February 16, 2023

What Does an Inbound Marketing Agency Do?

Author Profile Picture
Marvin Tekautschitz
Partner @ Demandbay

‘Inbound’ is not another marketing buzzword. It’s a proven methodology to attract customers by providing valuable content and information. That way, customers can find and choose your business instead of you reaching out to them. 

You can choose to create and implement your own inbound strategy or get help from professionals - an agency. But what does an inbound marketing agency do that you can’t do yourself? 

What is an Inbound Marketing Agency?

As the name suggests, inbound marketing agencies specialize in inbound marketing or methodology. This means listening to, attracting, and engaging potential customers to close and later delight them and keep them active. 

An inbound agency helps you do this from start to finish or work on any steps in between. The scope of work you hire an agency for depends on your needs. You may already have an in-house marketing team that needs to be supplemented, or you may need a full service. Any and all work you do with an agency is defined upfront and can be expanded/scaled down later if necessary. 

Why Hire an Inbound Marketing Agency?

Hiring an agency is a substantial investment. Depending on your location and needs, you are looking at thousands of euros per month. However, even a high-cost inbound marketing agency will require fewer funds than creating an in-house team. Cost is not the only concern, so let’s list the benefits of agency vs. in-house team. 

  • Cost - building an in-house team is exponentially more expensive than hiring an agency. A core inbound marketing team consists of a strategist, SEO, PPC and website managers/specialists, content writers, and outreach specialists. You will not only be spending time and money to find, hire, and onboard all these experts, but if you’re aiming toward experienced professionals, you will need to provide a competitive salary. All of this adds up.
  • Expertise - an agency consists of marketers already well versed in working together. They have established processes and a proven track record. To get a similarly well-functioning in-house team, you will need to train them and allow them time to get to know each other. If you’re lucky, you find people who can work together well and achieve outstanding results, but that’s not always the case.
  • Results - let’s say you don’t have enough resources to build an in-house inbound marketing team, which is often the case. An inbound strategy contains many moving parts, and 1 or 2 people won’t be able to keep up and deliver the same results as an agency. An agency is a logical choice if you truly want to transition your company to inbound with limited resources.

What Does an Inbound Marketing Agency Do?

The inbound methodology is not complicated, but it’s complex. There are plenty of moving parts, and if you aim to see the best results, you must keep up. To get the best idea of the complexity of inbound, let’s go through a list of activities that an inbound marketing agency executes to deliver results and achieve goals.

Developing the Inbound Strategy 

Developing and documenting a strategy is probably the most important first step. Without it, you won’t be able to set clear goals and plan activities to help you achieve them. All activities need to make sense and be aligned for inbound to work. 

The agency will do the following:

  • Create a buyer persona and an ideal customer profile
  • Define your customer's pain points and jobs to be done
  • Set SMART goals and define KPIs to measure their efforts
  • Competitor analysis (their inbound efforts, activities, strategy, and results)
  • Define the unique value proposition
  • Research potential topics and keywords to reach the audience
  • Define the sales funnel
  • Choose marketing channels

Once everything is defined, and a plan is in place, the agency can start working on specific tasks to implement the strategy. If done properly, an inbound marketing campaign can be ten times more effective than any outbound campaign for lead conversion. 


Content is one of the pillars of the inbound methodology. It’s a way to provide information and value to customers. It’s important for both attracting customers and further down the funnel. 96% of B2B customers say that content builds trust, while 82% of companies say they use content marketing.

Here are the content-related activities an agency can do:

  • Plan content based on topic and keyword research defined in the strategy
  • Manage content creating process from creating a brief with all the necessary information, assigning a content writer/creator to work on the content to editing and posting

Performance Marketing for B2B 

Performance marketing is a great way to generate leads, and results can be measured accurately. It is also an optimal way to test audiences and try different things. An agency can and will easily stop a campaign if it’s not working. Performance marketing comes in various shapes, and your agency will determine the best ones for your business. Frequently, companies do PPC ads on Google and social media. 

An agency can:

  • Set up analytics, conversion tracking, and marketing automation 
  • Do creative designs and test various creatives until they find what works
  • Create ad copy
  • Conduct audience testing
  • Conduct A/B split testing
  • Optimize and improve your website for conversion
  • Run retargeting and SEA campaigns to capture demand
  • Provide performance reports

Why Run Performance Marketing through an Inbound Agency?

All of these tasks look straightforward, but there are several benefits of running performance marketing through an agency instead of tackling it yourself.

Performance marketing is data-driven. Your analytics and conversion tracking tools need to be set up properly even before you start to advertise. An agency has plenty of experience and will complete this correctly. More importantly, they will know how to gather, organize and interpret data to improve existing campaigns and get better results.

Another benefit of hiring an agency for performance marketing is their experience. They are familiar with all ins and outs of the platforms you want to advertise on. They know how to find out what works and optimize campaigns based on the insights they get.

