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Episode 2 | Marketing Employee vs Marketing Agency

Published on October 20, 2023


Episode Summary

How do you know whether you need a marketing agency?

In our second episode, hosts Todd and Laura Laire explore one of the most prominent issues that companies face today: hiring a marketing agency or hiring in-house employees or freelancers.

While employees can perform well with certain tasks, agencies have the manpower (and a wide range of expertise) to do it all. Instead of spending time supervising and managing employees (often with a lot of turnover), agencies take the reins to all your marketing efforts, ultimately freeing up your time and lowering your stress levels.

Tune in to discover what you can expect from working with an agency, the pros and cons of working with marketing employees, and which option is ultimately best for your business.


Laura Laire: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Married 2 Marketing podcast, where our lifelong love affair with marketing is second only to our commitment to each other. 

Todd Laire: [00:00:06] I'm Todd Laire, CEO and co-founder of LAIRE Digital. 

Laura Laire: [00:00:10] And I'm Laura Laire, VP of Creative Strategy, co-founder of LAIRE Digital, and Todd’s better half. 

Todd Laire: [00:00:15] Together, we found success in business and in life by combining our talents, entrepreneurial spirit, and creativity.

Laura Laire: [00:00:21] Whether you're a marketing newbie or a seasoned pro, Married 2 Marketing is a podcast that'll have you flexing your creative muscles, pushing boundaries, and thinking outside the box. 

Todd Laire: [00:00:30] Our mission is to equip you with knowledge, tools, and strategies that will skyrocket your brand's success. Let's dive in.

Laura Laire: [00:00:40] Today's episode is on hiring a marketing employee versus hiring a marketing agency, which is best for your company? 

Todd Laire: [00:00:48] Yeah, and a lot of companies, you know, come to that crossroads of really not knowing. I would say most not knowing what to do. And I would say most companies, their only experience are a lot of times most of their experience is around hiring an internal team and there's various experience levels there. 

So some you know, I've had marketers at work internally in the past and maybe they're in a gap with someone owning that in their company. Other companies have never had a marketing person and they don't know where to start and they just start and hope that it works out. And other companies have tried marketing employees and realized that they need maybe more expertise or instant expertise, as I like to say, and want to go the route of hiring potentially a consultant or a full one, you know, full-service marketing agency. 

Laura Laire: [00:01:45] Well, how do you really know? I mean, that's a big question. Like, how do you know? Because there are positives and there are negatives. And so let's talk about some of the positives here. All three of them, First of all, is if you hire a marketing agency, then you're going to be exposed to a variety of skills and resources. When you hire one person, you're, you know, you're kind of stuck with whatever they say actually, that they're good at or whatever they have proven to be good at. But when you're hiring an agency, typically you're hiring between ten or, you know, 20 at minimum, people who could be working on your account. So you're getting a lot more access to a lot more skill sets and individuals. 

The second thing is it's low maintenance. If you're hiring an agency, it really allows your company's leaders to be hands-off compared to managing an in-house marketing team. And let's face it, time is money. It takes a lot of time to manage people, especially when sometimes you can have a revolving door. As soon as you get somebody trained, they're out the door and you're starting back at square one. 

When you hire an agency, they don't leave. They're always there and they're going to take care of all those needs for you to make sure that you have the best account manager, the best designer, the best writer, everybody that you need on your team. Number three is it's cost-effective. Now, if you really look at salary benefits, and overhead administrative costs, you're going to spend a lot, much more than what an actual agency would cost you. And so from our perspective, let the experts do the hard lifting for you. It's going to save you time, it's going to save you money and it's going to save you headaches. 

Todd Laire: [00:03:18] So going back to that earlier question, like what's best for my company, hiring a marketing agency or marketing an employee? And the answer's kind of vague, but simple. And the answer is simple. It depends and it depends on where you're at with your current infrastructure and the amount of internal staff that you have or support. But also it depends on where you want to go as far as growth and increasing revenue within a year or over a period of time. 

