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a fork in the road
Ready NorthJanuary 10, 20234 min read

Digital Marketing Agency: An Ongoing Relationship or One-Off Project?

You're at a fork in the road—do you need to hire a marketing agency for ongoing or one-time support?

The good news is that you're on the right track by simply asking this question. You've identified the need to prioritize marketing to help strengthen the foundation of your business and improve sales

To help you answer the question, we've outlined the most important considerations for companies contemplating hiring a marketing agency below. Let's dive in.

What does a marketing agency do?

A marketing agency will help you make the most of your marketing budget by creating and implementing marketing activities to help you achieve your business goals. These activities may include helping you determine what marketing areas to invest in, which platforms will reach your target audience, and how to craft messaging that will resonate with your ideal customer. Additionally, marketing agencies bring another expertise to the table—creativity. With a sound understanding of your company, industry, and buyer's journey, an agency can help determine which creative mediums will speak to your audience the best to persuade them to take action.

In what capacity can I work with a marketing agency? 

Suppose you're looking for support from a digital marketing agency to help you meet the goals of your modern business. Generally speaking, there are two ways to engage with marketing agencies: through one-off projects or an ongoing partnership.  

Project-Based Partnerships

When considering a time-consuming project, such as launching or redesigning a website, hiring a marketing agency may be the best use of your resources. Agencies are equipped with teams specializing in the many skills needed to complete a project of this magnitude and can prioritize the work to align with company timelines. If a website launch or redesign is on your list, hiring a marketing agency to handle a one-off project could be the right move. 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing. If you're looking for a more customized solution to a unique problem, engaging with an agency on a project basis may make the most sense. Other examples of one-time project work include:

  • Onboarding to a new CRM like HubSpot
  • Optimization of HubSpot portal/s
  • Developing a content strategy or lead nurturing program
  • Creating and executing a new product/service activation strategy

Ongoing Partnerships

On the other hand, when evaluating your company's annual marketing plans, you may identify a need for ongoing support from a marketing agency. 

In 2023, companies will dedicate roughly 13.6% of their total budget to marketing, according to Deloitte's Annual CMO Survey. If this sounds aligned with your marketing budget, do you and your team have the capacity and expertise to use that budget to its full advantage? If not, using your marketing budget to hire professionals whose sphere of genius is none other than marketing is a SMART move. 

For example, at Ready North, we partner with companies on an ongoing basis to develop a systematic approach to identifying their company's marketing goals, implementing a strategy to achieve them, and regularly reporting the results and pivoting when necessary. Every annual partnership includes a goal-based strategy, execution plan, and identification of critical projects that will occur each month.

Should I hire a marketing agency if I have an internal marketing team?

Overseeing your company's marketing efforts can be tricky—even if you have an internal team. An agency can eliminate some of these day-to-day challenges. It will likely help you hit your goals faster, more efficiently, and for a potentially lesser cost compared to staffing an in-house marketing team. Furthermore, bringing in an external team can provide a new perspective. The well-known saying, "We've always done it that way," can plague a company for years. Bringing in a fresh set of eyes can open a new world. 

Consider the following questions to help determine if your internal marketing team could benefit from agency support. 

  • Does my internal marketing team have the necessary skill set and capacity to activate on our marketing strategy? 
  • Are my company's marketing efforts driving the desired results?
  • Do I have marketing budget available to allocate to an agency?
  • Would my team appreciate added support from an agency?

As a next step, if your answers indicate that partnering with a marketing agency could fit your team, we recommend identifying the specific areas where you'd like the agency's support. Are you lacking measurable marketing results? Is there a particular product or service that needs more attention than your team can dedicate? Does your marketing plan need a complete overhaul? Once identified, you can search for an agency proficient in addressing those specific services. 

Your 2023 marketing plan

It should come as no surprise that you get from marketing what you put into it. Therefore, whether you decide to work with a marketing agency on a project or ongoing basis, you will be more successful if your activities are rooted in a strategic and comprehensive annual marketing plan. Take your marketing ideas from concept to reality with this completely customizable free planning timeline template.


Offer to download a free marketing plan timeline with previews of the template on an ipad and laptop


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