How to Choose the Best Marketing Agency for Your Business
So you think you want to hire a marketing agency. Perhaps your business has weathered the pandemic and now you’re ready to take it up a notch. Or maybe you’ve been struggling to grow your business long before the pandemic and have realized you won’t be able to do it alone. No matter the reason, marketing agencies provide a range of services that can help save you time and resources, as well as generate more money for your business.
If you’re stuck on how to choose the best marketing agency for your business, look no further. We’ve broken down the different types of marketing agencies to help you determine the best marketing partner for you.
Integrated Marketing Agency
Integrated Marketing Agencies have teams that specialize in a variety of disciplines such as search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), social media, email marketing, public relations, and more. Teams at an integrated marketing agency work together to strategize, craft consistent messaging, and execute multi-channel campaigns.
Advantages: An integrated marketing agency is best for businesses in search of a partner who can provide multiple marketing services and tactics under one roof.
Disadvantages: Since these types of agencies have a broader set of service offerings, clients may experience lag times in approval and development processes. The larger overhead of integrated marketing agencies often result in more expensive hourly rates.
What to look for: You can put your faith in an integrated marketing agency that brings representatives from each marketing discipline to the table. You will want to hear from each of them to understand their unique perspectives and how the will work together internally, as well as with you to make your marketing shine.
Full-Service Marketing Agency
Full-Service Marketing Agency is another term for integrated marketing agency. From strategic planning, branding and design, digital marketing, website development, analytics, and beyond, full-service marketing agencies manage all aspects of a business’ marketing and online presence. Full-service marketing agencies and integrated marketing agencies don’t always offer all the same services. Some firms are focused solely on carrying out a company’s online and offline marketing campaigns while others can reinvent your brand, build your strategy, execute campaigns and build you a website in the process.
Advantages: Full-service marketing agencies are best for businesses who don’t have the time or money to hire an in-house marketing team. Full-service marketing agencies hire experts in their domain who have access to the latest tools and technologies that help them be smarter and faster at their jobs. These agencies often offer the flexibility to scale your service up or down based on the changes taking place in your business.
Disadvantages: Full-service marketing and integrated marketing agencies lack familiarity with your industry and/or product. This often leads to longer R&D hours and a disconnect between the messaging and your campaign audiences.
What to look for: Search for a full-service agency that has experience working with clients in your industry. Think about the services you currently need in an agency as well as what you will likely need in the future and find and agency that can serve you over time to avoid having to spend time and resources going outside the agency down the road.
Specialist Marketing Agency
The opposite of a full-service or integrated marketing agency is a specialist marketing agency. Specialist marketing agencies typically provide services under just or two, core disciplines of marketing such as SEM/PPC, SEO, or social media.
Advantages: Specialist marketing agencies have a deeper knowledge of their core discipline giving them an edge over their full-service counterparts. These agencies can develop superior success formulas focused on maximizing your ROI.
Disadvantages: Working with a specialist marketing agency can create convoluted messages across your multi-channel campaigns. To prevent this, you will need to work harder at communicating your integrated campaign strategy with agency representatives to ensure a cohesive brand message across all channels.
Best for: Specialist marketing agencies are best for businesses that have a firm understanding of their overarching marketing strategy but don’t have the resources to carry out all the plans end-to-end. These businesses may have some in-house marketing staff to execute campaigns on certain channels but ultimately choose a specialist marketing agency to supplement the business’ internal marketing efforts.
Boutique Marketing Agency
A boutique marketing agency is generally smaller in size and takes a more personalized approach to your business’ marketing. Boutique firms may specialize in a specific set of marketing disciplines or take on fewer clients within a select number of industries.
Advantages: Boutique marketing agencies are very client-centric, and invest time in getting to know them and the businesses they operate. In addition to providing consulting services, boutique marketing agencies are known for being nimble, allowing their team to pivot quickly as a company’s priorities and needs change. Speaking of nimble, working with a boutique agency can be more cost-effective and bundle services that give you more bang for your marketing buck.
Disadvantages: Boutique marketing agencies won’t always be able to leverage the same tools and databases to gain insights like larger firms. Boutique marketing agencies tend to rely on clients to collaborate with on projects so longer lead times are needed when asked to spearhead a project without any client input.
Best for: Businesses that want to have a hand in their marketing strategy will enjoy the intimate working environment a boutique marketing agency creates. Personalization is at the forefront of boutique marketing agencies’ values, making this type of agency a wise choice for companies looking for originality in their marketing campaigns.
Business consulting agencies provide professional advice to companies seeking help in finance, IT, HR, marketing and more. Business marketing consultants provide a host of services from competitor analysis, SWOT analysis, strategic marketing plans, and more. Some business consulting firms are designed to provide a marketing roadmap for you to execute while others will research, plan, and implement campaigns across a variety of channels.
Advantages: Business consulting firms have loads of knowledge and experience that can be applied to your business. The best and brightest represent business consulting firms giving you the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge not just on marketing but on your business as a whole.
Disadvantages: More traditional in nature, business consulting firms don’t offer as much creativity and originality as other marketing agencies and often come with a very hefty price tag.
Best for: Businesses that need direction on their marketing strategy, planning and problem-solving. If you don’t have the internal resources to create an effective marketing plan, a business consulting agency can provide expert advice from experienced professionals.
When it comes to choosing the best marketing agency for your business, there are plenty of great options to consider. Once you have defined your marketing values and objectives, your path to finding the right agency partner will become clear.
Simpatico Design Studio is a boutique creative marketing agency that specializes in four core disciplines: creative, integrated marketing, web & mobile app development, and customer support. We are an agile group of creatives dedicated to the success of our clients as well as to one another. We offer a fine balance of big agency solutions with small agency, white-glove service. If you would like to learn more about what we do and how we can be ‘better together’ complete the form on our Contact Us page.