There’s an abundance of marketing agencies offering their services to teams just like yours. However, there are no agencies (that we’re aware of in APAC) offering to teach your team to eventually make themselves redundant so that you never have to look outside for marketing again. And it is this idea, which forms the crux of this article.
Traditional marketing services take a ‘done for you’ approach you’re likely used to, where an external agency or team handles all of the work. On the other hand, a ‘done by you’ approach involves empowering and training your team with best practice, so that your team is not reliant on an external agency after a set time period. But, is this even right for you? And what’s so good about this?
In this article, we’re going to cover:
How Typical Digital Marketing Retainers (Done for You) Work
Digital marketing retainers aka ‘marketing done for you’, is where an external team, usually a marketing agency, handles all of your team’s digital marketing activities, including strategy, paid media, social media marketing, email marketing, lead generation and more.
Usually, payments are made on a monthly retainer on an ongoing basis, for as long as you engage the agency to conduct your marketing activities.
A good done for you agency will meet with you weekly or fortnightly and produce reporting including automated dashboards and monthly performance reports.
More strategic agencies should be producing strategic roadmaps with monthly key focus areas to avoid getting stale over time.
Some of the pros include:
- The work will be done for you, so you don’t need to spend as many resources on marketing.
- Faster to execute initially as you can rely on the agency’s direction
- Cheaper in the short term.
The Work Will Be Done For You
With marketing done for you, since you have an agency doing the majority of the work, your team will only need to worry about approvals and whatever tasks they’re already responsible for. This means less resources in your team on marketing, which means more resources can be used for other things.
Faster To Execute
Since you’re relying on the agency’s direction, it’s quicker to get everything moving forward because they already have all of the team members, systems and processes required to execute on TAYA.
Cheaper in the short term
Hiring a marketing agency to do marketing for you will be cheaper in the shorter term, because the monthly retainer you pay takes care of all of the work, whereas, in a done by you situation, you would need to pay for additional training on top of team members to complete the work.
Some of the cons include:
- Speaking in your brand’s authentic voice is a challenge
- Speed of execution is slower
- You’re competing with the agency’s other clients
- When the bills stop, so too does the results
- More expensive in the long term
Speaking in your brand’s authentic voice is a challenge
Who better to share your own brand’s message than those who directly represent your brand? Giving this very important role to someone external to your team and company will mean that the messaging and delivery will never be as true to the brand as it could be. On top of this, quality control is much harder, because you can’t directly manage team members working in the agency. This means that you lose control and quality often times suffers.
Speed of execution is slower
When a marketing agency is doing the work for you, your team then has to approve the work before anything can go live. Once approved, the agency then has to move forward with the work. If you’re busy during the approval period and can’t get to it until another day/week, your agency may now be busy with other clients and will have to slot in the work they planned on a later day. This creates a time lag between work getting done and work being moved forward, because there is a longer wait time in communication when there is an external party, such as an agency, involved.
You’re competing with the agency’s other clients
When you’re in a personal relationship, you usually don’t want your love and affection being shared with someone. It’s a funny analogy we’ll admit but the point is important resources like time, energy and attention is shared with other clients. Are these clients bigger than you? Do they have more urgent priorities on particular days/weeks where perhaps the focus of your account wavers a bit?
When the bills stop so too do the results
Sure, if you don’t have internal expertise the work can commence and execute faster however there is no long-term investment in your internal team. This means when you terminate your engagement with your agency your internal team really hasn’t developed the skills to pick up the pieces. At the end of the day you paid for execution not for getting the agency to train your team with all the skills and industry tricks of the trade they know.
More expensive in the long term
If an agency does their job right, the client shouldn’t need the agency after a certain amount of time. But we both know that this doesn’t happen. Agencies aim to be paid on an ongoing basis, so in the majority of cases, you’re stuck with them if you want any semblance of expanded growth through marketing. However, this results in a situation where the cost to the business is greater in the long term, because you miss out on saving costs where you wouldn’t have otherwise. For example, if you were able to get to a point where you no longer needed the agency and your team could handle the work themselves, the time your team would save on less time execution time lag means the cost of slow execution or inaction should be far less.
How Sales & Marketing Training and Coaching (Done by You) Works
Coaching and training, aka ‘done by you’ services, is where an external team trains your internal team with the objective to eventually make you self-sufficient. This means that once your company has the knowledge, systems and processes in place, your team should never need an external agency to aid with marketing again.
Similar to done for you services, payments are made on a monthly basis. Unlike done for you services however, there is a fixed timeframe for your program and therefore payments. Once your team is trained and self-sufficient you no longer need to pay for done by you services.
How do we do done by you marketing services? At RedPandas, we follow the ‘They Ask, You Answer’ framework for training and coaching our clients. At the core of They Ask, You Answer (TAYA) is a really simple idea: educated prospects like you because they TRUST you and as such you’re more likely to win the moment-of-truth click or call.
It’s important to repeat, TAYA focuses on obtaining buyer trust through things like truly authentic content pieces on your site that answer buyer problems and questions. You can read more about the 10 principles of TAYA you can master here.
What if people who are trained via coaching and training leave?
You might be thinking, but what if members of my team leave the company? Wouldn’t we need to retrain new team members? Wouldn’t that make all of the previous training redundant?
It’s a great question and amongst the most common when clients ask us about our done by you service (aka TAYA training and coaching services).
Would you need to retrain the team if they left? Yes but not as much as you’d think. If the They Ask You Answer Training & Coaching (TAYA for short) has been implemented properly, then your ENTIRE company has gone through TAYA coaching. This includes training and coaching for leadership, sales, marketing and other departments if required.