I will say most of the companies that we talk to that are contemplating hiring an employee or hiring an agency, and we're part of their due diligence. Most of them seem like they're eventually going to have both. They're going to have an internal team that handles marketing, but they're also going to outsource expertise, strategy, advanced implementation to experts that do that on a daily basis for others. So, you know, something to think about if you're growing, you know, and wanting to grow predictably over time, you're going to incorporate both. 

Laura Laire: [00:04:29] And we actually suggest that you do. It's a much better setup for us. It's more efficient for us if we have somebody that we're working with on the marketing side so that you, the CEO, or the entrepreneur that owns the business isn't having to get on marketing calls every week. 

So it's the preferred way for us to work. But we do understand, you know, having that direct marketing person that we work with, you can never have somebody that's an expert at everything. They may be good at social media or they may be able to use AI to write a blog for you, but they don't understand SEO or they don't understand how to build their list, or they don't understand workflows. More often than not, they don't know what to do with the leads when they come in. 

How do I get into the salespeople? How do I get quality leads to the salespeople? I'm getting leads, but they're not quality. How do we follow up with them? There's a lot of missing holes when it comes to your CRM, when it comes to the creative side, if they're good at all of these things, we'd love to know who they are because it's really hard. We have separate people who focus on, you know, the CRM, people who are designers, people who are writers. And there's really a difference between long-form and short-form writers. You're usually generally either good at one or the other. So you want somebody that's heading up your marketing that has a diverse set of skills. But it definitely will save you a lot of time to be able to outsource to somebody who already has a team that can assign that work to for you. 

Todd Laire: [00:06:05] Yeah, it's something else too. You mentioned it, but it was just kind of off the cuff. And I know what you were saying, but I want to make it clear there is no hands-off solution when it comes to marketing. Like, if you have an employee very hands-on, if you have a marketing agency that's experienced in implementation and execution and a high level, they're not hands-off either. 

But, you know, as you know, we're both parents, and tying this back to having a family and being married, you know, when you have really, really young kids that are heavily dependent on everything that you do for them, you know, you don't have a lot of freedom, but you have freedom in other areas. But as they get older and they get more mobile and more independent, you don't have any more freedom than you did before. You're just exchanging some freedoms for others. And that's very similar to how you can view that through, you know, hiring a marketing employee or building a marketing team internally or hiring a marketing agency externally. 

Laura Laire: [00:07:10] I think that it goes from actually chasing them down and trying to get them to stay out of things in your house. And now we spend all of our time trying to get our pre-teen and teen out of their room. So it kind of changes over time. 

Todd Laire: [00:07:27] So I think, you know, when you find that, let's just say you're hot, you're replacing them an internal marketing person and you are open or you do see the vision and having experts as well. Like maybe part of your plan is not hiring an entire marketing team just yet, but hiring a main point of contact somebody to own marketing in your organization and then, you know, incorporate other solutions down the road. 

What are some keys to success that we've found, not only building an internal marketing agency at our agency, our internal marketing team, but at a company? I could tell you that the best thing that you can do is be very clear with a great killer job description, you know, listing what the day-to-day that's going to be a question that they ask. What is the day-to-day look like at my role? What does success look like? Be very clear. You know.

Laura Laire: [00:08:35] And skills. 

Todd Laire: [00:08:36] Yes, skills are important. Like what softwares, what methodologies, what programs they need to be familiar with. Look for that. 

Laura Laire: [00:08:46] I think too, there's needs like I need for you to be able to do X, Y, and Z. But then there's wants or pluses, like if you can do X, Y, and z, this is required for your job. It's a bonus if you understand these. I think a lot oftentimes we forget that there's, you know, there's parameters. It has to be all of this. But if you have this and you go ahead and list that out, it makes it easier. If you've got three or four people that you're looking at to go, okay, this person has all my bonus requirements. So they're going to be able to be a T-shaped person, meaning not only are they going to be able to work with the agency that we're working with, but they're also going to be able to help us design or help with writing or help, you know, with the CRM because they have HubSpot experience or those, you know, we oftentimes will put that on our applications. HubSpot certs, a plus, right? 

