In Sydney Pollack’s 1995 film “Sabrina,” Julia Ormond reminds Harrison Ford, “More is not always better, Linus. Sometimes it’s just more.” The same applies when comparing a large marketing firm with a boutique agency.
Some people reason that a large firm has more resources and more clients and will, therefore, have more and better ideas. And, although the larger firm will be more expensive, the extra cost will be well worth it.
Most business owners disagree. Although the larger firm has many resources, those resources are reserved for large clients. A boutique marketing agency like LocalMaxx, although smaller, has essential strengths clients recognize and appreciate. Here are some of the benefits of choosing a boutique marketing agency.
Understanding Their Client is Rule Two
The boutique agency takes time to know their clients and understand their businesses. They know their clients’ strengths and the difference they make with their customers. The boutique focuses their creativity on their clients’ competitive advantages as they build the brand and messaging. This focused creativity will set their client apart and propel their business ahead.
The large marketing firm will have a few rock stars, but a smaller client will likely not work with them. The large firm will try to use and adapt marketing strategies that have worked in the past for their minor clients.
In an Adweek article, Kamini Ramani, vice president of marketing for Mayfield, said that that CEOs often ask her if they should hire a large full-service PR firm or a smaller boutique agency when trying to build their company image.
“I recommend that our early-stage companies partner with focused smaller agencies, as the advantage of being a big fish in a small pond is unbeatable, and they are more likely to find sector experts to represent their company there,” Ramani said.
The boutique agency, by definition, is formed when several outstanding marketing professionals come together and the sum of their talents becomes greater than the parts. Partners are specifically chosen with diverse skills and experience so they can create strong, unique campaigns for their clients.
Appreciating Their Client is Rule One
Every client is significant to the ongoing success of a boutique agency. Unlike the large firm with big retainers and long-term contracts, the boutique knows every project must be outstanding. This drive and desire pay dividends for their clients. The resulting work is crisp, yet complete. The project’s content and visuals resonate with the clients’ prospects, and prospects respond. A client’s business expands as prospects become customers. And as their clients prosper, so does the agency.
The Agency Must be Nimble
The large firm has its mission statement and its business plan and moves ahead like an ocean liner. It applies its strategies that have been successful in the past. The boutique is more like a sailboat, accustomed to tackling any shifts in the wind. This skill allows it to sense any change in the client’s customer base and suggest mid-course corrections. Projects can be changed slightly and campaigns altered mid-course if required. For clients, this flexibility builds boldness. Clients know that they are not locked into a marketing strategy, and are confident they can commit resources and then redirect them if warranted.
In the same Adweek article, Kasey Byrne, founder and principle of Full Point Marketing, recommended finding a boutique firm when you want to not just get a project done, but also want a thought partner and company advocate.
“Working at a startup, I would rarely consider a large agency – speed of execution and agility are crucial,” she said.
Innovation is the Key to Continued Success
The boutique agency challenges the past and the present with an eye to the future. They lead trends as they develop and recommend a change in the mix of media. In a Forbes article, Lindsay Mullen of Prosper Strategies said you can work with strategic thinkers when you work with a small agency.
“Hiring a small agency means you’re going to get the time and attention of the firm’s leadership and best strategic thinkers – this means more entrepreneurial and creative thinking as well as agility. You’re also selecting to work with a team where every client counts, so there will be genuine interest in your success,” Mullen said.
Your Next Step
Before hiring a marketing firm or boutique agency, make sure you have a solid understanding of your needs. Think of what you want to accomplish, the expertise you will need and the character of those that will accomplish the work. In recent years, boutique agencies have proven they can handle major brand campaigns by having niche expertise. They have shown more flexibility and the ability to adapt faster than larger operations. The idea that bigger is better no longer applies in the marketing world.
LocalMaxx is a boutique marketing agency based in Atlanta and Chicago. We provide website design, print media, and online marketing. We help establish and maintain a beautiful and effective online presence for your company. Call today us for a free consultation at 404-937-1987 or get a free SEO website audit here.