Hiring a marketing company can be a great idea for a business who wants to grow or sustain themselves but who doesn't want to (or can't) hire their own internal marketing department. Hiring a marketing consultant or company definitely has its advantages, such as: activity based costing, varied expertise, zero commitment, and being able to pay for results. Let's look at each of these areas a bit closer:
Activity Based Costing
Companies have peaks and valleys with marketing. But salaries aren't this way. You have to pay your full-time marketing staff full time, whether there's something big happening or not. Hiring a marketing company could mean that you're only paying for whatever is going on.
Activity based costing is still something you can budget for. But here's a tip:
Having a variable budget may work well in this case though as your activities could bring about a revenue boost that allows you to allocate more money to further marketing efforts that year1
Hiring a marketing company or marketing consultants can give your company access to a wide array of expertise. Need help with your website? Need a business plan? Looking for help securing venture capital? By working with a marketing company rather than hiring a marketing person in house, you could access various sources as you need them. A marketing company offers you executives without your having to pay a marketing executive's high salary. And with activity based costing, you can seek out the services you need as you need them.
Unless you're signing a specific contract, you generally don't have a level of commitment with a marketing company. Many firms exist that will work with you as and when you need it. It's smart to work on your marketing efforts throughout your whole fiscal year but of course there will be times when you don't need as strong a focus.
This zero commitment set up can be very useful for a small business or a start-up who is trying to hit the ground running but doesn't have a long term plan yet. And, when you work with a contractor, you aren't dealing with labour laws and tribunals if the relationship doesn't work out. You can end a relationship with a marketing company much easier than ending a relationship with a full time employee.
Pay for Results
Some consultancies even offer guaranteed satisfaction, offering you a "pay for results" plan. This can remove the risk.
If activity based marketing costs makes sense to you, start looking for the right marketing company to deal with. The right terms and the right relationship could be a huge benefit to your business.
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