How to choose the right marketing agency for you
31st July 2017
Marketing and PR - and all the things they encompass - are essential to a company's success. In an increasingly competitive and cost-conscious market, you need an edge. Marketing and PR can provide that edge.
As with any service or product you buy, choosing the right PR and marketing partner is a matter of personal choice. It’s horses for courses. Different agencies offer different things, and do things in different ways. It’s up to you to decide who you want to work with: what does your company need, which agency can deliver that, and which agency do you want to work with – who are you comfortable with?
The good news is there’s no right or wrong answer. It’s the agency’s job to deliver the service you expect and the results you deserve. So if you’re at the point where you’ve decided you need to do something, but you’re not sure how to go about it, here are a few key things to consider.
There are two types of agency: industry-specific or generic. By concentrating solely on your sector, specific agencies and their staff are more knowledgeable. They’re already up-to-speed, so they need less briefing. Generic agencies lack this knowledge, so they need more input from you. But they make up for it with breadth of experience across different industries and campaigns.
One or many?
Again, agencies can be categorised in two: full service or specific. Specific agencies concentrate on one – usually creative – area, such as graphic design or websites. They can’t help you with other functions, but they are very good at what they do.
Full service agencies look after all your marketing needs - from strategy to PR, advertising to digital - for you. Some try to keep all these functions in-house by employing a wide range of staff. Others keep their core functions in-house and out-source specialist work to specialist agencies. It’s the best of both worlds – you deal with an agency that you know and trust, but get the benefits of specialist agencies as well.
Size isn’t everything
When choosing an agency consider how you like to work and therefore what kind of relationship would suit you. Large agencies have multiple layers, which means you might have one person managing your account, another writing magazine copy, someone handling your adverts etc. Large agencies need a lot of clients to sustain them, so all those people will be working on lots of accounts.
Smaller agencies tend to be a bit more ‘what you see is what you get’. The people you meet in the sales pitch will be the people working on your account every day: talking to magazine editors, writing your copy, commissioning artwork etc. Because of the responsibilities involved, they’re likely to be more senior level and multi-skilled. And because smaller agencies tend to have fewer clients, they’ll work on fewer accounts. In short, they’re in a position to immerse themselves in your business a bit more than larger agencies can.
There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing an agency – we haven’t touched upon recommendations, reputation, costs, awards won and the like. However, the key is to identify an agency that you are confident in, which you enjoy working with, and which works well with your business. But, most of all, an agency that you trust. If you find that, everything else will fall into place.