It may or may not be required based on the job itself, but the more detailed that you can be in what you would like, what you have to have, and then what would be a dream, then it makes it easier in this competitive hiring market to find the right person for what your needs specifically are, because everybody's going to say that they're good at marketing. But we really want to see that we'd even go so far as to have them do a project. I know Todd likes to talk pretty heavily about why we require a project, because we don't want to just hear that you believe you're great. 

We're not just going to call the, you know, the resources that you have and referrals who are going to tell us that you're great, but I actually want to see that you're great. If you say that you can write social, then I want you to write some social. If you're telling me you could write a blog, I want you to write a blog. I want to see that work in action. If you're going to be working inside of HubSpot, I want you to build a workflow for me, create some strategy for me. Seeing that in a job description. Having them do a project oftentimes is make or break for us. They may sound great, Look great. Client facing. Everything's there. Check, check, check, check. But when it gets to the project, strategies missing. And that's quite often the most important part of that. But also culture. 

We do also when we're hiring and we encourage anybody that we work with to hire for culture, you know, that we're a they have a positive mental attitude. They don't focus on the dime is really hard to work with somebody who is not solution-oriented but remains problem-focused where every time we're talking, we're talking in circles about the problems versus here's the solutions are coming to the table with solutions. So we highly recommend that we hire for culture first and that we see their skills in action because oftentimes we get introduced to the marketing person and nobody's happy. The CEO is not happy, the marketing director is not happy. The person that we're working with is not happy, and you really don't want to hang on to the wrong person if they're in the wrong seat for too long.

Todd Laire: [00:11:42] Yeah, absolutely. I'll tell you too. And I think this goes for just about every job role that you ever, you know, hire for or put out there. To get applicants applying at your company is to put a salary range, you know, depending on obviously experience. But you can waste a lot of time. You can waste a lot of people's time by being vague and not posting that. I would say eight out of ten job ads that I see or open positions that I see with descriptions do not have a salary range. And so you can get the gamut from people that have, you know, no experience or barely enough experience. 

And that's another thing is asking for the amount of years and experience that you're looking for. But you'll get all wide-ranging people applying and it's an incredible waste of everyone's time. So put a salary range there. The other thing that I run into, this kind of turns it into tips for hiring a marketing ploy. But I think it's important. We've had the most success and our clients have had the most success running ads on LinkedIn. LinkedIn's platform is very, very easy to use. They have pre-built job descriptions that you can edit that gives you kind of a head start if you don't have a written job description to work from. 

I highly recommend that you do. But nonetheless, LinkedIn's platform can be really helpful there and spending a minimal amount of money. You know, LinkedIn will definitely tell you and recommend that you spend the most amount of money to get your ad in front of the most amount of people in a short amount of time. Their platform, their algorithm will put your job out in front of a lot of people, even spending at a minimal level. 

So it might say you need to spend $60 a day and you might think, okay, I could do that for a week. That's more than enough. What I found is, is spending the least amount that LinkedIn will allow you and you can post a job ad for free and let it run that way and get success just by running it for free. But putting some dollars behind it, you might recommend 40, 50, $60 a day. There's a little scale, though, you know, a little indicator and you can slide the scale down and I slide it down to like $6 a day and get tons of applicants. 

Laura Laire: [00:14:06] Yeah, we'll still get several hundred a day, even at $5. 

Todd Laire: [00:14:09] I saw the last ad that we ran for a mid-level marketer, five, six, seven years of experience, well versed in like 3 to 5 subject areas within marketing. We spent a total of $102 and got 100 applicants. Now, here's where the math comes in. Out of the 100 applicants, 10 were a good fit for the role that we had open. So really, you know, 10% of the total applicants were who we were looking for. But out of the ten that were a good fit, five went through our process, had second interviews, did an interview assessment interview exercise, like you mentioned, Laura, and we ended up hiring one of them. 

