A poignant marketing campaign can give life to any business. But when looking for professionals to come alongside you to make that campaign, things can become overwhelming. There’s a wide variety of outlets you can go to receive marketing help. From an in-house team to a large contracted agency, it can be hard to know what the right fit is for your company. In balancing things like budget, time, reach, and the desired results, a full-service agency can be the answer to many company’s marketing woes.
What is a Full-Service Agency?
Marketing agencies can range from minutely specialized to catch all. A Full-Service Agency is a one-stop shop for all things marketing. This type of agency will help a client from the ground up starting with marketing strategy creation, then the implementation, and finally testing. An overarching strategy will be created in order to achieve the desired marketing results. Full-Service Agencies pack the creative kick start needed to create engaging marketing through the collaboration of a team of specialized professionals who provide cohesive marketing collateral on different channels.
Every successful marketing plan starts with strategizing. When a Full-Service Agency is hired, they will analyze a client’s goals and objectives then construct a foundational strategy based on that analysis. After marketing research takes place, the agency will have the insight needed to form an effective strategy. A strategy will provide guidelines in which marketing will function. These guidelines will allow the agency to create effective brand messaging to achieve optimal customer engagement.
From there, the agency will form a plan that outlines the tools and a timeline that everything will fall into. Tools that are typically used include brand collateral, websites, SEO, social media, and digital marketing campaigns. Different companies will require different tools depending on their goals. Full-Service Agencies have experience in those tools and will have the capability to decide which are best to leverage. In marketing, timing can have a huge influence on the success of a campaign. The agency created a timeline will allow for pieces to be launched strategically to capture the right attention from customers.
Once a plan is formed, a collaborative creating process will take place. The agency’s creatives will take their deep level of experience and apply it to the creation of collateral. Various team members will contribute to building out the tools necessary to make the marketing strategy a success.
After a series of revisions, the strategy will be implemented and tested. The implementation will be managed by the experienced hands of the agency. Once implemented, customer engagement results will be reviewed by the agency and presented to the client. Necessary adjustments will be made to ensure the marketing services are optimized.
The Benefits of Full-Service
- One-Stop Shop
- Highly Experienced Professionals
- Less time on marketing, more time on regular business functions
- Cohesive end product
Marketing can be a huge ordeal. Some companies will resort to hiring a hand full of different specialized agencies resulting in a marketing silo effect. Others will bring on an in-house marketing team resulting in business resources flowing to something other than the main business objective. Hiring a Full-Service Agency can alleviate any in-house tension and provide a cohesive marketing strategy.
The clear benefit of a Full-Service Agency is that the company will take care of every marketing need of a client. The company would not have to juggle multiple contracts from different firms. Because of that, the management of different contracts is nonexistent. There will be one or two points of contact and clear objective throughout.
There is also the benefit of having an agency hiring their own professionals. In order to have been successful, the agency needed to collect high-quality professionals in each of the fields they are providing. These professionals will have had various types of experience in their field and with different clients. The agency also provides these professionals with a collaborative environment where their creativity can thrive. This environment is fertile soil for fresh ideas and creative solutions. This also means a company does not need to be paying salary and benefits to their own in-house team.
By hiring a Full-Service Agency to provide marketing strategy and collateral, companies are able to focus in on what they do best. All company resources and efforts will be focused on the main function of the business. With no in-house marketing team, there are no additional employees to manage. It also means that price negotiation is on the table and therefore a lower overall cost is available.
The key benefit of hiring a Full-Service Agency is the cohesive results. Since all the work is done under one roof, the marketing pieces will all have the same look and feel. By having a connected marketing message, a company comes across as professional and capable. It also provides consumers with a clear image of the company that they can much easier identify with.
Big Agencies vs. Small Agencies
A big agency will provide its clients with a full variety of services to meet their marketing needs. These services will be assigned to separate smaller teams of professionals and the final products will be reviewed by the account executive.
Hiring a big marketing agency has many benefits. There is a reason big agencies get to the point they are at. They have had success with a variety of different clients and have made a name for themselves. They will charge more for their services which is dual sided. In some ways that is a level of security that the end product will be backed by a long-standing agency. However, the quality can be similar to a smaller agency but with a larger price tag.
When teaming up with a big agency, a client will gain access to the resources that come with being a well-established agency. These resources can be anything from their relationships with media outlets to having focus groups at their disposal. While these resources are helpful, they do not always guarantee the best outcome. Most big agency work will be done by junior designers and will then be approved by experienced art directors. This can lead to a lower level of design but also means that there are multiple sets of eyes on any design work being sold.
A small agency will service clients needs as they arise. They are agile and flexible to serve the needs of the client. These agencies provide a unique eye to any marketing project and the result will aid companies to stand out from those using the typical larger agencies.
Small agencies many times will focus in on a specific type of client whether it is restaurants, services, or retail, they will have refined skills in those specific niches. For example, a small agency whose focus is in small restaurants will have a high level of experience in specific services such as menu design, restaurant promotions, and signage. For companies who are niche themselves, it can be very beneficial to partner with an agency whose niche is the same.
Due to the lower volume of clients, a small agency’s goal is to use innovation to make their service stand-out. They also tend to be ahead of trends and new movements within technology. With the ability to push the traditional limits, small agencies tend to create identities and campaigns that wow.
Many of the benefits of hiring a big agency are the drawbacks for small agencies. Due to their small scale, they do not have the same resources and connections a larger agency has. This can also reduce the level of assurance a client has because of the lower number of past clients. However, for many, the savings in cost and the overall uniqueness of hiring a boutique agency outweigh the drawbacks.
The biggest draw to hiring a small agency is having the agency come alongside the client and providing them with a higher level of personal service. Small agencies are dedicated to the relationship formed between the client and themselves. The agile nature of these agencies allows them to be flexible to what the client needs to be successful. Due to this connection and level of dedication, small agencies almost serve as an extension of the client’s business.
Finding the “Unicorn” Agency
Deciding which agency will best suit your own business goals can be very personal. The key to finding the best fit for you is in whether an agency is passionate about what you do and will champion your goals through their marketing efforts.
First is to find which size will serve your goals the best. Do you require the resources and reach a larger agency can provide? Or do you need to have a more personal and unique touch to your marketing pieces?
Once you decide on the size, research what the agencies provide. Are they focused on what you want to focus on? Or are their services aimed to service a different need?
Lastly, will this agency walk with you through this process and support your vision for your company? Are they a compatible match with your company? Or are some of their practices different from your company culture?
Just as there are no true one-size fits all articles of clothing, some types of marketing agencies are not for every company. Having the right group of professionals in your corner can make a world of a difference in your brand. Deciding what to do is a matter of understanding what you do now and where a good team of marketing professionals can take you.