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Author: John Bracamontes

The majority of companies at some point ask the question “Should I Hire A Digital Marketing Agency?” and they then go searching online to find out what they should ask, read experiences that other companies have had working with a digital marketing agency and look at a number of options for agencies they could potentially work with.

There’s a lot packed into that question though!

Why are you even looking to hire a digital marketing agency in the first place? That simple question will help you determine if you need to actually hire one or not because it will validate if it’s worth it when weighed against other options.  Let’s go deeper.

Why Are You Wanting to Hire A Digital Marketing Agency?

For most companies the reason the reason they are looking to hire an agency is because they want to see growth online. But there are a number of other reasons you may be looking to hire. Does anything on this list look align with your need?

  • Growth Online
    • More Traffic
    • Higher Search Engine Rankings
    • More Leads
    • More Sales
  • Building a New Website
  • Replacing an In-House Marketer
  • Someone Told You Too / You Read You Should

While there are a number of other reasons we could list out, these cover the major reasons. This is a great place to start because the different reasons require different answers.

 

You Should NOT Hire a Digital Marketing Agency if…

You shouldn’t hire a marketing agency if you are replacing an In-House Marketer because you’ll never get the level of 1 to 1 communication you had with that employee. It’s likely you had that person doing a lot more than what an agency will do. In many  cases companies have that marketer doing things well outside of their typical marketing duties, which is for sure not going to happen with an agency.

You shouldn’t hire a digital agency if someone told you to or you simply read that you should. It’s great that you’re looking into it, but if you didn’t arrive at this question on your own out of a specific need then you’re just going to look for reasons that you shouldn’t work with an agency making them prove their worth and that’s just a bad relationship from the start. It’s a lose-lose situation.

 

You MAYBE Should Hire a Digital Marketing Agency if …

You are building a new website. The reason we say maybe is that if you are just looking to have a new better looking website then you really just need to hire a web designer / developer or web design agency. A Digital Marketing agency can help, but they are most helpful when conducting research on content and optimizations that will be built in to the new website.

 

You SHOULD Hire A Digital Marketing Agency if…

What you are looking for is growth online whether that be increasing traffic, getting higher rankings in the search engines, getting more conversions from your website, getting more overall leads, generating more sales from your site. This is what digital marketing agencies are built for and are best at. Yes, they can build other things and do other work, but don’t expect them to be experts in those other areas such as Branding, Video, etc.

 

Should You Hire An Internal / In-House Marketer or An Agency

Unfortunately we won’t really go into this too deeply because the answer really lies with you personally. If you’d rather have another body on the list of employees, another person in the room at the office, need the marketer to answer phones of customers, or something similar then hire a person internally.

If you want a transactional relationship of “Agency you do X for me and I’ll pay you Y” then hire an agency.

You can find cost analyses of agency vs in-house marketers or teams, but the truth is most people hire in-house vs agency based on the reasons we shared above.

 

If you’re looking to hire a digital marketing agency then let’s talk, if not then we’re glad we could help clear that up for you!

 

 

If You Are Looking to Focus on Getting More Leads & Sales or Have Questions, Call Us at 866-357-7422

Or Submit your information below

    Are you a Marketer, Sales Leader or Owner of a Print Company that is interested in sharing your knowledge and skills with the greater print community?

    We’re starting a series of content where we interview people like you in the print industry to get the best advice, tips and tricks on how you market your company.

    If you would like to be interviewed for an upcoming article please fill out the form below and we’ll contact you with information and next steps!

     

    Simply Submit Your Information Below

      There are different degrees of concern among marketers (and organizations) when it comes to email, spam and regulations that govern how and when you can send email to contacts.

      But what most people don’t understand is the differences between the major governing rules for email and spam.

      What is the Difference Between CAN-SPAM, CASL and GDPR?

      The biggest difference between the 3 is the global geography that they affect. Each of these email policies only applies to specific countries and regions so we’ll go into each of them to explain the difference.

      Of the three the least strict is the U.S. based CAN-SPAM, followed by the Canadian CASL law and lastly the most strict and comprehensive is the European GDPR.