But out of the the applicants we had, we could have hired two or three of them because at that stage they were so, so good and one is actually available and was able to start like the next Monday. Whereas most people, you know, that are in a current job need 2 to 3 weeks notice and then you can start them after that. But just goes to show you don't need to spend a lot of money. You know, LinkedIn overstates that you need to get exposure and you need to spend the max amount of money. 

And the other thing too, is applicants have alerts set up every time a job ad is posted that fits what they're looking for, which LinkedIn's, you know, the ad or advertiser doesn't doesn't say that. The whole program doesn't say that at all. So you get applicants as soon as you post a job. You'll get applicants within the first minute that it goes live. Apply for your job because they get the alert, they see it, it fits and it applies to them. 

So that's my advice on going the marketing employee route. Have well-defined objectives for the first 30, 60, and 90 days key performance indicators like where we need your help increasing website traffic, we need your help editing content that comes in from our subject matter experts. We need your help running our paid media accounts. Obviously those applicants have paid media experience that you need to continue those ads to run and not be wasted as well as generate results. 

Laura Laire: [00:16:27] Let's talk again about marketing employee. So if there is turnover and let's face it, in marketing, there definitely can be turnover in a six months or in a year. And when you have that turnover, one of the things that you lose is the education. Because once an agency knows what your mission and your goals are, the team is going to handle the implementation and the execution of the plan. So you don't have to continue to educate every single time. 

Like, you know, we have a builder that we've been working with for five-plus years. So they definitely have had their marketing role. Who has turned over with us, the, you know, our contact person. We've always been in contact with the CEO, but they don't have to train us again and again and again because we know them. We know their business. A lot of our clients that we've had for years on end, we know who they are and our team knows who they are. So you still have control over the goals and the plans, but the agency takes over the implementation and there's not that consistent training that has to happen every time there's a new employee. It's also cost-effective. 

It actually cost a lot to hire a new employee. It's not just spending money on LinkedIn and running the ads, but there's a lot of time that's going into interviewing and taking the time. But also there's training. You know, there's a couple of months before somebody actually really, truly knows what's going on. I'd say it's probably 90 days. It's easier to keep a great employee than it is to go out and get a new one. But we know that that's not always the best-case scenario, but it's definitely more cost-effective. If you're a marketing department of one, it's going to be a lot more cost-effective to work with an agency then to continue interviewing, hiring, firing, and that consistent turnover that happens there. 

I do want to talk about the other side, like what's the downfall of hiring a marketing agency? Well, number one, agencies do have other clients. Even though LAIRE maintains a small roster. We do have other clients and we do want to give you our full attention, but we can't all the time. Although we do set aside and give you what we guarantee to begin with. So when we decide right, this retainer is going to have this set amount, you know, we're going to meet once a week or we're going to be every other week. And these are the things that we're going to deliver. Our delivery is based on what your goals are, what your revenue goals are, what the lead generation that you're looking for. 

So we may not be there 24 hours, seven days a week, or 40 hours a week like a marketing employee is. But we deliver exactly what we agreed upon, whether it's a specific amount of revenue or goals and the amount of time that you request that we spend, that's exactly what we do. There's also the learning curve. We do need some time. 

Todd Laire: [00:19:18] Same with a marketing employee though.

Laura Laire: [00:19:20] Yeah, it's the same with the marketing plan. Everybody, it doesn't matter if you're going to work with an agency or a new hire, they have to learn your business. And so we immediately, when we're bringing on or onboarding a new client, we let them know that first 30 to 90 days, depending upon the size and complexity of the business, we have to be onboarded to learn who you are, learn your goals, learn your processes, get into your workflows. Often we will audit everything you know, audit your content. We think we find out everything that we need to know to be effective. The good thing is with an agency, if you stay with the same agency for a while, then you're not going to have to consistently onboard like you would an employee. So there are a few small pitfalls to hiring an agency, but there's much more advantages to working with an agency. 

