Large Marketing Firms versus Boutique Agencies
- 27 October 2020
All about boutique marketing agencies
When looking for a digital marketing agency, it may be easy to just pick one amongst the list of well-known companies out there. After all, with the number of projects they have undertaken, this seems like the obvious choice. It’s easy to be wowed by the big brands they have worked with and the testimonials they have gotten.
Oh yes, we know all about the psychology of choice.
So why give boutique agencies a chance? Many have the misconception that businesses turn to these smaller agencies when they can’t afford the expertise of a larger company. Let me ask you this: if that’s the case, why are there still so many marketing firms sprouting up?
Betting your all on a boutique marketing agency that is barely established just doesn’t seem worth it when you have the budget to go big. But size doesn’t always matter, and neither does money.
Big brands have worked with smaller names just as well — and have been quite successful in their marketing strategy too! This only proves that boutique agencies aren’t just all bark and no bite. In fact, boutique agencies can just as well come up with the most creative digital marketing strategy for your company.
Still not convinced? We’ve laid down the pros and cons of large marketing firms against that of boutique agencies. The rest is up to you.
Why you should give boutique agencies a chance
Pro: Renowned for what they do
Established companies of course have plenty of testimonials behind their business. It’s easy to develop a sense of security knowing that these companies are reputable and have handled all sorts of projects. After all, if they have the marketing skills to make it, they certainly have the skills to write about it.
Con: Heavy politics and bureaucracy
One weakness that bugs large companies is the bureaucratic process that they so often adhere by. But remember, all big businesses were once small businesses, after all. It’s possible to get the job done without first waiting for the green light from the head of the department, who is also waiting for feedback from a higher committee. It’s always easier to add processes than to remove them. The larger a company gets, the slower the decision-making becomes.
Pro: More resources
Since large companies tend to have more resources to work with, it’s easier for them to stay competitive — and offer you the same resources as well. With a large agency, the many resources act as a security net that can allow clients to feel assured leaving their marketing plan in the care of these big firms.
Con: The Innovator’s Dilemma
Following the work of Harvard professor and businessman Clayton Christensen, the Innovator’s Dilemma argues that large companies default to a status quo once they have reached a certain level of success. Rather than breaking the mold to disrupt the equilibrium, they stick to what they know and only innovate within that certain area.
Pro: Budget stretches further
With lower overhead costs and agency fees, the money that you pump in for the campaign will be used to its full potential in the hands of a boutique agency. They are able to find ways to stretch your budget to its maximum, so you receive more bang for your buck.
Con: Inadequate management
Oftentimes in a small agency, there is only one or two people in the management team overseeing the whole process. This might mean that they do not have time to check in thoroughly with each employee and the work they do. Without a dedicated management team, there is a greater risk of mismanaging occurring.
Pro: More control and flexibility
With fewer processes for each step, boutique agencies often have more control and flexibility over their work. This means that you do too, since you have the final say. The small size of the team you are working with means that there is a lot more transparency — and thus accountability — that a boutique agency can offer you.
Pro: Niched and specialised
The only way boutique agencies are able to stand out in their field is if they find a niche that they are good at and position themselves as the leader in that niche. This way, they are able to compete with larger firms in the same industry.
Having a niche also helps them develop a stronger understanding of the work they do and thus allows them to hone their expertise in it, which may be something that a large firm is unable to offer. With their specialised knowledge, boutique agencies can then give advise on the best marketing strategies to undertake, leading to effective results.
What this means for you
Boutique agencies might not have many testimonials to go on, it’s true. However, this means that they rely a lot more on the outcome to prove their worth.
When it comes to a marketing agency, you need to discern which is the best partner to hire for your company.
Let us tell you — for a marketing plan to really succeed, you need to stick with it through and through. Long-term engagement is important, and if you don’t visualise yourself staying with the agency for a few years at least, then it is not the right one for you.
MIU offers a wide variety of services with comprehensive strategies to go along with it. As a client-oriented creative agency, we place a strong importance on the customer journey. Saying that we understand the importance of long-term engagement is not enough — this manifests in our policy of staying with our clients even after the work is done. With our diverse portfolio of work, we firmly believe that we can provide for you the service your company is looking for.