These days, there is a growing trend of big brand companies choosing to partner with small marketing agencies. These big brands have learned that, unlike large agencies, small shops don’t operate like their own internal marketing departments. Instead, small shops are nimble, creative and concerned with delivering results for their clients that will earn a referral or the next engagement.
GET LIFT is a small marketing agency but our client list includes many large brands. We often get asked about this dynamic so we decided to write a blog post about it.
If you’re a marketer considering a smaller marketing agency, here are 8 of the top advantages to consider:
1. WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET
Have you ever connected with a vendor pre-sales contact who really understood your needs, objectives and style only to never hear from them again once the ink dried on the contract? Working with a small agency often means that your friendly pre-sales contact is also a senior consultant and will still play an integral role when it’s time to roll up the sleeves and get work done. For our clients, it means you’re not sold on the expertise of a couple of individuals only to discover that the account team is completely different than the pitch team.
2. NO WEAK LINKS IN THE CHAIN
We’re too small to allow dead weight to hide or coast on our teams because it impacts our work and our morale. As we grow, we’re always on the lookout for top-notch professionals to join our team. We interview 2-3 people (freelancers, contractors, agency partners) a month just to have a good bench with a variety of specialized or general B2B marketing skills to draw from when needed. The result? As a client, you’re continually surrounded by an invested team of people that bring a wealth of experience and ideas to the table.
3. LESS RED TAPE = FASTER TURNAROUND
Most marketers already have enough red-tape to deal with internally. Approval processes can be very time consuming and the last thing you want is to deal with is a slow-moving, bureaucratic agency. Big agencies tend to have various levels of a team working on deliverables, each requiring several levels of feedback and internal revisions. In a smaller, leaner agency, there simply aren't that many levels of approvals because the levels don't exist. So we're able to turnaround projects that have seemingly impossible deadlines, including some that come in at the last minute.
4. GET MORE FROM YOUR BUDGET
There is usually a lower overhead for smaller, leaner agencies. Our biggest cost by far is our talent but we typically aren't burdened by some of the operational expenses of a large agency. Thus the cost of doing business with a small agency remains comparatively low.
5. WORK WITH A CONSISTENT TEAM
Many large agencies have tremendous turnover. Smaller agencies tend to have much less turnover because of selective hiring and a tight knit “familiar atmosphere”. Clients benefit from being served by a constant and cohesive account and project team that knows your brand, knows your preferences and knows EXACTLY what to do with your half-filled brief.
6. CREATIVE CUSTOMIZED SOLUTIONS THAT FIT
In our agency, we seek to attract people that are passionate and curious about what they do. They want to learn about different disciplines and are more willing to experiment creatively with new techniques and strategies. They listen to our clients’ needs and generate tailored ideas without forcing an ill-fitting, dated methodology. And we may propose smaller ideas that may not give big-agency profit potentials, but could be useful to move the sales needle for our clients. Ideas derived from things like personas, content audits, sales-enablement tools. Sometimes it’s the small things that make big things happen.
7. COLLABORATION CREATES PRODUCTIVITY AND EFFICIENCY
Because small agency teams are leaner, tight-knit, and collaborative by nature, we’re used to working with one another. Team members understand and respect each other’s work style, role, and expectations so the amount of internal back and forth is significantly reduced. There's an inherent safety in proposing new ideas at small agencies which helps to spur innovation. The collaborative atmosphere means that fresh perspectives are welcome across the team so work sessions are agile, less limiting and more productive.
8. COMFORTABLE WITH MULTIPLE HATS AND THE BIG PICTURE
AdvertisingAge predicts that future marketers will command a wide breadth of cross-disciplinary competence with deep expertise in one discipline. Team members at small agencies are already well versed in thinking critically across multiple disciplines. We need to be able to comprehend the big picture context in order to provide quality advice, feedback and direction to our client. In bigger agencies, it is often discouraged to give advice ‘outside’ of your discipline for risk of stepping on toes and egos.
Many large brands have grown tired of working with bloated agencies that sometimes create more constraints and headaches rather than actually solve the problem at hand. Small marketing agencies are armed. We’re ready to help you create quality, cost-effective work at the quick speed that the marketplace demands.
If you’d like to find out what it’s like to work with a nimble yet empowering agency, we’d be happy to chat.