Everything Marketing Agencies Do in 2024

If you just started your own business, your first concern is probably new sales and generating revenue. 

When the money is stable and your bills and people are paid, you can invest in marketing and ensure long-term growth. You may want to hire a marketing agency, but how do you do that if you don't know what they do?

There’s an important question we’re going to discuss today: What does a marketing agency do?

We'll walk through the typical services offered by marketing agencies, their processes, the pros and cons of hiring one, and more.

What you will learn:

  • What a marketing agency does in its daily operations
  • What a typical marketing agency process looks like for agencies and clients
  • The standard digital marketing services offered by agencies to their clients
  • Pros and cons of hiring a digital marketing agency vs hiring in-house
  • How to choose marketing companies for your business based on your needs and requirements

What does a marketing agency do?

A marketing agency is a company that provides marketing services to clients in various industries. Marketing agencies do this for the purpose of growing their clients businesses and increasing their revenue to achieve business goals. 

A marketing agency helps a business market its products and services better so that it can make more revenue. 

To achieve this, the agency focuses on the client's ideal customer profile and creates and refines digital marketing strategies to ultimately help them reach their goals.

There are different types of marketing agencies, such as:

  • inbound marketing agency (for generating more leads from inbound channels)
  • social media marketing agency (for generating demand from social media platforms)
  • paid media marketing agency (for running paid ads on various channels, such as Google Ads)
  • influencer marketing agency (for influencer promotions)

The services vary from one agency to the next, so make sure to do your research.

10 services offered by marketing agencies

Marketing agencies encompass a wide set of options. Some agencies provide specialized services, while others offer a diverse set of marketing activities under one roof. Choosing the right marketing agency will depend on your goals and your budget.

Here are 10 of the most typical services offered by digital marketing agencies.

SEO (search engine optimization)

Most agencies nowadays offer search engine optimization as a service. This involves on-page optimization—working on your website. It also includes off-page optimization, with services such as link building.

Paid media marketing

Looking for expert help with Facebook Ads or Google Ads? Hire an agency that offers paid media marketing as a service. This is one of the most challenging areas of marketing, but it’s also pretty easy to see the ROI immediately.

Content marketing

Great agencies can create content strategies as well as execute them. This means everything from research, all the way to optimizing and publishing content on your website and blog.

Competitor research

This is when the agency analyzes your marketing activities and compares them against those of your strongest competitors. They can analyze your branding, SEO performance, user experience, market share, and more.

Brand identity and design

A good marketing agency can do an analysis of your existing brand identity and design. They can also build an entirely new brand identity from scratch, helping you align with your target audience.

Web development

Many marketing agencies also offer web development. This includes adding features to your existing web presentation. It also means building entirely new websites from scratch.

Link building

This is a common service offered by many full-service and specialist marketing agencies. Link building entails getting links from other websites to a client’s website. You can usually buy packages of links with specific criteria that make the most sense for your website. These will help you rank your most important pages more quickly.

Web design

Web design is a great addition to the web development services offered by many agencies. If an agency offers both services combined, it means that they can build a variety of websites, apps, presentations, and graphics for your business. Even if you don’t need design all the time, it’s a great add-on to an existing agency tool set.

Email marketing

You can give the reins of your email strategy to an agency to improve your overall email marketing ROI. They can improve your bounce rates, open rates, and overall email marketing return on investment.

Full service marketing agencies

Depending on your needs and desired results, you can hire a full service marketing agency for the job. However, if you want niche expertise, hiring a specialist marketing firm might be a better choice for your overall marketing ROI.

Not all marketing agencies offer a full stack of services.

So, if you're looking for a turnkey solution, you might have to find a more established marketing company. These full service marketing agencies can cost a bit of money, too. So once again, do your research and determine your needs first.

7 steps to expect with a new marketing agency

There is an entire series of steps that happen before a marketing agency takes on a new client and starts working with them. Good marketing agencies have standard operating procedures, and they will walk you through them as a new client.

Here is a typical process that a new agency partner will conduct for new clients:

1. A written contract

Every good marketing firm will put your collaboration in writing. Instead of relying on spoken promises, they will write down the details on paper or in digital form and send them your way for signing.

The contract is crucial for both parties, so make sure you read it carefully and avoid potential pitfalls and loopholes.

Most importantly, make sure to learn what happens if the marketing agency cannot deliver the work promised in the contract.

It's not necessary to hire a lawyer to read it, but make sure to use common sense.

2. Questions for the client

To do their best work, agencies need to get up close and personal with the client. This means finding out:

  • What the client does
  • what they sell and whom they sell it to
  • what their unique sales proposition is
  • What makes them stand out against the competition
  • what campaigns they have done before and at what level of success
  • what specific results they are expecting from a new digital marketing agency partner
  • Typically, most agencies will learn these details by sending out a questionnaire to the client. The questionnaire contains the most important questions necessary to start a relationship, but it may not be enough.

A good marketing agency will also schedule at least one call with a client. That way, they can ask these questions or discuss the answers to the questionnaire.

Based on the information they get from the questionnaire and the interviews, they should have enough to get started.

3. Access to client accounts

Depending on the type of digital marketing services they provide, a marketing agency requires access to relevant accounts.

For example, if they are running paid ads, they will require access to Meta's Ad Manager.

If they do SEO work, they will most likely need access to Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

If you've gone this far in the collaboration process, you should feel confident enough in the agency to hand them access to your company accounts.

Certain accounts allow the agency to only manage an account and not own it, so you can use that setup for more transparency and trust.

4. An audit review

Any good marketing agency will not start doing the work immediately. Instead, they will do an audit of the client account to find out what has been done before and what the results were.

That way, they can spot any errors and find ways to do things more efficiently.

