The story begins, you either own a business or are running a marketing department and have decided to look for a digital advertising partner. Of course, you have types of partners to choose from, many claiming they possess the latest and greatest technologies. Reality begins to set in and you realize you have only a few options: hire in-house and build, work with a local media company, or partner with an agency specializing in digital advertising. Here are some reasons why you might choose to work with a digital advertising agency.
Digital advertising agencies are industry experts and partners
It should be no surprise that most digital advertising agencies are industry experts, many of whom broke away from the bureaucratic red tape of media companies to provide additional insights for their clients. So when it comes to between a digital agency and media company, you can be assured that an agency is going to be more knowledgeable, flexible to your needs, and less expensive than a turnkey media company.
So what about hiring in-house? Over the years, I’ve worked with many in-house marketing teams and the typical problem is, they really don’t always know what they are doing because they haven’t done it enough or it’s not their area of specialization. Digital advertising is complex, executing and managing a campaign is more difficult than analyzing results from campaigns. Furthermore, a digital advertising agency is going to ensure Google AdWords is talking to Google Analytics to ensure campaign results are accurate, increasing performance. Again, getting this level of performance would require making additional hires and it’s not always cost effective to shift the focus of your marketing team.
Digital advertising agencies are cost-effective and are still part of the team.
Having worked for a media company for 6.5 years, I can tell you they are typically very expensive. For instance, wholesale cost of a display campaign may cost $2.50CPM, after markup it becomes a $5.00CPM. If you run a $10,000 display advertising campaign monthly, you are paying the media company $5,000 to do so. The truth is, agencies have access to just about the same inventory as media companies at a fraction of the cost.
For PPC management, media companies will charge a management fee between 15%-50%, with the average being around 25%. If your business spends $20,000 a month on Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, $5,000 per month goes to the media company for a turnkey solution. If you work with an agency, the same campaign might run you $3,000 and the solution is customized with full tracking capabilities.
If you’re thinking about hiring in-house, think again. It’s easy to find someone who knows a little about PPC advertising, but do they know everything like setting up dynamic phone numbers, getting Google AdWords to talk to Google Analytics, and implementing Google Tag Manager? From my experience, it’s very difficult to find someone who can execute many of these best practices. Furthermore, it would be difficult for you to hold them accountable as you may not understand their work. Therefore, the room for error and costs are typically much greater.
Digital marketing agencies can dedicate more time to digital advertising projects than you
The truth is, digital advertising agencies work for YOU. If you challenge them with a goal, they will utilize all of their resources to achieve that goal and to perfect the process. If you challenge a media company, they will just take forever because it’s outside of their service level agreement. Finally, if you challenge an in-house team; you are redirecting your resources, which could cause issues later on. The truth is they are busy, you are busy and digital is just one part of your overall marketing strategy. It’s very difficult for your team to keep up daily with industry trends and best practices, let alone actually implementing them into your digital marketing program. Agencies have a fiduciary responsibility to execute your digital advertising campaigns using industry best practices and latest approaches to give your business a competitive advantage.
As discussed, there are many benefits to working with a digital advertising agency and the list goes on. While there are certain scenarios where a business might build an in-house team or partner with a media company; a digital advertising agency brings to the table a high-level of industry experience and knowledge, and accountability. More so, than any in-house team or media company for a fraction of the cost.
Actuate Media is a digital advertising agency in Seattle, WA. Our team has run hundreds of digital advertising campaigns nationwide including: PPC Search Marketing, SEO, Display Advertising, Video Advertising, and more. We are proud to have completed the Google Partner’s Specialist Challenge and we are Google Adwords & Analytics certified specialists. Our agency implements a data-driven approach connecting advertising results and analytics, aggregating the data for future analysis allowing our partners to make smart advertising decisions in the future to gain a competitive advantage.
Brad Holly, MBA
Principal of Actuate Media, Google AdWords & Analytics Certified.
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