When should you hire an agency?

Triggers that tell you it’s time to hire an agency. 

I can think of three triggers for when you should hire an agency: when you’re stuck, when you’re drowning or when you’re dreaming big.

When you’re stuck:

So your internal teams are grinding but getting nowhere? It happens. Telling the same story over and over gets exhausting. You start repeating yourself, and not in a good way. Call an agency. They bring outside perspective, and that’s crucial since the whole world shares an outside perspective on your brand too. Combine that with diversity of thought and ideating expertise, and you have three immediate benefits a smart and focused agency can deliver. And as agencies do, they will unlock what’s been stuck and begin to creatively solve business challenges and drive growth.

When you’re drowning:

Here’s an oxymoron: steady workflow. Inevitably, you’ll get slammed by multiple priorities or opportunities that hit at the same time. Lean marketing departments quickly run short on staff and bandwidth, but your deadlines should never fail. Agencies can provide external support for programs your internal team can’t tackle. Need a website redesign? Not dedicating enough time to gaining earned media? Looking to optimize search and targeting? Agencies have specialists in all these areas and more. Outsourcing that work also frees up time for your internal teams to focus on company priorities.

When you’re dreaming big:

Beyond typical full-service advertising, PR, social, design, digital and data services, agencies can support more specialized needs. At Bader Rutter, we’ve helped our clients with launching new products and services, defending market share from new competitors, shaping complex go-to-market strategies, aligning their sales and marketing efforts, and many more highly specific assignments. We provide people with thinking and experience far different from your internal team’s background to take you where you only imagine going, whether that’s through creativity, strategic consulting or any sort of specialized discipline.

But please don’t bring in an agency when you think you already have the answer.

In that case, hire freelancers. The best client/agency relationships are partnerships. Vet your potential agency for chemistry. No matter how great they may be, you’re better off checking other alternatives if you can’t imagine sitting down and grinding out solutions together. We’re doing the same thing with you. We know the magic that happens when 1 + 1 = 3. And that’s what we hope for every workday.

This story initially ran in Agri Marketing magazine’s May/June 2021 issue, available online here.

About the Author

A member of the Bader Rutter Executive Leadership Team, David Jordan leads the BR Business Consultancy Group. His eclectic group includes MBAs, a former CMO from an entrepreneurial investment group, a veterinarian and the former commercial operations leader for a multi-billion-dollar business unit of a Fortune 500 company. The BR Business Consultancy Group consults with both inline and specialty clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to innovative startups in food & beverage, agribusiness and pet care.