Todd Laire: [00:20:07] Yeah, and going back to, you know, the answer, which is better, you know, and a good answer being it depends. You've got a mixture of both. And, you know, I see these job ads sometimes, like, you know, like a CEO pretty far removed maybe from, you know, a middle management role, but yet they post it or, you know, a C-level person posts and like they need to have ten years experience and they need to be an SEO wizard. They also need to be a copywriting pro. They also need to be a graphic design guru. They also need to be experienced and paid media. You know, podcasting, all these things. And, you know, seasoned marketers always reply or comment on the post and say, that's not a marketing employee. That's not a marketing role. That's a marketing department. 

So, you know, looking at, you know, you probably do have all of those needs, but it really, you know, you're looking for a unicorn. Yeah, rarely, if at all, ever exists. So put the 3 to 5 main areas that you want to have in-house and potentially that's managing vendors, managing partners, marketing agencies, consultants, freelancers, in addition to working with subject matter experts inside the organization or the company. But then, you know, those other things that are outside that you need can be fulfilled with a marketing agency partner. 

And, you know, some companies really like the outsourced model or the gig, the gig economy, you know, where you're bringing in, you know, freelancers or contractors to fill different roles. And that's kind of what's nice about a marketing agency, is that they've got all those relationships. They have people on staff in-house that they assigned to a client to work with, you know, a point of contact in the organization that handles marketing or they're working with an operations manager or they're working with leadership directly or owner operators. So partnering with a marketing agency, you know, there's things that you want to look for. 

One is, are they experienced in your industry? You know, do they have not only are they experienced, but do they have client success examples, case studies that they can share and they can show you? That's a big one. You know, you mentioned concentration of clients and having other clients. I view that as a good thing. You know, it's if you're viewing it through the lens of like, well, if I hire a marketing ploy, I've got somebody dedicated. Yeah. And ideally, you know, they're clocking in for 40 hours, but they're not working a full 40 hours a week. Let's be honest. You know, they take time off for appointments and lunch and breaks and things like that. But then, you know, working with a marketing agency, I view it being a positive that they have other clients because you're leveraging successes that have been tested out, you know, either with other client campaigns or a marketing agency should be really adept in running great marketing campaigns for themselves. 

So we like to say, you know, at LAIRE, we eat our own cooking, you know, that our cobbler's kids have shoes because we know that we've got to be our own best case study in order to attract the level of client that we want. So we can show, you know, regardless of industry, like we ran this kind of customer win-back campaign for this client. And it's totally different industry than yours, We can tailor it and customize it and do the same for you. And it has a high level of succeeding because we've experienced success already with it. So I like to view that and use that in examples of how it's a good thing to have an agency that's investing in their own marketing and has other clients as well. 

Laura Laire: [00:24:14] And we're pretty good cooks.

Todd Laire: [00:24:14] And we're great cooks, I should say, you’re a great cook. I’m okay.


Laura Laire: [00:24:21] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Who's the cook and who's the sous chef? 

Todd Laire: [00:24:25] Exactly, exactly. 

Commercial Break: 

Laura Laire: [00:24:27] Are you wasting ad spend? Are your leads dried up? Website not converting? Listen you're busy and we know it. In just 20 minutes we’ll grade your website, identify lead-generation opportunities, and discuss how to grow your revenue. Ready to learn more? Get expert advice. lairedigital.com/talk-to-todd and we’ll put the link in the show notes.

End Commercial Break.

Well I was going to say that the thing that I think is important here that we actually haven't talked about is cost. Like, it's great if you can afford to hire a digital marketing employee or a team but if you can't, an agency actually is the better way to go because it's going to be a lot more cost-effective. But what you'll find out is the combination of the two is usually what works best at most. 

And with some businesses, it's not uncommon for them to have one or two internal marketing employees, possibly even three or four, but still partner with an agency. That is where you get where you ensure that your employees are not overloaded and that all the pieces are carried out in your marketing plan where you're not missing anything specific, anything that's technical, that you're marketing employee – because I have found in my experience in working with marketers at companies is they really are wearing 45 hats and they've got their hands in just about everything. And so having time to be strategic is difficult. So that's where your, it's just money well spent when you have both, if you can afford to do that.