Having an inbound agency run your performance marketing efforts, along with other marketing campaigns, will provide a necessary holistic view that will allow a better understanding of your customers, their journey, and how marketing channels influence each other. 

Continuous monitoring of performance marketing efforts is necessary to achieve results. An agency has the tools and skills to keep up with all channels, campaigns, and inevitable changes that will influence your marketing strategy.

Finally, running performance marketing will take up resources. With an agency, you can focus on running your business and leave marketing tasks to them. As your needs change, a good marketing agency can scale its service to accommodate your needs and run successful campaigns. 

Growth-Driven Websites and Landing Pages

An agency can help you build a website to help you attract and close more customers. Traditionally, you would leave building websites to designers and developers, but marketing input is essential in the inbound methodology. While devs can work on the technical side, leave the content and the message to inbound marketers, who will make data-based recommendations and look at the analytics.  


Managing your interaction with potential and existing customers is essential for building relationships and improving customer service, which leads to increased sales and revenue. When we discuss CRM, we usually refer to a strategy for managing interactions and a tool to do that. Around 62% of marketers use CRM software for marketing reporting.

An agency can help you:

  • Set up the strategy and tools necessary for successful customer interaction management
  • Manage interaction with customers
  • Use CRM data to get to know your customers better and use these insights to improve marketing, sales, and customer service

Marketing Automation

An agency can help you save time and money by making your marketing more effective. This is done through marketing automation. They can automate certain marketing activities to be triggered in various parts of the customer journey. This will take the burden of repetitive tasks off their backs, as well as yours, and ensure your marketing efforts run smoothly even across multiple channels. The inbound methodology is all about keeping potential customers engaged and interested. This usually requires numerous small activities, which, if automated, will yield great results without strain on your marketing team’s time. 

In fact, companies that automated their lead management and nurturing process saw a 10%+ revenue increase in 6 to 9 months. If you automate your marketing efforts, you will see positive effects across the board - an increase in qualified leads, click-through rates, sales, revenue, etc. Finally, automation can save you up to 15% on creative production. 


Search engine optimization is another pillar of the inbound methodology. It’s aimed towards optimizing your website and all the content with a goal to serve the customer and be clear and understandable to search engines. Organic search rankings are a cost-effective way to drive top-of-the-funnel traffic to your website. It saves money in the long run and makes your business less reliant on ads, especially for topics/keywords with less search volume. The value of SEO is also reflected in the fact that 69% of marketers invested in it in 2021 to increase website traffic. This approach is especially successful since 70% of people who use search engines are interested only in organic results. 

An agency will do the following:

  • On-page SEO: related to structural and technical changes on your website 
  • Content SEO: researching relevant keywords and producing content that ranks organically
  • Off-page SEO: building authority by working with other websites, building links, doing guest posts, etc.

Measuring Success 

An agency will constantly provide performance reports and results of all its activities. These reports will show the KPIs determined at the beginning, and you will be able to see the results and determine if you’re satisfied with your investment. 

How to Choose the Right Inbound Marketing Agency

Selecting an agency shouldn’t be overly difficult. Once you click with someone, you will be able to recognize that. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind that will help you find the best fit.

  • Open communication - an agency should be reaching out to you, making it easy to communicate with them via any channel. A week-long response time, lack of enthusiasm when answering your questions, superficial responses, etc. - these are all good indicators that you will have the same problems if you hire them.
  • Asking questions - you should be encouraged to ask questions, and an agency should ask them too. Before they even start thinking about the strategy, an agency needs to know everything about your company. They can’t do that unless they talk to you. This is a red flag if they seem disinterested or superficial in how they understand your company.
  • Come prepared - ideally, when choosing an agency, you should know your general goals and needs, as well as some details (which formats and channels you’d like to tackle, what worked best so far, etc.). If you’re not familiar with marketing at all and don’t know how things work, don’t worry. A good marketing agency will be open to explaining and discussing the entire process and help you find answers to their questions.    
  • Transparency - an agency should be able to define the scope of work, its goals, and the offer in detail, even before the work has started. Marketing is pretty exact, so don’t fall for vague explanations and promises. 
  • Practice what you preach - always check if and how an inbound marketing agency implements the inbound methodology. If they do it successfully for themselves, this is a good sign!

Key Takeaways

Agencies represent a great way to get a team, expertise, experience, and results for one price and with as little time as possible on your part.

  • You’ll be able to define and implement an inbound strategy even if you don’t have skills/resources in-house
  • An agency sets your strategy up for success since inbound agencies should have a proven track record (they should at least demonstrate how they do inbound for themselves)
  • You’ll be able to attract more qualified leads, lower customer acquisition costs, and close more sales
  • An agency helps you have a more holistic approach to marketing instead of doing what you can and when you can without a plan in place
  • Finally, you’ll save on the cost of putting together an experienced in-house marketing team

Remember that patience is key to success with an inbound strategy. Choosing the best inbound marketing agency will not ensure you get fast results but great results! Great results will take time and investment, so be prepared if you want to experience the true effect of inbound marketing. 

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