Full-Service Agency vs. Specialty Shop
When looking to hire a marketing agency, one major question comes to mind: do you hire a full-service advertising agency, or a specialty firm? While this decision is fundamentally based on your business needs, you should consider whether you are looking to fix one piece of your marketing pie, or if you are in search of a “one stop shop” which offers fully-integrated solutions.
If you’re looking for a fully-integrated and synergized marketing solution, a full-service ad agency is your best bet. As the marketing sphere can be highly saturated and hard to navigate, particularly when it comes to Energy, it’s imperative that you to make an informed decision about where you invest your marketing dollars. Given the oil and gas industry is on the upswing, the right investment now will prove rewarding in the coming days, months and years. So, what makes for the “right investment,” and what makes full-service advertising agencies different?
Full-Service Advertising Agency: A complete service, fully-integrated marketing agency which is adept at handling all marketing and advertising requirements that you, your brand or your business may have in-house. From strategy and branding to event management and creative, advertising agencies aim to translate your corporate identity through a wide range of mediums to successfully promote your business. In other words, they offer a complete solution.
Specialty Expert: Advertising specialists, such as a firm which specializes in video production or Search Engine Optimization (SEO), are highly focused agencies with streamlined capabilities, and which are experts in their respective area(s). They are generally slightly smaller than full-service agencies and do not offer fully-integrated marketing solutions; however, they have precise expertise in their given field as they have a smaller focus than a full-service ad agency.
So, what are some of the benefits of employing a full-service advertising agency versus a specialty expert?
Industry Knowledge: If you think the reason you’re not generating enough leads is due to your lack of SEO, you’re likely to approach an SEO specialist. But, what if the issue is something other than your SEO? What if your brand’s primary issue is misdiagnosed solely because the specialist agency cannot provide other solutions? Consider this – specialists have an in-depth understanding of a specific, limited area. Agencies which have experience dealing with a larger range of industry segments are likely to have a broader and, in a sense, greater understanding of the industry as a whole. Given the dynamic nature of the oil and gas industry, a greater understanding is a major advantage.
It’s important to look at the very foundation of your business and use it as a basis for developing in-depth brand, insights and tactical recommendations. In other words, don’t misdiagnose. Find an agency who’s expertise allows them to conduct thorough research and analysis to help determine the challenge, and overcome it.
One Point of Contact: Unlike specialty agencies where you may have separate contacts for your SEO strategy, video production, PR, web design and so on, full-service agencies are your one-stop-marketing-shop. Employing a full-service ad agency means you will have a designated Account Manager who will be your one point of contact for all questions, concerns or praises. Looking to develop a brand strategy, targeted SEO, plan a photoshoot, and anything and everything in between? Your Account Manager will be your business representative, and will work within the highly qualified team of strategists, programmers, copywriters and creative suite to build and implement strategic campaigns that connect with your audience at every stage of your project.
Cohesive Strategy: Full-service ad agencies are in constant communication between departments and Account Managers. That means that each team member that touches your project has a detailed understanding of your brand and what other marketing initiatives you’re currently pursuing. They will also have access to your brand and insights documents, allowing them to ensure consistent branding and key messaging across all forms of marketing. Efficiency at its finest, saving you both time and money.
Cost-Savings: While specialty agencies may appear less expensive than full-service agencies, this is a common misconception. Full-service agencies almost always offer competitive pricing models, with the option to “bundle” marketing services together depending on the level and depth of your project needs.
To have value, marketing must drive performance. While strong individually, teams are stronger together. Having an experienced partner that allows you to conquer challenges and achieve your boldest ambitions is essential to rising above and standing out in an industry inundated with competition.