       

      What is the CAN-SPAM Act and What Can You / Can’t You Do?

      CAN-SPAM actually stands for “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing” and was created to protect consumers by prohibiting the use of deceptive or misleading information in commercial marketing emails (commercial emails are those intended to market a commercial product or service). This act applies only to the United States.

      The running joke among email marketers (at least the ones who aren’t uptight) is that the CAN-SPAM Act allows you to do just what it’s named, that you “Can Spam” people.

      The reason this is said is because this act is an Opt-Out regulation. As long as the people you are sending email to haven’t told you to stop, then you can continue to send them email. It really is that simple.

      To stay compliant you have to not be egregiously attempting to deceive your intended recipient and give them the mechanism to Opt-Out which is what you’ll typically see as an unsubscribe link.

      *Linked here is the full act https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rules/rulemaking-regulatory-reform-proceedings/can-spam-rule

       

      What is the CASL Law and What Can You / Can’t You Do?

      CASL actually stands for “Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation” and was created to regulate how organizations collect, use, and disclose personal information when conducting or operating their businesses. While this legislation is only active for recipients in Canada, enforcement agencies claim they will enforce this against anyone globally who violates their act. But as it relates to the United States following the expansion of the Safe Web Act in 2012 only 63 cases have been pursued from 9 different countries and all of these cases were large scale operations intentionally violating, exploiting and deceiving recipients.

      So if you’re not a big company and you’re not intentionally trying to deceive recipients in a significant way then you really are safe.

      The CASL Law is an Opt-In legislation that essentially states you cannot email someone without their prior consent (consent in this case is both explicit and implied).

      *Linked here is the full law https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-1.6/index.html

       

      What is the GDPR and What Can You / Can’t You Do?

      GDPR actually stands for “General Data Protection Regulation”, was enacted by the European Union and is the most strict and comprehensive global privacy act ever put in place. Again it was created to protect consumers data and privacy like the others.

      This one is also an Opt-In regulation meaning that you must give consent prior to being shown commercial marketing messages (including email). It applies to recipients of the European Union, but is intended to affect any global business that sends messages to those recipients.

      The GDPR is why you know see so many “cookie” consent notifications on websites.

      Again there is still leniency here because there are considerations for sending electronic commercial messages to consumers who have legitimate legal interests with you such as being an existing customer, partner, etc.

      *Linked here is the full GDPR laws https://gdpr-info.eu/

       

      Main Takeaways on Data Privacy, Regulations and Email Marketing.

      While we only covered a small portion of each of these Acts, Laws and Regulations we can say to you that the goal for each of them is to protect the privacy and data of consumers online.

      We typically focus on the Email Marketing aspect because it is the main area that an individual business has control over when it comes to potentially violating a rule within these laws.

      And while a good number of marketers get bent out of shape about pixels, cookies and email and “following” the laws, the truth is that this is a tiny part of the overall protection that comes from these acts. The most egregious and damaging violations are from bad actors that are breaching databases, phishing in email and leading consumers through online targeting to steal information, steal identities and cause actual harm.

      In nearly every case you as a U.S. company cannot be held responsible if someone breaches Google’s, Mailchimp’s or GoDaddy’s database. Why would that be your fault?

      The governing bodies are focused on stopping “really bad” things and are less concerned with the nuisance of spam email or retargeted ads.

      Email and retargeting are easy targets to get consumer buy-in because it’s so visible and in some cases a nuisance (if positioned that way), but the reality is that these are not the primary concerns for the majority of these Acts, Laws and Regulations.

      While we are not attorneys (attorneys will wrap you in a bubble and tell you the world is going to end if you do anything), we can tell you that we’ve been doing this work for over 20 Years and have never met or known anyone personally who have been contacted by or penalized by any of these agencies.

      Most marketers who speak about the doom and gloom you’ll face if you don’t follow everything “perfectly” are simply overreacting, costing you time & money and in many cases don’t even know what they are talking about.

