Media Buyer Showdown (In House vs. Agency) with Smart Marketer CEO Molly Pittman

November 24, 2020

We’re going head to head into our latest DTC podcast debating agencies vs. in house media buying teams.

Our guest this week is powerhouse Molly Pittman. Molly is the CEO of Smart Marketer and Train My Traffic Person, a training program for in-house media buyers. She’s the author of Click Happy, and she recently launched a new podcast, Smart Marketer. I’ll have what she’s having.

Here are some highlights from the pod:

So what’s the deal? Agency or In-house?

We may have lured you here with a clickbait-y title; it’s less about in house or agency, more about relationship building. There is no one size fits all response; different businesses have different needs.

The wheels fall off agency partnerships when business owners pass the buck; it’s naive to hire an agency, hand over ads, and expect to be hands-off from that point onwards. Joint accountability, collaboration, and hyper-communication are essential. With minimal information or insight into your business, an agency partnership is unlikely to thrive.

It is the agency’s responsibility to insist on visibility into the business, and it is the responsibility of the business owner to maintain open lines of communication with the agency.

When it comes down to brass tacks house vs. agency, Molly will pick in-house as that’s her background. Her take is that there is something special about having a team in touch with the day to day, who intimately knows the company’s voice.

Again, there is no one size fits all response. If you’re just starting, you'll need agency support before you start buying ads. Some folks know they aren’t good at marketing - get yourself an agency! Maybe you need scale support or to delegate a specific element of your strategy? Time for an agency.

Molly’s 6 Steps for  Effective Campaigns

1. The Offer - Nothing will ever be more important than the offer. Is the product something people want? Where are you sending traffic? Is it optimized?
2. Who - Go deep on avatars. Who is your customer? What are their interests? Avatars will inform the next two steps determining how you’ll develop your hook.
3. Ad Copy
4. Creative
5. Campaign Structure - This is an agency’s time to shine.
6. Everything Else - This is your post-launch maintenance, troubleshooting, pivoting, scaling and where agency/media buyer expertise is beneficial. If you're bringing in an agency for steps 5 & 6, they should be involved from step 1 to ensure all aspects of the campaign align with the end goal.
Listen to the full pod for predictions on the future of agencies’, why you should hire candidates with service industry experience, and a reminder to monitor your screentime.

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