For example, an SEO agency will take a look at your Google Analytics or Search Console to find out what your top-performing pages are, as well as which pages get no traffic.

This helps them determine what pages to edit and update and which content needs pruning.

5. Ideating and strategy

The audit is behind them, and the agency has the client information at their disposal. This means that the marketing agency can then start thinking about new ideas for upcoming campaigns.

Usually, there is one digital marketing team and one account manager assigned to each client.

The team then starts creating new strategies from scratch and coming up with new ways to achieve the goals set by the client.

With those goals in mind, the agency chooses the best people for the job internally.

During the course of the ideation process, the marketing agency will assign account managers. They are the ones to get in touch with the client, should there be additional questions.

6. Hosting a kickoff meeting

This is the meeting where the marketing agency introduces their strategy to the client.

It's also a good time for the digital marketing agency to introduce the team that will be doing the work for the client.

Kickoff calls are an opportunity for the stakeholders in the client company to ask relevant questions. They can also get clarifications about the strategy.

The digital marketing agency usually presents their marketing campaigns at this meeting. They do this with a scope for the next month, quarter, or year.

7. Creating a dashboard or a reporting setup

Client communication is crucial for marketing companies.

Clients want frequent updates. And marketing companies would rather spend time working on campaigns than on phone calls.

The solution is to create different types of reporting systems.

Dashboards are real-time documents and pages that clients can access at any point in time to check their KPIs and metrics.

There are different types of dashboard software. These connect to clients' accounts, and those clients can access them to get real-time metrics.

Dashboards are also interactive and allow clients to choose different time frames, metrics, views, etc.

Reports are more static in nature.

A report is a document (a web page, presentation, or PDF) that marketing companies send out for a specific time period. This can be a weekly, monthly, or quarterly report.

Good reporting software allows agencies to automate the way clients get these reports.

Pros and cons of hiring a marketing agency

Whether you're just starting out with marketing or comparing hiring an agency vs. hiring an in-house marketing team, there are several factors to weigh.

Here is a list of the pros and cons of hiring a marketing agency.

Pros of hiring an agency

There are many benefits to hiring a full digital marketing team vs. doing the work yourself or hiring an in-house marketer.

Diverse talent

The typical marketing agency has a number of experts in different areas. Social media marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing, web development, design, etc. Hiring just one of these experts can cost as much as a monthly agency retainer.

Wider experience

They worked with a number of clients in different industries and niches. They have more experience than a single marketer you can hire for your team. For example, advertising agencies with a large number of clients can be a valuable asset for your business.

A fresh perspective

A digital marketing agency has a different point of view compared to a manager or a business owner who's been in the same industry for years or decades. If you're using the same marketing strategy and expecting different results, a marketing company can help.

Cons of hiring an agency

At the same time, there are downsides to hiring marketing agencies, and they may not be right for your business at all. Sometimes, it makes more sense to hire a dedicated digital marketing expert or team to do the work in-house.

The costs

Digital marketing agencies have to pay their staff, including taxes and insurance. They also need to make a profit on top of that. Your typical marketing agency cost can be thousands of dollars, and you may get better value by hiring an employee.

Lack of internal knowledge

Even a full service marketing agency with experience in your niche does not have direct experience with your business and customers.

Several clients

The average agency provides digital marketing services to a number of clients. This means that you won't always be their top priority, and they won't be able to put out fires for you.

6 point checklist for choosing a marketing agency

Here is a quick way to start the process of finding a marketing agency for your business.

1. Determine your business goals

Write down the goals you want to achieve by hiring a marketing agency. These goals need to be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

This will also determine whether you need a specialist, such as an advertising agency, or a more general digital agency.

2. Set a budget

There are marketing agencies with retainers ranging from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars per month. To find the right agency partner, determine the range that you are willing to pay them.

3. Put together a request for proposals

A marketing request for proposals is a document that helps businesses find and evaluate marketing agencies.

4. Check their portfolio

Good marketing agencies have a portfolio of successful work they've done for previous clients and their target audience.

For example, you may want to look at their search engine optimization clients in the SaaS space. The more relevant, the better.

5. Look at reviews and social proof

Carefully review the agency's social proof: testimonials, reviews, case studies, and more. There are even websites that compare different agencies.

You can use them to look into different marketing agencies and their ratings.

6. Strike an agreement

Once you've found the one marketing firm you trust, establish the basics. This includes how you communicate, how they manage your project.

Moreover, you should know how and when they report and what the timelines are for their process. Last but not least, you should see the results of their marketing strategies.

Sometimes, you may feel that simply going off a recommendation might be your best way to find a reputable marketing agency.

However, the more research you do and the better your vetting process, the better marketing firm you will hire.

Key takeaways

  • A marketing agency provides marketing services to clients. These can include social media marketing, PPC, web design and development, and others.
  • There are seven steps in a typical process for new clients signed by marketing companies. They include getting a contract signed and learning more about the client. Then they get access to client accounts, do an audit, and start with the ideation and brainstorming. Finally, they host a kickoff meeting and take care of the reporting.
  • Traditional marketing agency services can span different fields. These include social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, PPC, web design and development, and more.
  • To choose a marketing agency for your business, first determine your goals and budget. Then create a request for proposals and take a look at the agency's portfolio and reviews. Finally, agree on the technical details.


A great marketing agency is your best partner for growth. When you make the right choice in a digital marketing agency, you're making an investment for the future.

In many cases, it's better than hiring a team of in-house marketers, with better results for a fraction of the budget.

Whichever marketing firm you opt for, make sure to do proper research first and learn the basics. You should research the cornerstones of marketing strategies, do a deep dive, and compare different agencies to make the best choice.

No items found.
Like this article? Spread the world