“Business isn’t growing fast enough.”

“I am not keeping up with my competitors.”

“I need help with my marketing.”

These are just a few of the thoughts that can motivate a business owner’s thinking toward hiring a marketing or PR agency.

But experience has shown us that not every business is a candidate for hiring a professional marketing agency.

Three signs that you should NOT hire a marketing agency.

Sign #1 – You haven’t thought about your goals or your budget

It is a common practice for businesses to approach a marketing agency without having the slightest idea of what they want to accomplish with a campaign.

This likely means that they are approaching their marketing with ideas and goals that are neither specific, measurable, attainable, realistic nor time-bound. This would be what’s known as a SMART goal and it’s an important step in the planning process.

Now, obviously the agency is available to help flesh out these details!

But don’t approach an agency with the idea of growing your email list to 5,000 contacts by next week. That’s not realistic.

At the same time, you are definitely not ready to hire a professional if a realistic budget has not been designated for the project.

Spending less than 5% of a company’s revenue on marketing is a prescription for failure.

A budget of 5% will maintain a company’s current position. Typically, a budget of 10% is necessary to grow their business and to gain a larger portion of their market share.

Sign #2 – You’re planning to delegate and then disappear (sorry, you can’t do that!)

You’ve hired a marketing agency, and now they are spending their valuable time looking for you.

Where have you gone? To what planet have you relocated?

Communication between you and the agency you’ve hired has come to a screeching halt. Your disappearing act is a sure sign that you are not ready to work with an outside agency.

You, or someone designated by you, must be prepared to spend time each day on public relations and marketing. No marketing agency knows as much about your business as you and/or your team.

Your business can’t “afford” to devote an hour a day to marketing and PR? Then you are most definitely NOT ready to hire an agency.

Sign #3 – You’re afraid to try something new

Saying that you want a campaign that is “out of the box” will prove to be empty words if the marketing agency you’ve hired doesn’t make you feel a little uncomfortable. Your discomfort means that you are stretching beyond your imagination.

Don’t be afraid of this. Be prepared to try new campaigns, and realize that building your brand will happen a lot quicker than it did previously.

If you want the PR agency to echo your thoughts on what you know has worked in the past, then forget about hiring any professionals – you would be throwing away your budget.

Final thoughts

There are many benefits to working with a digital marketing agency, the biggest one being that they can help accelerate your growth.  But some companies are not quite ready.

If you’re thinking about hiring outside help, make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish and you have the time and money to make it happen.

Have more questions about working with a marketing agency? Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to respond!

5 danger signs