Marketing teams have never been more qualified, or more recognised as drivers of company growth.
The rise of sophisticated reporting and attribution, demand-led, customer-centric digital marketing and the undeniable importance of brand to maintain customer trust has meant that marketing teams are better equipped than ever to report on their impact.
With internal marketing teams more qualified and resourced than ever before in many cases, what factors influence their decision to collaborate with agency partners?
Having consulted a confidential panel of our international clients, the ICS-digital team has distilled their reasons for adding in agency expertise and reach, with a particular focus on SEO.
Let’s take a look:
1. Industry Expertise – in Services, Markets & Sectors
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits all approach to areas like SEO, but the right agency partner will be able to remove a lot of guesswork from complex campaigns by drawing on relevant experience.
This allows for collaborative information sharing and idea generation, informed by specialists who have direct experience of an area of marketing that might be new for the brand, even if the in-house team is extremely experienced in other disciplines.
Similarly, first-hand experience of specific geographical markets or sectors can save time, reduce scope for costly mistakes and maximise ROI.
Agencies that are committed to their own improvement and learning will use their experience of similar, prior campaigns to leverage for market insights and what worked/what didn’t.
When setting KPIs and ambitious (but realistic) goals, experience of different campaigns in different industries can feed in to the development of forecasts and ranking scenarios, ensuring that there’s a strong set of strategy objectives informed by real-world experience.
In addition to service and market insight, agencies who work across a wide range of clients are well-positioned to contextualise the impact of things like search trends and Google algorithm updates.
2. Value for Money / Access to Resource / Infrastructure
Particularly for international brands who work at scale, collaborating with a full service team leaves more free time for wider strategic objectives, whilst a resource-rich agency takes care of the tactical details and ‘day to day’ activity.
When running concurrent campaigns or working to make serious gains in a competitive industry, there can be significant investment needed to get up to speed. The hidden costs – and time constraints – of staffing and launching a high-performing SEO, localisation or digital PR strategy are avoided by using an already-resourced team.
For ICS-digital and ICS-translate, our (fairly enormous) resources means that our clients have the freedom to be more experimental, and quicker to capitalise on opportunities. Our teams can rapidly activate extra strategy requests.
This most often includes additions to the strategy such as new markets/languages, multilingual content and updated goals for off-site SEO and link acquisition which could otherwise take months/years to activate if carrying everything out internally.
3. Scope for Growth
While very niche, specialist industries definitely have a place, one of the most emphasised positive points from our client panel refers to the scope to expand beyond any single service areas.
The most stable and trustworthy agencies manage their own growth by developing a range of related and complementary services, that give clients room to grow.
Most often in the case of ICS-digital, clients who begin with us on SEO campaigns branch out into collaboration on services such as digital PR, sponsorship, paid media, content localisation & translations.
As touched on in the 2nd section, the right agency infrastructure can also help you to grow into new countries/markets at ease, cost-effectively and at scale – when you actually want to, rather than when bigger developments in budgets or internal resource allow
A combination of information sharing and expertise (point 1) and more free time for other business objectives (point 2) provides you and your team with a strong position to turn ideas into practical reality, with plenty of flexibility should anything change in the future.
Find out how ICS-digital can support your internal team, at scale, by getting in touch today.