       

      This article is intended solely to be an informational piece for you to better understand our position on handling CAN-SPAM, CASL and GDPR.

      If you want to talk to us about digital marketing then give us a call or contact us directly, but we aren’t putting a form in the body of this blog article because it get’s a lot of traffic and we’re not interested in queries about these laws from people (sorry inquiring minds).  We’re focused on growing your traffic, leads and sales!

      One of the most common pieces of advice I give to businesses, firms and professionals who commit to marketing is that you must put in the work every day. Success comes from consistent output that builds up over time which in turn delivers more and more opportunity as it grows.

      An inspiration for me personally is an individual and coach by the name of Ben Newman who travels the country working with businesses, sports teams and financial teams to move them forward strategically as it relates to the team and their organizational development strategy.

      ben newman coach

      One of the common phrases he uses is that “Champions Create Distance on Fridays” and I’ve always loved that because of how strong of a message it is.

      When most professionals check out on Friday, those who succeed are still going hard.

       

      Why Am I Sharing This?

      Really just as a piece of personal inspiration that hopefully will resonate with you.

      At Acumen we use philosophies like this to make our work strong and deliver good results that really does set us apart.

       

       

      If You Are Looking to Focus on Getting More Leads & Sales or Have Questions, Call Us at 866-357-7422

      Or Submit your information below

        DJ is the Director of Web Marketing for KBMax and the former Director of Marketing at KnowledgeLake where he is responsible for strategy and delivery of corporate marketing, operations, lead generation, team management, brand development/creative and communications.

        He has extensive knowledge and experience in project management, creative direction and online marketing including messaging, branding, and content creation for both print & web design. Prior to KnowledgeLake he was a Consultant for Accenture which is a leading global professional services company, that provides solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations.

        Leaders in Business and Marketing iTunes

        Leaders in Business and Marketing Stitcher

        B2B companies ask us often “Does Social Media Work for B2B?” and in our experience that question is being asked because there is a presupposition that is doesn’t work for B2B markets. But as with any answer we give here on the Acumen blog it really depends. What does it depend on? What does “Work” mean for you as a B2B company?

        If you simply ask Does Social Media Work for B2B Businesses then the answer is Yes!

        If you ask will social media increase sales for my B2B company, then the answer isn’t so simple.

        What are Your Social Media Goals?

        Are you trying to primarily increase brand awareness, increase engagement, generate leads, increase sales? While you may want to say ALL of those things, the hard truth is that you aren’t going to be able to easily accomplish that if you are medium to smaller size B2B company. So focusing on one will allow you to more easily generate the results you are looking for.

        Speaking of company size, we’ll discuss that a little later in the post, so keep reading!

        Each goal has a different tactic that you would apply within social media to achieve success.

        Awareness for example would be doing things to get in front of your prospective buyer over, and over, and over, and over, etc. This way they know that you exist, know who you are, and what you do.

        But if you are trying to increase sales then you’ll be posting a lot more direct response content related to selling a product.

        The content you post cannot be in conflict with your goal on social media.

         

        Make Social Media Work for B2B

        For most medium sized to small B2B companies you need to be posting at least 3 times per week with a mix of consideration focused content and direct sales posts.

        This will generate more leads overall but at the same time mildly accomplish increasing brand awareness.

         

        Why Can’t I Do “All the Social Media Things”?

        We think you know the answer to that. Bandwidth and Return on Investment (ROI).

        You likely don’t have the resources to put into it and there is a point of diminishing return on the social media effort. But how do I grow then you may say? Our answer is to leverage social but grow your customer base in other more efficient ways such as SEO, direct sales and advertising (which you can do on social by the way, which is different then using organic non-paid social media).

        Huge B2B brands can pull this off but they didn’t build their business on the back of social media. Social becomes most effective once your brand has reached a significant customer base that can be leveraged to make your social media do real work for you.

