Every business needs to partner up with a marketing agency once they reach a phase of growth. The best marketing agency is crucial in getting you the exposure needed to grow your business to the next phase.
But a common tendency of business owners is to stretch their budget and go for highly expensive agencies instead of working with smaller agencies. Call this a cultural or societal bias, or just plain distrust for smaller companies; this could affect your bottom line.
You get what you pay for, which could mean that you will get a lot fewer services when you work with a bigger company.
Bigger agencies, in general, are highly regarded in the world of marketing because of the recognition and years of credibility they have gathered. But when you break it down to the grassroots, it’s all about working with the employees’ hands-on.
Bigger does not necessarily mean the better, and here’s why.
More Affordable – Higher ROI
Many larger companies choose to work with smaller companies instead of going for brand recognition. A smaller company gives you a much more inclusive range of services in the same price range that would be insufficient when working with a bigger company. The higher your investment gets, the more your ROI suffers down the line.
A marketing budget can quickly overrun when you don’t know exactly what you are paying for. When working with bigger companies, there is no room for error. There is no room for you to make mistakes. Ask, and you shall receive. This means, if your strategy is flawed, you lose a bigger chunk of the budget.
On the other hand, a smaller agency has the chance to keep on testing your marketing strategy and reworking at a lesser budget, which will give you a lot of time to work with market needs and improve your overall efficiency.
Moreover, as Will Burns says, “If your business is at a big NY agency with 1000 people, that does not mean 1000 people are working on your business. Twenty people are probably touching your business across all departments, and that’s the same for a small agency.”
Just because an agency is smaller does not necessarily mean their work is not up to the mark. You can vet a smaller agency just as you would when working with a big agency. Your overall goal should be to afford the best agency for the budget you have, and smaller companies give you a lot of room to play and grow.
More Agile – Big Agencies Move Slow
Larger agencies can hire great marketing people. That means you should get the best people to work on your project, right?
Wrong. The bigger size makes them much less coherent than a smaller team. The bigger a company is, the higher the command chain. You could be waiting up for an updated proposal for much longer, and every second you wait, your traffic will suffer. Your money will be wasted.
Most large firms have policies against letting the creative heads work with the clients directly, so chances are, you will be working with some middle manager who conveys the information to the people who will actually be doing the work. This just bogs down the process so much. Every time you need to change a draft of a process, you will be running back and forth through the same command chain.
At the same time, a smaller agency will be much more agile. You can mobilize them very quickly, brief your problem and have them work with the solution and get it back without jumping through hoops. It matters when you will face emergencies, which in the world of online marketing can be at any time.
You need quicker communication, direct discussions with the creative agents, and a smaller command chain to get the results in hand before it’s too late to salvage your reputation.
More Time and Effort – Fewer Clients So More Time To Focus On You
The nature of business has changed a lot over the years, but the interpersonal relationships are still crucial in a business. Content marketing has become a testament to what personal branding can do for a business.
You are marketing to people, and you need to be in personal touch with your marketing group to ensure your brand image is intact.
Except, a larger corporation will be professional and polite, and you will never actually meet the people who are creating your brand persona. You will never be able to convey the flavor of your business to them directly.
Besides, you are just another cog in the wheel in a larger agency. If you are not happy with your services, a bigger company will quickly terminate the account that works through the problem because this is much more cost-efficient for them if you are unhappy as a client.
Smaller businesses cannot operate on the same model. They don’t have enough clients that you are expendable. The stakes are high for a smaller agency, and they will work through every issue to make sure you are happy.
Lindsay Mullen, in one of his Forbes articles, says “Hiring a small agency means you’re going to get the time and attention of the firm’s leadership and best strategic thinkers – this means more entrepreneurial and creative thinking as well as agility. You’re also selecting to work with a team where every client counts, so there will be genuine interest in your success.”
If personal service matters to you, the choice is easy. Besides, the creative minds behind the company need to be in touch with you directly. They need to understand the message you are trying to convey firsthand and not be fed information through 3 different middle managers. The result will be much more prominent in the service outcome.
A smaller agency, however, has a much tighter team. You will get a chance to work with the actual workers. You can build personal relationships, and give your feedback to them directly, ask any questions you have, raise concerns without running through middlemen. You will also have an easier time getting accustomed to the command chain because it will be smaller and flatter.
This will become even more prominent when you have a problem that needs a super quick solution. Your business might be dealing with a PR issue where every second delayed is costing your reputation and money. Would you really like to run down the corporate ladder and get delayed getting the message to the actual people handling your account?
So, choose a small digital marketing agency and reap a better ROI.