When you’re deciding which marketing firm to hire, it’s easy to get caught up in the glamour of a big agency: the brand name, the impressive client list, the major wins and awards. What’s not to like? The biggest, brightest, most storied agencies have it all – or so it often seems.

Just be careful not to be fooled by a fancy facade.

A growing company often makes the mistake of seeking a big-name agency to legitimize its brand, even if it doesn’t get that agency’s best team. When you get down to the nuts and bolts of ideation, production and distribution, big agencies are often less agile, flexible and collaborative than more modest players in the field. For small businesses, this is crucial to understand.

Where large agencies often require more time to execute your vision, their smaller counterparts are better able to test concepts and apply strategies in short order. This is because there are likely bottlenecks in the long chain of command at larger agencies. At smaller agencies, however, the feedback loop is much shorter.

To make the most of your marketing dollars, consider what a partnership with a small agency can offer. Many small agencies

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