Does Your Start-Up Need Agency Support?

Greg Snow-Wasserman
Greg Snow-Wasserman
January 14, 2021
8 minute read

Bringing in new customers early and often is usually the deciding factor between a new startup growing into an established brand and that company withering and shutting down in the course of a few months. New customers provide your startup with critical early revenue, social proof and product use cases that will feed future growth. 

We’ve covered in the past how you can get new customers for your startup without a marketing team. But if you’re successful a those efforts (congratulations!), you will eventually need the support of dedicated marketers.

Which means you’re faced with a critical decision: do you spend the time and effort to build your in-house team? Or do you take on the cost of an agency?

And when do you know a marketing agency is right for your new startup?

Your Start-Up Needs Agency Support When…

How do you know when you need an agency for your new startup? This decision, like most other choices you’ll make as an entrepreneur, comes down to issues of time, money and capacity.

You want to scale quickly

One of the biggest challenges facing entrepreneurs trying to establish their startups is getting everything up and running. Trying to build your product, establish effective business processes and take care of all the administrative tasks that come with running a business will necessarily prevent you from acquiring customers at any sort of scale.

At this point in your business, the only way to increase the output of your commercial teams is to increase team members. And it takes, on average, 35 days to hire a marketing assistant and 55 days to hire a marketing manager. This doesn’t include the time it takes to fully onboard and train your new employees. 

That adds up to maybe months of time lost when trying to build out a full marketing team.

You need to move faster than this when you’re trying to establish a new business.

You need to focus on operations

Digital marketing is important. Vital, actually, in our opinion. However, on a day-to-day basis for a business owner it’s not going to feel immediately vital to their startup. 

Who can spend time writing a blog post that won’t bring in a new customer for weeks (or maybe even months) when you have probably a dozen things that need to get done yesterday. 

As a business owner, your time is more valuable and better spent making strategic decisions for your company than on front-line marketing and sales tasks.

If it helps, think about it in monetary terms: does it make sense to have someone making north of $100,000 spending an hour creating content for social media?

You lack necessary marketing expertise

Unless your SaaS startup makes a marketing tool or platform, it’s likely you’re an expert in something other than digital marketing. And digital marketing can have a high barrier to entry when you consider all of the various channels, technologies and tactics that you need to know in order to build and optimize an effective funnel.

Even if you’ve dedicated the time to learning best practices and take on marketing yourself, your best efforts could still fall flat right out of the gate. 

If this sounds like you, or a situation you’d like to avoid, it’s time to hand off digital marketing to an expert agency.

The Benefits of Start-Up Marketing with an Agency

One or more of the situations described above very likely apply to the situation your currently find yourself and your business in. In all probability all three apply.

It’s apparent it’s time to bring on help for marketing your new SaaS startup. 

But should you outsource or do it all in house? What are the benefits of hiring a marketing agency over building your own team?

It keeps your costs low

If you’re looking to hire full-time marketers for your startup, you probably need to start with a manager. Digital marketing managers don’t come cheap: the average marketing manager’s total compensation adds up to more than $120,000 per year!

InTouch Marketing has an excellent infographic that breaks down the full cost of hiring a full in-house marketing team:

All in, you’re looking at costs of almost $40,000 per month in salaries to build a full in-house marketing team.

And that cost is only going to go up with average marketing salaries increasing by more than 10% each year. Depending on specialty, some go up by almost 20% annually!

Agencies, on the other hand, will most likely cost between $3,000 and $5,000 per month. 

Outsourcing your startup’s digital marketing to an agency will save your new business hundreds of thousands per year.

You get a marketing full team at once

Digital marketing is a diverse field that requires a diverse set of skills in order to do it effectively. A fully-fledge in-house marketing team should include people who can complete these tasks:

  • Marketing manager
  • Web designer
  • Content and writing
  • Graphic designer
  • Social media
  • Paid inbound marketing
  • Organic inbound marketing
  • Partnerships and affiliates

While it’s technically possible to find someone who can truly do it all, it’s more realistic that you’ll have to hire up to five or more people to really get your startup’s marketing done.

And as we mentioned earlier, that’s days and days lost to the hiring process.

Engaging a marketing agency, on the other hand, gives your business access to all of those skillsets in a single hire. Even better, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re hiring the best people for the job. The agency has done the vetting and training for you.

By hiring an agency, your startup will have access to a whole team of experts with years of experience who will set your strategy and implement your campaigns in a matter of days or weeks, instead of months.

Agencies have their own tech stacks

After salaries, technology is going to be a major cost for your SaaS startup. You’ll need tools for:

  • Paid advertising such as Google Ads, Bing Ads, YouTube or display networks
  • Search engine optimization
  • Social media content planning, creation and  promotion
  • Public relations
  • Content marketing, research and copywriting
  • Website analytics
  • Email marketing

The costs associated with these tools’ monthly subscription fees add up fast. There are also costs on top of that associated with integrating them into your existing technology stack. You also can’t forget the time lost to finding, researching and choosing each tool you need.

And to top it all off, there’s still a chance you don’t choose the right technology simply because you aren’t completely familiar with the martech landscape.

Digital marketing agencies, on the other hand, are expertly familiar with the tools, technology and platforms available and what they can and can’t do. This puts them in a much better position to know what your specific business needs and which solutions will fill those needs. 

You’ll be able to rest assured that your tech stack is built specifically for your purpose with all the features your startup business needs and that you aren’t paying for expensive features that you don’t need.

Your marketing agency will also already know how to use these tools and how to get the most value out of each of them.

They will modernize your strategy

Digital marketing is constantly change and evolving. What’s considered best practice in 2018 will be completely out of favor by the end of 2019. For SEO, Google released one algorithm update in December of 2020 and will release a second in January 2021. 

So things change fast.

Your startup’s marketing strategy needs to keep pace with these sorts of updates and developments and change accordingly. For big companies with a lot of employees, this can be delegated to marketing managers or team leads.

For a lean business just getting off the ground, maintaining a modern marketing strategy will require you to constantly stay up to date with all the changes that could possibly impact your marketing channels and sales funnel.

If you engage the services of an agency, however, you can offload this responsibility to them. 

By working with a digital marketing agency, your business’ strategy will always be kept up to date with the latest best practices. And you’ll know these best practices have been tested and refined through their work on other clients.

Hit the Ground Running with Marketing-as-a-Service

There are two main reasons entrepreneurs cite when keeping marketing teams in-house when establishing a startup. The first being price, the second being that they trust in-house teams to understand the business and brand inside and out.

As we’ve established, it’s actually much (and often much, much) cheaper to outsource a startup’s full marketing to an agency. 

We at TwoEars also believe you don’t necessarily have to forego working with people you can trust with your brand when you hire an agency.

We’ve designed our Marketing-as-a-Service offering especially for startups who have built a killer product, but not the team to market and sell it. TwoEars clients get all the benefits of agency support (lower costs, full marketing expertise in one go, tech stacks fit to purpose and a modern strategy) while also gaining a fully engaged partner who is dedicated to knowing your business and its unique strengths and challenges inside and out.

Interested in taking on a partner to support your startup’s marketing? Want to learn more about how Marketing-as-a-Service will get your new business acquiring new customers quickly? Drop us a line at today!

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