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    Now that you’ve decided to outsource your marketing it can be confusing to break down which type of agency works best for your business

    Most enterprise CMOs will hire an agency that specializes in only a few areas and offer a handful of supporting services. They want specialists, not dabblers—and may have a handful of agencies on retainer to accomplish different goals. On the other hand, small to medium-sized businesses, with tight budget and timeline, may want to consider an agency with a wider range of capabilities. Just be wary of “full-service” offerings and dig in when you begin researching these agencies. Most often, these shops don’t provide high-quality services across the board but wind up charging a premium price for substandard services.

    Narrow your goals and search for aligning services

    Look at your goals. What type of marketing do you need to accomplish them? Is you website outdated and you’re looking to increase inbound traffic? An agency that specialized in web design and SEM might be your best bet. Maybe you’re struggling with brand recognition and engagement and are looking for an agency to boost your customer loyalty. A branding and design agency would be the best way to get the word out.

    You’re not on your own

    An experienced agency will take time to help you determine what strategy you need the most based on your short-and long-term goals. Bring your concerns, goal, and KPIs you need to report and agencies can quickly determine how their capabilities help drive your objectives. However, be cautious of solutions that seem to force the agency’s specialty. In other words, trust your instinct and experience—if you believe targeted content creation and marketing automation is the solution your problems, don’t let an agency talk you into generalized social media content and banner ads—just because that their specialty. Shop around and don’t be afraid to ask direct questions about how an agency’s services can help you accomplish X, Y, Z.

    The SEO Agency

    Pros Cons
    Sole focus on building search engine rankings Usually poor design
    Includes light content marketing Results take time
    Generates consistent traffic Competitive niche requires large investment
    Improves conversions No guarantees

    The Small Business Agency

    Pros Cons
    Dedicated team to help your business navigate digital marketing Potential to outgrow the agency
    Small teams giving your account plenty of attention Can be limited in talent, experience
    Flexible—able to scale up and down to match your efforts You’re not the only client they have
    Review and suggest strategy Costly for a startup or slow business

    The Digital Marketing Consultant

    Pros Cons
    Guidance without the high production costs Strategy with little or no production work
    Very hands-on—gets to know your business No accountability
    Current with trends Outsider—takes time to understand your business
    Able to refer great talent Too many consultants out there—dime-a-dozen

    The Pay-Per-Click Agency

    Pros Cons
    Retarget and remarket your visitors Can be costly for competitive terms
    Measurable results Ad disappear when campaign ends
    Easily track ROI Bad reputation of lack of client attention and dedication
    Quick results Diminishing results
    Track ads in real time Complex to manage

    The Full Service Agency

    Pros Cons
    Arsenal of services to help you grow quickly Premium costs
    Able to scale and attack nearly every channel of digital marketing Many departments and teams can feel impersonal
    Quick turnarounds and monthly progress reports Limited collaboration
    One-stop shop saves time hiring multiple vendor Tendency to be a “jack of all trades and master of none”

    Specific Questions You Should Be Asking