For example, what if the Content Writer we helped you hire and train leaves after 6 months? The beauty is that if that person needed to be replaced, the onboarding time would be significantly shorter because of processes developed and documented and the fact that the new team member is stepping into a culture where other departments are already committed to TAYA.
Some of the pros include:
- Greater quality control
- Significantly faster execution
- Employees are happier, more skilled and feel more valued
- Saves money in the long run
- Finite/limited time period for payments
- Increases the value of the company
Greater Quality Control
Since everyone is in-house, the insourced approach leads to a greater level of control over the quality of the work being produced. On top of this, who better to share the company’s brand message than those working in that same company every single day?
Significantly faster execution
Since everything is managed in house, there are less time lags due to fewer communication channels that need to be accessed every time a marketing activity is ready for review from a manager. Faster turnaround times on work leads to more work overall being completed, and more value for your buck.
Employees are happier, more skilled and feel more valued
An incredible by-product of our done by you service that we initially underestimated is TAYA training and coaching is the most powerful training and development program leadership and marketing could undertake.
Great marketers especially want to develop their skills and knowledge. Part of the value for a marketer working somewhere is how much they feel they are growing, learning and adding value for the organisation they work for. When working with an agency that externally manages your marketing your internal team simply doesn’t get this value. In fact, sometimes, there is often conflict between internal marketers and the agency you employ. TAYA avoids this and builds better marketer and salespeople.
Saves Money in The Long Run
While there is a cost in the initial stages to get your team up and running with marketing done by you, this quickly transforms into an investment once your company owns the systems and processes around marketing. When these systems and processes are owned, it allows your team to make a significant impact on your company without ever having to outsource. This results in increased growth and saved costs.
Additionally, companies that invest in TAYA see their inbound leads and conversion rates grow significantly. This often results in less reliance on paid media spend and paying per lead to external aggregators – who of course offer zero loyalty to your business.
Increases The Value of The Company
When marketing systems and processes sit inside of the business instead of in an external agency, it acts as an asset as this can be utilised in the future regardless of management changes in the company, thereby increasing the value of the company.
Some of the cons include:
- More expensive in the short term
- If leadership doesn’t buy into the program, it will never succeed
More expensive in the short term
While the ROI potential with marketing done by you is higher than outsourcing your marketing, the downside is that in the short term, you may have to spend more on done for you training than you would if you just paid an agency to do your marketing for you.
This is because TAYA coaching and training is an investment. Different members of your team will be directly trained by coaches at RedPandas, who each have their own areas of expertise e.g. Head Coach, Sales Coach, HubSpot Coach, Content Marketing Coach, Video Marketing Coach, Paid Media Coach etc.
You are developing enduring skills that your team hasn’t seen before and this will require time and commitment.
Whether this slightly higher cost in the short term is worth it for you depends on whether the pros for marketing done by you are impactful enough for you.
If leadership doesn’t buy into the program, it will never succeed
Often the marketing or the sales team is the first group in an organisation to approach us for done by you coaching and training services. This is fine however we will not take on a client if leadership is not at least committed to the principle that being the most dominant player in the space requires gaining trust by authentically and transparently answering buyer questions on your website and training the sales team to better leverage technology and content.
This might seem straightforward enough – and it is once leadership see the significantly better ROI and growth potential of the TAYA framework – but it does require more convincing than using traditional done for you agencies.
To help clients get on the TAYA journey and convince their internal team members, we publish a tonne of helpful content in our resources section and we also offer workshops and in-person/virtual presentations to communicate the objective of TAYA, the problems it solves and what you can expect to achieve from the program.
Which is right for me?
Determining which avenue is right for you will depend on a bunch of different factors. If the following is true, then marketing done by you is probably right for your team:
- Your company has a marketing team already (yes even 1 person marketing teams!) and can afford to invest in adding 1-2 people to this team overtime
- Your company believes in investing in the skill and professional development of its employees
- Your company is open to transparently addressing buyer questions on your website with content
- Your company is open to significantly increasing the output of your written and video content
- You’ve tried traditional done for you agencies in the past and have either been burned or are underwhelmed
- You may already be paying a SEO or digital marketing agency you could divert funds away from to train your team
- You have a CRM (we recommend HubSpot) or are open to investing in a CRM/automation system like HubSpot
- Your company has a sales team that leadership is open to train on modern selling techniques such as better use of CRM, using video and content in sales
If on the other hand the following things are true, then marketing done for you is probably more up your alley:
- Your company does not have the budget to employ a full-time marketer
- Your company generates less than $2.5M in gross revenue
- You don’t need to work on long term in-house capacity right now
- Leadership views marketing as a cost centre not a profit centre
- Your company does not have a sales function
In short, if you have a sales team, and if your company is big enough to invest in an in-house marketing team, then marketing done by you is probably right for you.
On the other hand, if your company is not big enough to invest in an entire in-house team but is comfortable paying one salary, then marketing done for you is probably for your company.
So, what’s next?
If you’re interested in marketing done by you, then you should learn about TAYA (They Ask You Answer), a system which we implement for teams as part of our done by you service. Or, if you already know about TAYA, then you can get in touch with us here.
If you love the concept of TAYA but are either a solopreneur or a start-up, you should buy the They Ask You Answer book and implement whatever elements you can yourself.
If you’re interested in marketing done for you, then we recommend checking out our pricing page, where we delve into our done for you services.