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Marketing agencies can help you make the most of your marketing budget with innovative and effective campaigns and strategies. With so many marketing agencies to choose from, it’s important for you to know what to look for in an agency when selecting one for your company.

What Is a Marketing Agency?

A marketing agency is a company that specializes in all aspects of advertising campaigns. Most agencies offer a range of services, from creating customized marketing campaigns to implementing and tracking those campaigns. They provide support to companies in a multitude of industries that need assistance with their marketing and advertising endeavors. Most marketing agencies can handle many different services and tactics, ranging from traditional, like print marketing, to digital, like social media marketing and website optimization.

Image via Unsplash by halacious

What Is the Difference Between a Marketing Firm and a Marketing Agency?

You may hear the terms “marketing agency” and “marketing firm” used interchangeably. Despite their similar definitions, marketing agencies and marketing firms actually perform different roles in the marketplace.

Marketing Agency

Marketing agencies offer a range of marketing tactics. A marketing agency’s employees often have varying areas of expertise. They usually work independently and come together to create cohesive, interconnected marketing strategies for their clients. Some companies may employ a marketing agency to manage a few marketing tactics, while others hire marketing agencies to select tactics and strategies for them.

Marketing Firm

Marketing firms usually specialize in one or two specific marketing strategies rather than offering a multitude of options. For example, a public relations firm is a type of marketing firm, specializing in PR. The employees at a marketing firm often have similar backgrounds and expertise. They work together to create an effective marketing campaign for you in one specific area.

What Are the Benefits of Working With a Marketing Agency?

Working with a marketing agency can give you a number of advantages in the marketplace:

  • Skills – Marketing agencies have employees with a wide range of skills and expertise. They have the technical knowledge to create comprehensive campaigns, and they can track results to ensure the strategy is effective. Each employee brings a unique skill that drives your campaign toward success.
  • Experience – Using a marketing agency gives you access to employees with many years of experience in the field.
  • Cost – Using a marketing agency to manage your marketing and advertising needs generally costs less than hiring an in-house marketing person or team.
  • Contract – Usually, when you work with a marketing agency, you establish a contract for your marketing plan, which is a lower level of commitment than hiring an internal employee or team indefinitely.
  • Focus – The marketing agency gives total focus to your campaign. You and your employees may not have the time or expertise to develop, implement, and track a campaign, leading to less successful results.
  • Data – Marketing agencies are inherently results-driven. They must provide a solid ROI to their clients, meaning they’ll use data to inform their decisions and ensure your results. You can expect concrete information that backs up the strategy.
  • Resources – Marketing agencies often have access to a variety of resources and tools that would be costly for a single company to acquire independently.
  • Consistency – Your marketing agency will remain consistent in their product and deliverables. If you have turnover on an internal marketing team, by contrast, your campaign may suffer.
  • Flexibility – You can easily scale your campaign up or down based on your needs and budget with a marketing agency.
  • Objectivity – Your marketing agency can remain objective about your product and internal company structure while providing a top-notch campaign to help you meet your goals.

What Are Some Key Features to Look for When Vetting a Marketing Agency?

When you’re ready to find a marketing agency, take the time to vet potential options before signing any contracts. You want to ensure the marketing agency you choose will meet all your needs. Look for these key features when considering which company is right for you:

  • Aligns with your industry – You want a marketing agency that has experience working with your industry so they can make the most effective marketing plan to reach your target demographic. Some marketing agencies focus solely on one industry, such as tech or manufacturing.
  • Provides effective metrics – Ask to see metrics and results from other clients. You want to ensure the marketing agency you choose can deliver measurable and worthwhile results.
  • Has case studies – Case studies are a great way to see how the marketing agency helped other clients with detailed information including the customer’s goals, the agency’s strategy, and the results of the campaign.
  • Offers a strategy – Most marketing agencies will draw up a preliminary marketing strategy to help you decide if they can provide what you need.
  • Communicates often – When meeting with potential marketing agencies, ask how often they meet formally with their clients, who your main point of contact will be, and how frequently you can check in on your campaign.
  • Keeps work in-house – Some marketing agencies outsource some of their work to third-party contractors or companies. If it’s important to you that your marketing agency keeps all your work in-house, ensure they don’t use this practice.
  • Maintains manageable numbers – Find out how many accounts each account manager at the marketing agency is in charge of. You want your manager to have enough time to focus on your campaign and ensure the marketing agency is meeting your needs.

Marketing agencies provide a range of marketing and advertising options to companies in all industries. It’s important to take the time to vet potential agencies before choosing one to ensure they’re equipped to help you reach your goals within your budget.

Knowledge Base: Intro to Marketing

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