         

         

        If You Are Looking to Focus on Getting More Leads & Sales or Have Questions, Call Us at 866-357-7422

        Or Submit your information below

          Jon is the co-founder and President of Raven Internet Marketing Tools (has been acquired by TapClicks), a digital marketing performance & reporting platform. Before that he was an Interaction Designer for Visa out in Denver, CO. Before that he was the lead designer and product manager for an internet start-up company that provided web-based CRM and project management tools for non-profit organizations. Jon has been involved with website development and internet strategy since 1995 and continues to crush it still today!

          Leaders in Business and Marketing iTunes

          Leaders in Business and Marketing Stitcher

          There is nothing new about blogging, but still the question for some remains… “Are Blogs Important?”, “How Important Are Blogs?”, “Should I Write Blogs For My Company?”, etc.

          These questions are asked across all industries. B2B, Private Equity, Finance, Commercial Printing, Industrial, Construction, etc.

          And to be honest they are really good questions because how would someone actually know if blogs are important or not? If you don’t know how to measure their effectiveness or you’ve never heard anyone explain why blogs are important then their really is no way you should know or believe they are.

          Are Blogs Important?

          Yes!

          In the video above we go in detail showing you why they are important, how they are important and what you can do to capture value from your blog posts.

          The reason that blogs are so important is because they answer questions. Nearly every search in Google is someone seeking to gain an answer to a question and it’s even more specific for industries in the B2B space, Finance, Print, Industrial and Contracting industries.

          If a buyer, customer, investor or potential partner searching for something they need an answer to and your company has a solution that is the answer to their question then you want to be found, need to be found and will close more sales, deals, investment and partnerships if you create blog posts that answer their questions.

           

          Other Benefits of Blogging

          • They drive qualified traffic to your website
          • You can share them on social media
          • You can send out your blogs in email
          • Blogs attract links back to your website
          • They build trust with buyers, it shows your active
          • They build authority for you as an expert
          • And the list could go on

           

          If You Are Looking to Focus on Getting More Leads & Deal Flow from Blog Posts or Have Questions, Call Us at 866-357-7422

          Or Submit your information below

            When someone new starts at Acumen we ask a handful of questions to start to get to know them better and share that with you because we’re excited to have Awesome people join the team!

             

            Where are you from?

            Litchfield, IL

             

            What are some things you enjoy doing (besides working)?

            I like to go to the gym in my free time, occasionally read Stephen King novels, and eating SUSHI

             

            Favorite Movie Genre or Fave Movie?

            Anything Scary or Thriller

             

            Favorite Type of Music and/or Band You’re Feeling Right Now?

            I’ve never had a favorite, just anything but country

             

            Place you’d like to visit but haven’t yet?

            Bali, Maui, or Singapore

             

            Drink of Choice (doesn’t have to be alcoholic, but can be as well)?

            Chocolate milk or a nice Riesling

             

            Welcome to the Team Logan!

            When it comes to Digital Marketing a whopping 93% of marketers say that one of the biggest pain points for their company is closing the leads that come in. This is a common struggle across all industries.
            This unfortunate reality is due to the fact that leads must be nurtured.
            Even those leads that are asking for details or a quote need to be followed up on regularly until they either buy or say no.

            How Can You Make Closing New Leads Easier?

            In the video above we go into detail on a tool that can help you close more customers, deals, buyers, investors, etc. by acting on a simple measured behavior.

            The tool is called Streak (streak.com), which will allow you to see exactly when a person is viewing / reading your email.
            If you send out a follow up request, proposal, prospectus or some other material that you’d like to engage on with this lead then reaching back out the moment they are thinking of you will make that happen almost 100% of the time.

            The strategy we’re sharing is that when you get an alert that someone is reading your email, immediately reply back to them on that same email asking if they’ve had a chance to review the materials you shared or if they have time to talk with you about their business, goals, etc.
            Nearly 100% of the time you will get a response, connect with them at that moment or book the next meeting.

             

            It’s that simple!

            We hope this helps in your journey to closing more leads & deals!

             

            If You Are Looking to Focus on Getting More Leads & Deal Flow or Have Questions, Call Us at 866-357-7422

            Or Submit your information below