Growth marketing

Should You Hire a Growth Marketing Agency? 5 Key Considerations

Written by Mallory Kuhn / March 10, 2022

Mallory is a Growth Marketer at Lean Labs, working with brands to ignite their growth engine through conceptualizing, implementing, and optimizing growth marketing strategies.

Hiring a growth marketing agency may not be the right move for your business…If you’re struggling to keep up with marketing efforts for your growing business, you’re not alone: Nearly one-fifth of small business owners report that marketing is their number one challenge.

Even if you have a few marketers on staff, as your business grows, your modest in-house team may start feeling a bit like the Greek Titan Atlas: Trying to hold the weight of your whole company’s growth on their shoulders.

You feel like it might be time to tag in some support, but how do you know if hiring a growth marketing agency is the right move? When is it time to hire a growth marketing agency?

Below, we’ll provide you with the five questions you need to ask yourself when you’re considering hiring a growth marketing agency. 

 

The Difference Between A Growth Marketing Agency and a Digital Marketing Agency

You can pursue several different solutions if you want to outsource some of your marketing efforts. You may be considering other options, such as a digital marketing agency, in addition to considering hiring a growth marketing agency. This consideration may beg the question: What is the difference between these two solutions? 

When you work with a Digital Marketing Agency, you collaborate on campaigns and strategies concerning SEO, website design, email marketing, and other marketing efforts in the digital space. Generally speaking, with a digital marketing agency, you are paying for their efforts, not necessarily for the results they produce.

A Growth Marketing Agency delivers the same services as a digital marketing agency, but in addition, they use a full-funnel approach to marketing, targeting customers at every stage of their buyer’s journey. Growth marketing is particularly popular in tech, SaaS, and B2B spaces. Working with a growth marketing agency, like Lean Labs, often feels more like a partnership, with both sides focusing on wins for the client. 

Armed with a better understanding of what growth marketing looks like, let’s look closer at the five key questions you should ask yourself when considering whether or not you should hire a growth marketing agency. 

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Do Your Goals Match Your Current Marketing Efforts?

Your first step to determining whether you should hire a growth marketing agency is to examine your organizational goals. What do you hope to achieve concerning awareness, acquisition, and more? Does your leadership team have sky-high hopes for growth in the next few quarters?

Once you have established your organization’s marketing goals and objectives, check out your current marketing efforts. What experience does your current marketing team have with efforts related to these goals? Do you have a dedicated marketing team in your organization at all? If you are in a start-up or small business, you may have only a single marketer or no dedicated marketing professionals whatsoever. 

If your leadership is expecting your marketing efforts to take your company growth to the moon and your team is fresh out of marketing astronauts, you have a mismatch on your hands. 

When To Hire a Growth Marketing Agency:

Suppose your company has sky-is-the-limit goals on marketing-related KPIs, and you don’t have the manpower or expertise on your team to match. In that case, it may be time to consider hiring an outsourced team to assist with your marketing and growth efforts. 

 

Do You Have Talent Gaps In-House?

You took a look at your in-house team in the first consideration: Take a look at them again, but this time, look at the team in terms of talent and skills gaps. 

Marketing generalists are valuable members of any team. They tend to have a broad knowledge base when it comes to marketing, but even the best marketing manager may have a tough time executing a successful campaign all on their lonesome. 

Related Read: 5 Lethal Problems that Kill Most Growth Marketing Strategies

If your organization decides to take on overly ambitious marketing goals without the right team in place, your marketers will start to feel like jugglers in a circus. The risk with juggling too many balls is. Eventually, a few of those balls will get dropped. 

At this point, you’ll also want to take a look at your competition. What do your competitors’ marketing teams look like? If they have a full-service team and you are running with two talented generalists, you’re outmanned. 

When To Hire a Growth Marketing Agency:

If your in-house team doesn’t have the know-how necessary to run a successful campaign and deliver the results you need, it may be time to consider hiring a growth marketing agency to fill those gaps.

Hiring a growth marketing agency is like hiring a full-service marketing department… but part-time. 

Is your company large enough that you need more marketing power, but not quite large enough to hire a full in-house team just yet? If your company is small but growing rapidly, a growth marketing agency can be a good in-between step for you. 