Todd Laire: [00:25:59] Yeah. Yeah. And with that, I mean, you know, maybe you've got the budget to hire a mid-level potentially, you know, beginning senior level person, somebody that's got several years experience and you've got budget beyond that for a little beyond entry-level person to help that mid-level to beginning senior level person. And I've found that it's best to take that ancillary budget for help and put that with an expertise, you know, with an agency or a consultant or fractional person or, you know, a contractor or what have you. 

The advantage is, I would say, you know, from an agency standpoint is, you know, for what it costs you to hire a mid-level marketing employee, you can get a team of usually several people, if not, you know, a few 3 to 5 people working on your company's marketing in an agency that, yes, has other clients, but you're not just getting one person's input or output, I should say. You're getting multiple inputs and multiple outputs for the price of what it would cost you to hire one person and potentially not even that experienced person. And you might be working at an agency side with 3 to 4 people that have all ten years of experience that have some go-tos right away, and then that internal person can manage the traffic and manage the flow and the expectations and the deliverables as well as the reporting to management or leadership or what have you. 

So, you know, I help companies or we help companies make that decision and determination. Sometimes, you know, a marketing person like you mentioned or leaves the organization, and let's say, you know, they've been a client of ours and we have experience. Sometimes we know the dynamics within that company is they need somebody to own marketing internally. Other times, you know, if you've got an active leadership or management team that owns different parts of marketing, it may make sense to not have somebody on marketing because other people in the organization are owning different pieces and parts. 

They just need expert, you know, expertise and best practice, but then also execution and implementation. They need the hands to pull the levers and launch the campaigns and all of that. So, you know, and again, like startups and others that come into a company and they have funding, like immediately they go to we need to build an internal marketing team and it's kind of a blind shotgun scatter approach to throwing money at human capital and human resources with no… 

Laura Laire: [00:28:51] It's like throwing mud at the wall and seeing what sticks.

Todd Laire: [00:28:53] Yeah. And they think these people are going to be around forever, you know? And then the other thing is, is especially with start-ups series A, series B, they get, you know, a lot of money and they put it all into human capital and build an internal marketing team. And then their next round of funding dries up or it's way less than they need it to be. And not only does it stunts their growth, but it may hinder and might cut them off at the knees where they have to actually lay people off, which absolutely sucks. 

And you know, of course, these are all, you know, founders and people on a leadership team that got, you know, in their LinkedIn bio, “We're hiring and you know, join our team” and all that. And they just laid off dozens of people at their organization and those people flood back into the marketplace. So that's messy. 

Laura Laire: [00:29:43] When you're excited, you know, we're going to the moon and that you're super excited. Sometimes there's not as much thought as there needs to be strategy behind hiring. As a matter of fact, not just the marketing, but who we're actually hiring. It's not bodies that count, it's skills.

Todd Laire: [00:30:00] Yeah, and you said something earlier that’s critical and it definitely is an advantage in a lot of circumstances. But that is, you know, like I was saying, building the internal team, you know, if your culture isn't sound, expectations are unclear. These marketers will not stick around. They will be looking for a new job within months of starting. I see it all the time. We get job applications for people that join software companies notorious for software startups that, you know, I sold a pipe dream and I came on and it was an absolute s* show. And so now they're looking for structure. 

Laura Laire: [00:30:40] But well, an organization that is the number one compliment I think that we get at LAIRE is the organization structure behind reviews, behind feedback from the team, you know, the organization and project management. There's a lot that goes on and it really takes years to develop. And it's difficult for a new company to have all of that in place in the beginning. So it's kind of one of those things that people tend to leave quickest for is because they're not organized. And so, you know, when you're getting directives and you need to do this and this, nobody knows where anything's at because there's no history yet. So it's more difficult to be productive. 

Todd Laire: [00:31:18] Right. And about what you said earlier was, you know, your marketing agency, you know, your solid partner isn't going to quit, you know, isn't going to leave you. And that's very advantageous for a lot of organizations, regardless of, you know, lifecycle stage, you know, whether you're a startup or your established company. It's great to have an internal team, but it's also great to have a partner that knows the ins and outs of your business, that has a demonstrated ability of executing on your marketing programs and on, you know, being able to launch campaigns that are a close match to what you're looking for as far as returns and results. 

