Growth Marketing Agencies: Expectations vs. Reality

Published on: | Updated on: | Caroline Lane

Marketing has the power to be a key revenue generator... 

If expectations are managed properly!  

When you have an in-house marketing department, knowing what you can realistically expect from marketing efforts is the best way to ensure you’re setting SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goals and helping campaigns reach their full potential.  

That’s even truer when it comes to hiring a growth marketing agency. A growth marketing agency can act as an extension to your in-house marketing team and will work to find the best channels for your business, all in the name of driving revenue. But agencies have their limits, and before hiring one, it’s important to know exactly what to expect. 

Marketing might not lead to more revenue overnight, an agency might not be available throughout the whole workday, and agencies will never be better industry experts than their clients. 

By clearly understanding an agency’s role and responsibilities, clients will have a better chance of forming a healthy working relationship with an agency that can make a marked impact. 

growth marketing agency


What to Expect from Your Growth Marketing Agency 


1. Expectation: A growth marketing agency will drive revenue and results...overnight 

Reality: Arguably one of the most important things business leaders need to know when hiring a growth marketing agency is that marketing efforts take time. Everything from content marketing to ads to SEO efforts will not and cannot yield results overnight, as much as everyone would like them to! 

It can take several months or more to see most marketing channels drive results and visibly increase revenue. Some experts say it can take anywhere between 6 and 17 months for content marketing to lead to an increase in revenue. This is especially the case when a marketing agency doesn’t have access to a company’s historical data or is trying to reach a disengaged audience, for example. 

2. Expectation: Your growth marketing agency knows your industry as well as you do 

Reality: A good agency will learn as much as they can about your company and industry, but the fact is that they’ll likely never know as much as you do. Marketing agencies typically serve many clients in numerous fields, and are not subject matter experts for every industry. 

The best way to set a marketing agency up for success is for clients to teach their marketers relevant details about their company and industry. From the onset, clients should send every document possible that will help their agency understand their audience, jargon, positioning and context.  

It’s also crucial for an agency to have access to customers. If an agency can interview a handful of customers and really understand why they purchased the client’s product or service, this gets marketers one step closer to being subject matter experts. 

With customer-focused information available to an agency early on, they can develop campaigns and strategies that are highly targeted, informed, relevant, and ultimately positively impact business.  

3. Expectation: Your agency has one goal: drive revenue 

Reality: It’s true, a growth marketing agency’s goal is to grow revenue, but there will be a lot of seemingly indirect strategies and tactics to get there.  

Not every effort will look like it’s leading to more revenue, but it is! For example, an agency might launch a top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) educational email campaign to engage with and warm a certain audience. These emails can direct to informative content, like a blog or video. This campaign will not immediately drive revenue (see expectation #1), but its long-term goal is to warm up an audience that will eventually convert to more customers and more revenue. 

This isn’t always obvious, and clients should feel comfortable asking their agency for clarification on both the short-term and long-term goals of a campaign. The big picture goal should always matter, but it might take a series of smaller steps to get there. 

4. Expectation: A growth marketing agency can do their job with total independence 

Reality: A good marketing agency will be self-sufficient and know what they’re doing, but an agency truly succeeds when they have connection points with a client. 

There are two main connection points that will help a marketing agency do its job. One is with, of course, the client. When clients provide helpful feedback and resources to their agency, it builds a relationship and equips an agency with the tools needed to run successful marketing campaigns. 

The second connection point is with sales. Marketing and sales alignment is one of the best ways to get everyone on the same page, working towards achieving better business. Giving a marketing agency access to the sales team will help de-silo both departments and promote data synergy. 

5. Expectation: An agency is available from 9-5 and beyond  

Reality: Marketing agencies serve multiple clients and usually manage multiple campaigns for each client. Agencies of all kinds are some of the busiest workplaces out there, and it’s impossible for a marketing agency to give the same response rate and attention as an in-house department. 

 Of course, clients should have access to a point of contact (POC) at an agency and an account manager in case a situation needs escalating. But in general, a reasonable expectation on a regular workday is that an agency will respond to a message or request from clients within 24 hours. When clients understand the capacity of their growth marketing agency, the working relationship will flourish. 


The services of a growth marketing agency can transform a business. The first step towards getting there is having realistic expectations for what an agency can accomplish in a certain timeframe. When expectations are properly managed, client and agency alike can work towards better business. 

Want to Know More? 

Interested in the transformative services of a growth marketing agency that builds strong client relationships, manages expectations, AND drives growth and revenue? 

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