When your business grows and develops, your marketing requirements also change. How do you know who to choose, whether that be a Full Service Agency or a Specialist Agency?
In this article, we’re going to discuss the difference between a Full Service Agency and a Specialist Agency, then talk about the pros and cons to both.
What’s is the difference between Full Service or Specialist?
In the beginning, it’s very important to remember that marketing agencies are not all the same, and it’s key to understand the things that differentiate them before deciding on one to partner your business with.
A full-service agency works exactly as you think, they offer the full range of marketing services which your business may require. As mentioned at the start, some specific offerings may vary between full-service agencies, but almost all of them will provide a combination (if not all) of the following services:
- Branding strategy & development
- Digital marketing strategy
- Website design and development
- Search engine optimization (SEO) / Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Email marketing strategy (Development & Implementation)
- Social media marketing / Paid social media management
- Pay Per Click (Google/Social)
- Content creation (Video / Podcasts / Blogging)
- Graphic design
You will find that a specialist agency will only provide 1 or 2 of these services. They might just focus on business SEO and concentrate on building your leads from that single marketing channel.
Full-Service Agency benefits
A specialist agency will be a good fit for businesses if you have a very specific, single need – which you don’t see changing in the future. A full-service is preferred for a company with a variety of different business and marketing objective, they would like to achieve.
Will I get the same level of knowledge from a Full Service Agency?
One clear advantage of an integrated full service agency is the breadth of expertise it brings to your marketing campaigns. Most full-service agencies have extensive experience in a range of marketing channels.
This is hugely beneficial for SME’s and small startup companies who are just getting their feet off the ground. This is because they will have experienced marketing specialists helping them every step of the way with their marketing and branding. From website design & creation to social media campaigns, a full-service agency has the ability to support and implement transformational strategies that deliver tangible results.
On the other hand, the tunnel vision of a specialist agency allows for the collaboration of skills and expertise in one specific area. In the marketing space, especially when it comes to digital (online) marketing, is constantly changing, and specialists have to stay up-to-date with changes and developments in their field. In addition to this, as well as being knowledgable in their area of marketing, specialist agencies can become even more difficult by restricting the advertisements they do for specific industries. An example would be when owning an online retail shop, the owners would seek out retail SEO experts.
Ease for your company
It is highly likely that your business will have many marketing needs in its lifetime, and each addition of a new specialist agency adds more complexity and communication to your business. Partnering with multiple specialist agencies means a lot more work for you and your business. This is because you will need to manage and communicate with them all.
A full-service agency like ours, will take a brief, understand your goals and objects and take on a responsibility to help you achieve those goals. This, in turn, will allow you to focus on managing, scaling, and building your business.
The more third parties that are involved in your business, the more complicated the communication becomes. It is far easier to only have to communicate with a single person at a single agency that has all the expertise and all the capabilities you need under one roof, with a team that works together.
Coherence and Consistency
When a single agency oversees your branding, marketing and strategy, you can be sure your brand’s messaging to your customers will be consistent across all marketing channels.
If you go the specialist route, you may achieve consistency within a single platform, but as soon as you begin bringing on more specialists to handle different channels, you run the risk of confusing your brand’s message.
To add to this, a full-service agency will work on different layers of marketing simultaneously. This collaboration allows for a broader perspective of your overall brand and business, while the viewpoints of specialist agencies tend to be more myopic.
Specialist agencies naturally favour the platforms they specialize in and will push you towards driving more resources and energy toward those specific channels. In the current world of digital marketing, with diverse offerings, a full-service agency will be more objective drive when recommending which avenues are right for you.
When you have multiple specialists involved, it can be difficult to decide where to focus your resources. They all may advocate for a level of creative direction, and it is ultimately easier to entrust this to a single company rather than splitting ownership between several.
One question we get asked all the time is “How much is this all going to cost me?” and the honest truth is this – The cost of your marketing will vary greatly depending on your needs.
If you only require a single marketing service, such as Graphic Design, you might find a specialist agency will do the job. Going to that specialist can sometimes cut out any middleman costs (unless they have an in house graphic designer) and ensure you only pay for the service you need. However, by doing this, you sacrifice the opportunity to have a wide range of expertise and other options available from a full-service agency.
It is worth keeping in mind that your needs may expand or contract. When they do, it would more beneficial and cost-effective to have a full-service agency add or remove services as your own internal capabilities develop. This way, you don’t have to stop everything you had with one specialist. You can ramp up or down with one broad agency that knows where your agency is going.
Making the Choice
As discussed there are both pros and cons to both full-service and specialist marketing agencies.
If your company is at the size you already have a functioning marketing team with an extensive range of capabilities, it might make sense to bring in a specialist to fill that specific hole of expertise you have. For most companies, however, full-service agencies are the way to go because it’s the simplicity of having one point of contact, along with their wide range of expertise and holistic approaches on your business.
Here at Magnetiz, we have learnt that the needs of every brand and business are unique and change constantly. As a full-service digital agency, we have a large spectrum of expertise from various industries.
We are happy to work with businesses at every stage of the creative process. Whether you are in need of a single service or are searching for help in building your brand from the ground up, Magnetiz is here to help connect you to your customers.