Several times during the history of our digital marketing efforts at Lion Brand, we hired agencies to help us launch new efforts.
We worked with Stephanie Schwab and Paull Young (who at that time were) at Converseon when we first started using social media. What they brought to the table was expertise in podcasting and blogging that we could never have learned on our own. Not only did they teach us the principles, tactics and legal aspects of the media we were entering but they helped us win awards and gave us the opportunity to share our case study with others.
When we set up our Facebook page we went to Kent Lewis of Anvil Media to help us learn the ropes when the idea of setting up a Facebook page for business was just a gleam in the eye of most corporations. Along with his smart team, we were able to launch a successful social media community on Facebook.
What we never did was cede our communication with consumers to agencies. They showed us the way and helped us in ways we could never have imagined because agencies have experience and focused knowledge that we in-house folks don’t.
When you give up your day-to-day communication with the consumer to an agency it is the (hopefully) old world practice of having the boss’s secretary buy his wife an anniversary gift.
You should own the communication with the consumer. You should know your product and your brand better than anyone from outside your company. Use agencies for their expertise but don’t relinquish the work that is yours.