expensive is it? The boss? How soon can you do it? An ad agency can offer rational collaboration and immense help with preparation and planning to help you succeed:
- Fresh ideas and perspective. After asking one of my agencies for a 'bubbling cauldron of ideas,' they took a picture of the entire agency in a hot tub! I got that and much more from this agency. They were super creative and always bringing fresh perspective to my business.
- Tools they had that I didn’t…even back then, such as media-buying software to ensure we didn’t have to accept for granted whatever the media outlets were telling us. Direct mail assistance with years of expertise in this specific tactic to offer best practices, A/B tests and more. And that’s just scratching the surface.
- Hands and feet to help accomplish the work! Often, you and your team know what you’re doing, have the expertise to do it – but just don’t have the time or resources available to execute. That’s where the right ad agency can serve as a seamless extension of your marketing team.
- Saving time. You can accomplish so much more to move the needle if you’re not always focused on the details. You can do more to move the bigger needle if you’re passing off the smaller ones. Take advantage of the effectiveness and efficiency an ad agency can bring to the table to free you up to focus on the things you need to.
- Brand development from a longer-view perspective. Most of us love our companies, and that can often mean our perspective may be a little myopic. Sometimes it’s difficult for us to see our brand from the customer’s perspective. There are many tools available today to help us see ourselves as our customers see us. Take advantage of those – and of your ad agency’s expertise to help bridge that divide.
- Professionals to execute across all media. Copywriters, media buyers, graphic designers, social media experts, videographers, website designers, PR professionals, and more. No training needed. Your marketing team may include several of these, but maybe not all. Using an agency for those areas of expertise you may not have on staff is a great way to expand your marketing team – without actually expanding your marketing team.
- See results. Ad agencies are all about achieving results for you, your team and your company. That’s their job. Why not take advantage of all they have to offer?
So what happened after I took that leap of faith and hired that ad agency?
- Our performance increased dramatically, and it really helped my career as well as those around me.
- We suddenly were being realistic and on point with our customers’ perspective.
- The right message was being sent at the right time to the right people.
- We grew our customer base dramatically.
I always feel extremely thankful for those agencies from my early days. The people I reported to took a chance – and bought into the vision I had of leveraging an agency to enhance our existing marketing efforts. And it truly paid off.
Interested in learning how an agency may help enhance your marketing initiatives or serve as an extension of your marketing team? Reach out. We’d love to chat. And check out the second part of the Puddle Jumping With Mindy series: How Do I Hire the Perfect Ad Agency?