Regional Companies Should Understand the Differences Between Large and Small Agencies and Which is Best for Them

For Mid-market Companies, while signing with a large media agency has the perception of assurance it may not be in the best interest of the company’s marketing plan.

“Go big or go home”! It’s a phrase heard quite often, but do you really need to go big when hiring a media agency?

No matter the size of your budget, deciding on a large media agency could be a difficult decision and may prove to be the perfect play or a waste of time. Taking a deeper look at the main differences between small and large agencies can help you determine what’s right for your company.

LARGE AGENCIES

Perception would say that a large agency must be better for many reasons. Like any other business, having a large staff usually indicates some level of success that should be recognized. However, much of their growth isn’t organic but through acquisition, which doesn’t necessarily mean they are better. Large agencies have become what they are by successfully servicing multiple clients over time, but they may lose as many as they gain quite often. So, are they truly better?

Whether justified or not, signing on with a big agency comes with a certain element of assurance. Since the agency has a long history, and ultimately costs more for their services, you’re likely to trust that they know what they are doing and that your budget is in good hands. Unfortunately, they also have a business model that appeals to very large national and world-wide clients more than regional or mid-market companies. While your plan may need a custom suit, your campaign maybe coming off their already predesigned rack of goods.

Be careful, selecting a large agency doesn’t always guarantee more experience. In most cases, most of your work will be assigned to junior staff members and assistant managers, before being blessed by experienced executives. With that said, here are some benefits to going big:

Large Agency Benefits

1). More Resources
No surprise that larger agencies usually have more resources, which can translate to a quicker turnaround. They may overwork inexperienced junior members to complete your project and many of the junior staff will be delegated to devoting their attention to your account, but quality may prove more important than quantity for your best results. However, if you want something processed quickly, a big agency may be a better option.

2). Range of Services
Larger agencies often offer a full gambit of services. They can do everything. A one-stop-shop for full campaign execution. Everything from campaign creation to branding, and targeting can all be done under one roof. Additionally, full-service agencies will offer helpful services such as advanced analytics.

SMALL AGENCIES

One advantage partnering with a smaller agency has is service. Another is value. But, working with a smaller agency isn’t just about saving money. Many of today’s big-name agencies are partnering with small agencies to offer their own clients some new campaign ideas, strategies and techniques. As obtaining results for clients continues to become more custom, integrated and competitive, large agencies can’t afford to be left behind.

In general, small agencies are much more transparent, personal, agile and attentive and campaign adjustments are made on the fly much easier than with large agencies.

Small Agency Benefits

1). Focused Expertise
Many smaller agencies have made it their prerogative to become experts within specific niches. If you have a highly specialized target audience that you’re trying to reach, a small agency may be your best bet. No matter the niche, there is probably an agency out there devoting itself to it.
Finding primary expertise at larger agencies is possible, but very unlikely. For most large agencies, the goal is to secure as many accounts as possible and utilize the budget as much as possible. This approach lends itself to being able to process many different things and having expertise in few of them.

2). Innovative Thinking
If you really want people to take notice within your brand’s industry, a smaller agency can provide you with the level of innovation you’ll need to stand-out. Unlike their global counterparts who may be more experienced in implementing expensive, traditional ad campaigns, small agencies generally have a much better understanding of today’s marketing techniques on local levels.

WHICH AGENCY IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

Ultimately, agencies are centered around one thing – people. Whether big or small, choose an agency that is compatible with your company culture.
Your main goal is to work with knowledgeable professionals who not only enjoy their work but will always put forth their absolute best effort on your behalf.

Author: Frank Gussoni

President & Founder of A3 media. We're Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.