One of the biggest myths surrounding the practice of marketing is that every business needs to work with an agency. The argument might be that in-house marketing staff costs more, it frees up time, or agencies have the right expertise to guide your business. Either way, your business is asked to relinquish control of one of its most pivotal arms of business, and hand it off to someone else.

However, are you really able to measure your return on investment with these agencies? Agencies promise a lot, but are they actually able to deliver on their key performance indicators, and is it truly providing value for money? On the surface, it might seem like it is. But if you take a closer look, you will find that external marketing firms cannot do it better than you can.

The truth is that outside marketing firms do a poor job of marketing your business. It is not that they do not have the skill set, or the resources, but it stems more from a lack of knowledge. They do not fully understand your needs, customer demographics, buying patterns, and the million other benchmarks that your business needs to thrive. Instead of working with you to understand these different dynamics, agencies are happy to tell you what to do, and ask you to follow their formula…even if it does not quite fit.

The other issue is that outside marketing firms retain a sole focus on acquiring new customers,

With little to no focus on loyalty. Customer retention is fundamental part of business, since it reinforces that your business is doing what it should be doing — serving customers well, and providing them with a consistent experience. We’ve written previously on the topic of customer retention versus new customer acquisition, found here. It is worth reading to get a sense of the opportunity present, and why retention is a crucial part of a business and its overall success.

When it comes down to it, external marketing firms will ask you for a lot of resources, and will not deliver exactly the results you will need. These firms end up being costly, ineffective, and lack quantifiable results. You can spend your time working with them, explaining your business, and all its challenges and find that the solutions they are deriving are not implementable, and certainly not scalable.

The best way to move forward? Invest in marketing technology, rather than a marketing agency.

Taking control of your own customers / marketing efforts using technology is more effective, increase loyalty and repeat business. You know your business best, and having the right technology in place enables you to make data-driven decisions tailor-made for your business — not someone else’s.