What Is It Like to Work with a Marketing Agency? [Article + Infographic]

In this article, we'll discuss...

  • You will have a team of marketing experts at hand
  • Your digital marketing agency will execute deliverables on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis
  • You decide your time commitment and control over marketing efforts
  • You can measure your agency’s success based on marketing success metrics on a quarterly basis

2018 research conducted by Hubspot and Sagefrog Marketing Group shows that 2/3 of B2B businesses outsource their marketing, which is up from in 2017.

While all marketing agencies operate in their own way, you’ll find a common theme across the board: digital marketing agencies leverage your brand’s online presence to position you as an industry leader, promote awareness of your product or service offering, engage potential buyers, and generate leads.

Just over half (54%) of organizations who work with a marketing agency do so on a retainer basis, meaning that the agency handles (within the scope of the contract) nearly every marketing task for the organization. The other 46% work with an agency on a project basis. For the sake of this article, we’re only going to discuss what it’s like to work with an agency on a retainer basis. We’ve found that organizations that hire agencies on a retainer basis have more continuity in their marketing plan and execution and see stronger results.

Access to a Team of Marketing Experts

Maybe the biggest advantage of working with an agency, and a reason many B2B organizations choose to outsource their marketing, is that you will be working with a whole team of digital marketing experts who bring a lot of different skills and areas of expertise. Each team member is able to focus on their part of your project, but they work together to create your complete online presence.

Project or Account Managers

These are the individuals you communicate with the most. They take care of every aspect of your account and delegate tasks to members of their internal team. If an idea sparks or you just want to talk marketing, your project manager is the one to reach out to. They are available to answer any questions you have whenever you have them, and they will be in touch with you about every week to update you on the progress of your project or campaign.

How You’ll Interact: Your project manager will be your main point of contact while working with an agency. They’ll also be the one reaching out to you, reviewing reports, attending meetings, and keeping their finger on the pulse of your project. They’ll become a familiar face to you!

Website Developers

Website developers help you with the technical side of your online presence: the code and soul of your website. They can build custom sites from the ground up, integrate business applications, perform health and maintenance work on a site, and more.

How You’ll Interact: You will see developers frequently during the website building process, and again when the website is due for updates, maintenance, or integrated applications.

Creative and Graphics Team

The visual representation of your brand is usually the first point of contact with customers, so it’s important to work with professional and creative artists. A creative team should include a professional designer who visually creates websites, newsletters, and graphics unique to your brand. It may also include an in-house professional photographer and videographer who turn your product, service, or people into beautiful images or interactive videos.

How You’ll Interact: Since the creative team works on website design, you’ll work closely with the Creative Director within your first few weeks to determine how you want your website to look and feel. Depending on your contract and product/service, you may be in touch with the photographer and videographer throughout the marketing process to create assets as well.

Content Team

The content team puts your brand, vision, benefits, and customer experience into words. They write web copy for your website as well as ad copy, infographics, white papers, articles, social posts, and press releases.

How You’ll Interact: Expect regularly coordinated interviews with those in the content department. They’re experts in writing and marketing, but they’ll rely on you to be the expert in your industry and will lean on your knowledge.

Strategy Team

The strategy team recommends areas your brand could improve its online presence and is in charge of the distribution and tracking of your digital marketing efforts to ensure they’re reaching the right people. We like to call this department the “Success Team,” because all of their focus is on winning.

How You’ll Interact: The strategy team will work heavily with you up front to tie your business goals to marketing goals. After that, they’ll do a lot of behind the scenes work to make sure that goals are being met.

Deliverables on a Weekly, Monthly, or Quarterly Basis

At any given time, there will be a number of deliverables that need to be accomplished by both the marketing agency and your organization. Especially with new clients, project managers send a weekly status update of all the deliverables within your project to ensure nothing gets overlooked and the project stays on track during the high volume of work that needs to be completed in a relatively short time.

After the first few months, the working relationship is normalized and the weekly email may continue, turn into an ongoing spreadsheet, or turn into a completely custom feature! We’ll try to adapt to whatever your communication style is.

Time Commitment

With deliverables in mind, the next question that often comes to mind is how much of a time commitment is required from you to make the marketing efforts successful. Your time commitment will be what you make it. When you work with webSURGE, the first three months of our onboarding process will be the most time-consuming for you because we will need to learn all about your business, determine a marketing strategy, build a website, and begin execution on digital marketing tactics. After that initial period, we’ll need your input on content for your campaigns and approval of any content we produce.

Also, when you’re working with an agency, it’s important to remember that your digital marketing team are experts in digital marketing, but not necessarily your product or service offering. Your agency will do its research and be able to talk with you about things going on in your industry and will be able to create campaigns based on information we read online, but truly effective digital marketing requires content directly from the source: your company expertise.

Your digital marketing agency will want to interview you or members of your team to be able to create content for your website and campaigns approximately every quarter. Those members should also expect the give the content a final sign off on the technical information.

You Have the Control

Your digital marketing agency will not publish anything about your brand without your expressed consent. Your project manager will send you all website and campaign changes they propose for you to review and approve before publishing.

But this aspect of your relationship with a digital marketing agency is also something that depends on you. We have clients who, after working with us for a while, give us permission to make website changes, tweak campaigns, and post social posts without running it by them first. We also have clients who prefer to see everything we do before we do it, and that works as well.

Measuring Your Digital Marketing Agency’s Success

Your digital marketing agency should be transparent with not only what they will be doing for your project, but also with what they’ve already done. At webSURGE, we are as transparent as possible with reporting the success of your campaigns.

We have quarterly reporting meetings to sit down with you, give you an overall update on the health of your online presence (including your website traffic, SEO rankings, social media engagement, and lead generation), answer any of your questions, ask how you think we are doing, and come up with actionable steps for the next quarter’s campaign.

Overall, working with a marketing agency is what you make it. You will be able to off-load a lot of your marketing efforts to a capable team of experts yet still remain in control of your brand. The combined efforts of your business and your marketing agency will bring you more qualified leads flowing into your pipeline.

Joe Crestuk Speaking

Joe Crestuk

Joe lives for webSURGE, but he’s a passionate guy all around. Whatever he’s doing, he’s doing it 100%. He doesn’t just get “interested” in things, he gets committed to them (which is why he has seen such professional success over the past decade!).

Is an Investment in Digital Marketing Right for Your Company?

Before your company begins to invest in digital marketing, you’ll want to be sure you have the right pieces in the right places internally.

Putting the cart before the horse, or haphazardly entering into digital marketing without a strategy built from core business objectives typically results in a massive, fruitless expense.

You’ll incur the cost of the marketing investment itself, as well the opportunity cost of missing out on a year or more of new business opportunities.

And it makes your leadership, sales team and books feel pretty sad.

Here is what you need to ask your company before making a decision around digital marketing.