When is it Time to Hire a Direct Response Marketing Agency?

It’s time to look back at our top blog posts of the year!
Below is number 3

 


It’s easy for us to say (we’re just a little biased!), but hiring a direct response marketing agency might be the smartest thing you can do for your internal marketing team, customers, marketing budget and, most importantly, sales growth.

Direct response marketing campaigns are the workhorses of your growth strategy—and you depend on their performance to take your business to the next level.

But how do you know it’s the right time to partner with an agency?
See if a couple of these hit home:

  • The phrase “omnichannel marketing” scares the bajeebers out of your marketing team…and you’ve been unable to effectively expand campaigns to the digital channel, including social media.
  • You spent several weeks (and several thousand dollars) on a direct mail campaign…and response rates were dismal, or worse yet weren’t even able to be tracked and measured.
  • That absolutely fabulous, no-chance-for-failure offer you came up with? It didn’t drive ANY action.
  • You have inconsistent results across campaigns because you’re not testing to find out what works—and what doesn’t work

We’re marketers ourselves—and we come face-to-face with these challenges every day. So take it from us: there are times, like these, when the agency perspective really matters:

You Have an Internal Skills Gap
Technology is rapidly changing and it’s forcing companies to change their approach to marketing their products and services. It’s creating opportunities for us to engage with our customers and prospect in new ways—and in new places, particularly online. Incorporating digital marketing channels into the mix isn’t as easy at it sounds, though, especially if the right capabilities don’t exist in-house.

Research from eConsultancy shows that the marketing skills gap in today’s job market is a major pain point for many client-side marketers. Thirty percent (30%) of those surveyed rated ‘finding marketers with the right skills is a nightmare” as either four of five on a pain scale of one to five (with five being the most painful).

And you guessed it, the missing skills are mostly those of the digital variety—as the participants, themselves, attested. In the self-assessment portion of the survey, 55% identified “using data to optimize campaigns” as one of the three most important abilities needed to perform in their role, followed by “use of marketing technology” (32%).

These findings are confirmed by Boston Consulting Group. Their marketing technology research found that companies face the biggest shortfalls in some of the most important future-focused capabilities including skills related to mobile, video, testing, partner management, and organizational enablers.

Adding new employees to the payroll isn’t the only way to bridge your skills gap. You can extend your team by partnering with a multi-talented agency that comes fully-stocked with all the up-to-the-minute marketing skills you need to take your initiatives to the next level. They can help you apply the traditional direct response marketing principles you depend on to modern media.

Your Ideas are Falling Flat
You always need fresh (and ultra-competitive) marketing ideas, right? Even the most creative and inspired among us can benefit from welcoming a new perspective to the table. And that’s exactly why you should leave a seat or two open for the folks at your direct response marketing agency.

Agencies have experience working with other clients in your industry and other industries who are up against with similar challenges—so they already start with a good idea of what may work for your company. They’re also doing the research to know your market (competitors, customers, opportunities…) inside and out, so they’re experts at developing the strategies, testing recommendations, creative, offers, content, back-end analytics, and more—end-to-end.

As such, an agency team streamlines your efforts, enabling your internal team to focus on what you do best. And the collaboration you build brings immeasurable value. (We measure everything, so that’s saying a lot!) We’ve found that synergy—when we achieve it with a client—is also a lot of fun, encouraging us to take on new challenges, test new creative, audience segments & offers, and see how far we can drive performance.

You Aren’t Bragging About Your Campaign Response Rates
Among today’s top marketing challenges, according to Hubspot’s 2016 State of Inbound Report, are generating traffic and leads (65%) and proving the ROI of our marketing activities (43%). These are perennial challenges, aren’t they?

Yes, and with good reason. Isn’t that why we engage in direct response marketing? To drive traffic, leads, and ROI. Your campaign performance is a measurement of success—and a direct response marketing agency knows how to maximize your efforts and boost results.

Now repeat after us: responsive teams yield better response rates in direct response marketing. Agency experts use industry best practices to analyze campaign performance and use the insights as a source of new ideas. Yes, ideas give rise to more ideas! The idea is to build on—and learn from—marketing activities to continually increase success metrics.

Let’s say, for example, you’ve been running a direct mail campaign to cross-sell a new product with existing customers and it’s generating very few leads, let alone sales. We’d take a look at your mailing package components, offer, creative, drop schedule, database selections, and those pesky campaign metrics and identify areas for improvement. We might…

  • suggest a different way to present your message or offer tests
  • find an opportunity to supplement your efforts with a dedicated web landing page, e-mail or social media
  • analyze current customers to order to find more people like them in your current database or external mailing lists
  • uncover data hygiene issues that could be impacting deliverability and brand perception

Together, we’d find an effective solution to drive better results.

To learn more, email us!

You might also enjoy reading:
4 Secrets to Success with Your Marketing Agency
The Added Value

 

Orginally Posted on March 8, 2017