So, you know, and we've been victim to that too, with the economy. I remember the pandemic, you know, hurt about 25, 30% of our business. And what it was, too, was like some of our clients that were really negatively impacted and affected were like, we just need to pause right now, but we don't want to lose you, you know, or we just need to scale back a little bit and give us some time to figure this out. And then, you know, we can resume or whatever. So they already knew the value of keeping us. And I think that's kind of a side benefit is that they were able to put us on ice for a little bit, you know, and of course, it stressed and hurt our business, but we were able to retain key clients in key partnerships and they were able to retain a knowledge base that took time and obviously, you know, capital to develop. 

But it took us time to get to know our client and now we know him and know him well. And they were able to just bring us right back in. Not the same. When you have a marketing employee, you lay somebody off. Not only is that impactful for the individual you're laying off, but it sends a signal and a message to every person at your company, large or small, that you are not a stable organization. And you know, you can tell them and you can promise them an audience. I see this all the time with applicants who apply with us is, you know, my company laid off one person, and I know for a fact a dozen on our team and cross departments are all now looking because we don't want to be the next one to get the layoff notice. 

So, you know, that happens. But, you know, again, you lay off an employee like, oh, you know, we'll bring you back, we'll see what it looks like or, you know, whatever. They're gone. They are gone. You've impacted their security or their peace of mind and they will never return. 

Laura Laire: [00:33:54] Most people are looking for stability. And that's why when they hear that wind of hope laying somebody off, that it's a snowball effect. Everybody is concerned. Everybody starts looking at that point.

Todd Laire: [00:34:05] Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, going back to that original question, you know, what's right for my company, hiring a marketing employee or hiring a marketing agency, being crystal clear on your objectives is the starting point. But know that as you grow over time and even companies, you know, like to have these funding events and these windfalls, you know, and they're just going to build it out like know that employees don't stay. 

You know, I think the average, you know, used to be like people change jobs seven or eight times, you know, within their working career like 40 or 45 years. I would say that number is probably triple today because there's such a wide variety, you know. And then the other thing you know, which is a whole nother podcast topic on its own, but, you know, work from home, work remote, hybrid or purely in-office, you know, on-premise type of employees. So, you know, there's a whole lot a whole nother top track that related to that. And obviously, we've got a lot of experience there with all three of those options. 

But being crystal clear and your objectives being crystal clear on what you expect this person to do, what do you expect a marketing agency to do for you and the right marketing agency will give you push back, you know, if your goals are unrealistic or they just haven't seen that like we want to 300% X growth our company in the next 12 months, you know, depending on what your revenue is, that may be a complete and total pipe dream. So how can you expect anyone to, you know, to accomplish that if it's never been done before? 

But anybody telling you, yes, that's possible, we can do it. All of that, you know, they're just telling you what you want to hear, both on the marketing agency side as well as a marketing employee side. So being crystal clear and look for pushback, you should welcome that and want that because it tells you there's intelligence that can gear, you can steer you towards the right expectations to have centered around the type of growth you can expect for what you're willing to put in. And usually, that's time and budget and definitely not being hands-off.

Laura Laire: [00:36:28] Well, I believe as long as all your bases are covered, as far as your digital marketing is concerned, it doesn't really matter if you hire an agency or you hire an employee because there's challenges that come with both paths, but it's worth it, you know, to bring more people to your website and improve your business to drive revenue. I mean, that's the whole reason we are talking about this. But it is one of the biggest questions that we get asked. So we felt it was really important to address it. 

One thing I was thinking while you were talking Todd, about the employee, is would it be great if a marketing employee had case studies on their work and what they did? I mean, that's you know, as an agency, we definitely do that. We want to prove that we can return your investment back to you, the ROI. But I think it's time that I would love to see that. And if you're a marketing employee that's listening today, that's a great tip for you. Like write a case study on or have somebody else write a case study. 

