Marketing is Still Hard, Agencies Are Here to Stay

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Posted: March 21, 2013 | Modern Marketing

At Marketo, we often say that we’ve made the technology easy, but marketing is still hard. Working with a strong agency partner, either by outsourcing the entire solution to them, or using their skills on the marketing side of things can significantly shorten the time for success and improve overall results.

Agencies have evolved and are well versed in helping customers tackle many of the problems that modern marketers face today. Take a look at our recent ebook Technology and the Evolution of the Marketing Agency for more information. Customers often ask what different types of services agencies offer that can help with their lead generation efforts. Below are examples of the typical value-added services that agencies often provide.

Marketing Strategy

Given the power behind marketing automation software solutions, clients now need to think more thoroughly and strategically about who they are targeting. What is the buying process for that buyer and how can they optimize the prospect’s journey? Agencies now understand the power behind marketing automation and can help lead the client to the right strategy to create leads, opportunities and close deals.  They help create strategies by building the bonds of friendship between you and your customers. An example of an integrated marketing agency that specializes in creating this sort of strategy is Eric Mower + Associates.  Leverage an agency well versed in marketing automation to help you develop your full strategy.

Data Quality

When clients ask me what some of the hurdles are to quickly executing a demand generation effort, I quickly point to data quality.  In order to know who to target, you need to know about those leads. You need to ask questions like what industry are they in? How many employees do they have?  What is the individual’s title or role?  Where are they located?  Accurate information about leads enables you to effectively target your prospects in your sweet spot, and allows you to deliver relevant, timely information that increases your conversions.  Agencies like Ryan Partnership focus their efforts on capturing the data and building consumer relationships.

Content Strategy and Creation

Lauren Goldstein, Babcock & Jenkins says that “All great marketing starts with a conversation…”  Agencies can help develop and guide those conversations, plus they can help build out the content that will move the prospects down the buyer’s path.  Typically, agencies will help clients think through the right content needed for early, mid and late stage buying and focus on the right content needed for each buyer persona.

Sales & Marketing Alignment and Process Development

The buying process has fundamentally changed with the advent of the internet.  Businesses and consumers are researching their issues and solutions on their own rather than engaging with a sales organization.  Marketing and sales are no longer two separate processes, but now one continuum. We call it the revenue cycle.  Now Sales and Marketing must be aligned.  They must use common definitions and figure out how to track and pass leads down this cycle.  Agencies like MarketStar have developed outsourced sales and marketing solutions.  They understand these business processes and can help companies align to produce outstanding results.

Campaign Execution

Strong campaign execution is a crucial element of the overall marketing strategy, particularly if a customer has marketing automation and other technology solutions. Many agencies have built out capabilities around executing campaigns on behalf of their clients.  TractionOnDemand is an example of an agency that specializes in campaign execution. The advantage for the client is that an agency has a lot of experience and can utilize best practices for different campaigns. Plus, most agencies can benchmark the results so the client can really understand the effectiveness of their message and sales follow up.

Technology is becoming more accessible, but marketing is still hard.  Agencies are a wonderful resource for clients who want to quickly drive success.  Want to learn more? Take a look at our new ebook Technology and the Evolution of the Marketing Agency.

Amy Guarino is the VP of Global Channel Sales at Marketo, where she specializes in building indirect sales channels in the marketing space.

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Marketing is Still Hard, Agencies Are Here to Stay

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