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Comparing Inbound Marketing Agencies

Comparing Inbound Marketing Agencies

By Brianne Carlon RushDec 4 /2018

So often inbound marketing agencies sound the same: We “drive digital marketing results,” and we do. But that’s not the point here. Agencies want you to sign a 12-month proposal with the goal of helping you sound different from your competition.

What's wrong with that picture?

When it comes to comparing inbound marketing agencies, look for more substantive differences. Here are a few to consider.

Comparing Inbound Marketing Agencies: What To Consider

Flexibility with Scope and Deliverables


Digital marketing changes at a rapid pace. If you sign a 12-month agreement with an agency, chances are what worked in month 1 will not work in month 6, let alone month 12. You need an agency that stays on the cutting edge of technology, industry trends and best practices, and is willing to recalibrate your strategy accordingly.  

If you're looking at inbound marketing agencies, maybe you've decided to outsource your marketing. And that could be a great option. But it might not be best for you. Nevertheless, have you noticed that most agencies just assume that's the plan?

You may have a carefully groomed team in house, and maybe they're doing a great job. Maybe you just want some experienced advice from a broad perspective.

Unfortunately, the typical agency model is to outsource the program, for a substantial fee, and for a minimum term of a year. We have clients like that, and we know the model since we're a Diamond HubSpot partner with clients around the globe.

But that may not be your company and your circumstances. Whatever your goals or needs, we are willing to invest the time to determine the right course of action to amplify your growth.

Focus on Results vs. Standard Tactics


Inbound marketing agencies like to talk about the importance of strategy, then dive into the details of content, SEO, paid ads, blogging, social media, video and more.

And often before they even know why you're trying to grow. Are you planning a liquidity event? Hoping to weaken and acquire a competitor? Enter new markets? Or just scale predictably and improve forecasting?

While tactics are part of a successful digital marketing strategy, it is the big picture that matters more. Continuously asking questions like, “Why are we doing this?”, “Who are we targeting?” and “How can this be better?” is paramount to driving results.

Marketing is a means to an end—except for agencies; it's our morning, noon and night. And that leads to a common disconnect. Too often people hire an agency for a year of tactics without ever really understanding the goals. If you find yourself stuck in a partnership where you simply receive deliverables, it may be time to redefine what matters to you and your bottom line.

In-House Staff vs. Outsourced or Dispersed Teams

At Kuno, our in-house team is made up of:

  • Inbound marketing consultants who study your business and map out winning strategies
  • Brand journalists who develop and execute your content marketing strategy
  • Graphic designers who create and elevate brands
  • Demand generation experts who optimize your site and grow your audience with paid media
  • HubSpot and CMS experts who maximize your investment in technology
  • Web developers who use best practices to promote the best user experience

Together, our creativity and digital marketing capabilities are amplified. We are a team of creative, business-savvy people who’ve come together to help you achieve your goals and produce results. That is why we feel an in-house team is so important to our clients’ successes.

That is not to say another model may not work for you. Some agencies have 100 percent remote teams, which means they can hire talent regardless of location. Other agencies have consultants in house but outsource services such as content development, design or website buildout. This may work, too. But for us, collaboration is one component of creating fresh new ideas that drive results.

Willingness to Earn Your Business

At Kuno, we want you to want to work with us. So we don't try to force you into a full-year deal. We prefer to see if we're both excited—and often a pilot project focused on a narrow goal is the best way to do that. Some of our best partnerships have stemmed from a small project that flourished into years of mutual success.

In these cases, Kuno performs a digital marketing assessment, then collaborates with clients to choose one area with the most opportunity to help drive marketing in a new, successful direction and prove our value. That may mean that for six months we only concentrate on setting up marketing automation to help your sales team close more leads, or define buyer personas and a content strategy for your upcoming fiscal year.

Once we have worked together for a period of time, it will become clear if we have enough chemistry to take our partnership to the next step—a longer-term partnership.  

If you are comparing inbound marketing agencies, here’s an easy next step. Let’s schedule a short conversation.

Working with Kuno

The Author

Brianne Carlon Rush

After developing the Kuno Creative content marketing department and growing it by 500%, Brianne has expanded her role to help grow the inbound marketing agency in size, revenue and resources. She now focuses on sales and marketing alignment; employee recruiting, hiring and development; and communication strategies, while still dedicating time to client strategy and Kuno’s marketing efforts.
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