 

What is Your Budget?

Let’s talk numbers. Like any other investment, working with a growth marketing agency isn’t free. You’ll need to be prepared to put in some funds upfront. How much of your organization’s budget are you prepared to invest in marketing efforts?

It’s important to note that getting sticker-shock at the cost of hiring an agency doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t hire one. 

Related Read: Understanding Growth Marketing Agency Pricing

Your company can achieve incredible growth, but without the right marketing efforts, you’ll find it challenging to get there. 

“If you think great marketing is expensive, you should see the cost of bad marketing.”

- Kevin Barber

If you’re penny-pinching, you can likely hire an ad agency for less money upfront than you would pay a growth marketing agency. The downside here is that your ad agency gets paid whether or not you get ROI on those advertising efforts. 

In other words, it can end up being a waste of money. 

When To Hire a Growth Marketing Agency:

Hiring a growth marketing agency can cost upwards of $6k a month or more, depending on your goals and needs. That sounds like a hefty price tag, but your growth marketing agency will serve as a partner in your growth efforts, meaning they’re just as dedicated to getting your company results as you are. 

The moral of the story when it comes to budget and hiring a growth marketing agency boils down to a different question altogether:

Can you afford not to have marketing ROI?

All marketing is expensive. Shifting your internal priorities to take care of marketing in-house is expensive in terms of worker hours. Freelancers can be just as expensive, if not more so. What’s more, if neither of those efforts produces results, you’re still out the money. 

Lean Labs believes in value over profit, meaning if you don’t see a win, neither do we. In other words, growth marketing might cost more upfront but produces guaranteed wins, which is worth more in the long run. 

 

Have You Considered Your Industry?

You’ve already snooped on your competitors’ marketing teams, but what about their marketing efforts as a whole? 

Take a look at other companies in your industry. How much are they spending on marketing? If you’re competing with companies using triple the marketing budget… you’re in for a rough road ahead. 

You should also consider your industry when choosing the right growth marketing agency to partner with. For example, Lean Labs only works with tech and SaaS companies. However, we have contacts through our Get Growth partnership who work with companies across industries. 

A good growth marketing agency will take the time to refer you to a partner agency if they aren’t the best fit for your business.

When To Hire a Growth Marketing Agency:

If you’re ready to replicate what high-growth companies across industries are doing, it might be time to pull the trigger on hiring a growth marketing agency. 

 

How Fast Do You Need Growth?

You may feel like you’re ready to sprint when it comes to growth, but do you want your business to be a 100-meter dash or a marathon? 

Growth marketing requires you to think in quarter-over-quarter growth rather than in terms of what wins you can achieve by next Tuesday. This style is miles faster than throwing down efforts without guaranteed ROI, but slow and steady still wins this race. 

This isn’t to say you won’t see wins along the way. A tenet of growth marketing is the idea of working in sprints. These small, bite-sized pushes will provide you with some fast successes, but the biggest wins will take time—and patience—to achieve. 

If you’re looking for breakneck speed, you can try your hand at growth hacking instead. However, you’ll soon find that the growth you achieve with growth hacking is fleeting and unsustainable in the long run. 

When To Hire a Growth Marketing Agency:

Hire a growth marketing team if you want sustainable growth like 10x traffic and leads within a 36-month timeline. This timeline can shift faster or slower depending on the agency you choose and how much you’re able to invest in your plan upfront. Still, be prepared to think in terms of quarters when you’re working with a growth marketing agency. 

 

How To Get Started With a Growth Marketing Agency

Companies looking for rapid, sustainable, scalable growth can benefit from hiring a growth marketing agency. If you’re finding your KPI targets are a stretch for your current marketing investment and team, it may be time to explore outsourcing some marketing efforts. If you’re ready to make a wise investment, are savvy about where your industry fits into the puzzle, and are willing to be patient for big wins, hiring a growth marketing agency might be the best fit for you. 

Lean Labs is a growth marketing agency that has helped dozens of brands increase revenue by over $100M in total. To learn our tricks of the trade, check out our free resource, the Lean Labs Growth Playbook, today!

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