Have I helped you with your case study on what you've done? Because that's what everybody's looking for. Companies are looking for, agencies are looking for. We want to see the proof that you can deliver on what we need to happen, you know, for our agency, for our clients. And as an agency, we are our own best client. You know, we don't do for our employees anything that we're not willing to do for ourselves.

Todd Laire: [00:37:52] Yeah, it's so true. Usually an agency is going to have that and you should expect that. But definitely on the employee side, a really good resume has clear examples of demonstrated success with campaigns, with our ally, with, you know, subscriber growth. Like we're, you know, hiring somebody large, you know, that put in their resumé and has a project portfolio and has their own website that demonstrates, you know, not only the resumes listed on it, but the type of work that they've done, the graphics they created or the content that they wrote. 

And, you know, they were clear about subscriber growth with a luxury brand. They went from zero subscribers to 10,000 in the first 12 months. And then over time, like up to 30,000. And the way I looked at it is if they can help our clients grow to, you know, the 10% of that, that would be phenomenal. So what did you do there that you can bring over here? And now was a key question and they nailed the answer. And that gave us confidence to hire them, you know, so that's a big one. That’s really important to us and what we look for just in hiring our own marketing employees to join our team. 

Laura Laire: [00:39:12] Well, as we talked about, there's a lot to consider. But it's really all about you. It's all about your goals. And again, just to reiterate, if you can't afford the employee, agencies are probably the best way to go, or if you can't afford to hire a marketing team and agencies, the best way to go. But we'd love it if there's someone that we can work with, if there's a marketing employee that you have. That's our point person to give you your time. And that's generally what an entrepreneur or CEO is looking for, is to not have to review the blogs and not have to review the reports per se. But to have somebody to do a lot and offload a lot of that to. And that's what the combination of a marketing employee and a marketing agency will allow you to do.

Todd Laire: [00:39:55] Absolutely. So hopefully this helps. And of course, we're available to answer any questions and we'd love to get any comments that come in our questions. And we'd love to see how we can help point you in the right direction. 

Laura Laire: [00:40:10] That's a wrap on this week's episode of The Married 2 Marketing Podcast. I'm your host, Laura, along with my husband and partner Todd. Don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review our podcast. Your feedback fuels our passion and keeps the marketing fire burning bright.

Todd Laire: [00:40:24] And if you're hungry for more marketing magic, be sure to visit our Website. Married2Marketing.com, where we've got a treasure trove of additional resources, episode transcripts, and mind-blowing bonus content.

Laura Laire: [00:40:35] We'll be back next week with another engaging episode. Until then, be creative, get strategic, and never go to bed angry.


Todd Laire

Meet Todd Laire, Co-Founder and CEO at LAIRE Digital, husband to Laura Laire, and loving dad to his two kids, Tristan and Skylah. With a passion for helping businesses succeed, Todd equips LAIRE clients with the ultimate toolkit for internal alignment, sales enablement, and skyrocketing revenue. His entrepreneurial journey began in 2001 with small business marketing and advertising. His real superpower was unleashed when he harnessed the internet's magic, using cutting-edge website and online marketing strategies. When he's not busy transforming companies, you'll find Todd running, lifting weights, conquering hiking trails, carving snowy slopes, or swinging clubs on the golf course.

Laura Laire 520px

Laura Laire

Meet Laura Laire, Co-founder and VP of Creative Strategy at LAIRE Digital, wife to Todd Laire, and loving mom to her two kids, Skylah and Tristan. With an entrepreneurial spirit spanning two decades, Laura's passion for creativity, high performance, and continuous learning is contagious. From developing and launching products and company training materials to becoming a seasoned keynote speaker and trainer globally, Laura thrives on leading teams, seminars, and conventions with unmatched enthusiasm and passion. When she's not cooking up big ideas for LAIRE or providing creative direction and strategy for client brands at LAIRE, you can find her developing recipes, practicing yoga and meditation, biking, hiking, playing tennis and writing.