I think it’s worth discussing the difference between a marketing specialist (or marketing consultant) and a marketing agency. Which one is best for you is entirely dependent on your requirements.
A marketing specialist
A marketing specialist frequently works alone. I can attest to this as I am one! I do collaborate with designers, copywriters and PPC experts but they are usually freelancers or micro businesses like mine. Many of whom I have known for years, and they deserve to be in my iPhone contacts. Sometimes, I work with a client’s preferred supplier or agency (which is fine) but most of the time it is just me. The benefit to this is that I am adaptable, I can easily slot into your own marketing team or offices quite easily.
If you are a sole trader, micro or small business, and want to advance your business without committing to a full-time marketing employee or an agency, a marketing specialist is a good fit. If you find a great marketing specialist, they should have a lot of experience and be specialised in the area where you need help. They frequently have lower overheads than agencies, which means that their daily rate is competitive when compared to a larger agency.
With a specialist, what you see is what you get; if you contract your work to them, they will most likely be the person who handles every aspect of it. In a nutshell, it’s a good starting point and you can test the water with one. The more you work with him or her, the more they will understand your business, become part of your team, and become more effective at what they do.
A marketing agency
A specialist may not always be the best fit for you and your company. I’ve previously worked for a large agency and am fully aware of how they benefit clients. All the expertise you’ve ever desired will be available under one roof, and you’ll have access to a vast network of talented individuals who can add value to your business. I cover short-term staffing issues at agencies, and there’s a real buzz of excitement in the air that’s difficult to replicate with just one person – although I try!
When you hire an agency, you’ll be working with a whole team of people with various specialities, many of whom will be highly experienced in your industry. Unlike a marketing specialist, who can only work on a limited number of accounts at once, an agency can work on multiple businesses at the same time – and can even hire additional staff if necessary.
They will most likely have media buying departments, 24-hour studio capabilities, printers, digital marketing experts, and access to top-of-the-line equipment. Many clients are relieved to know that they can rely on an agency for assistance.
I love my job as a marketing specialist, and my clients benefit from the knowledge and experience I gained whilst working for a large agency for 8 years. However, I am fully aware of my limitations and do not try to be bigger than I am.
If you’re still not sure what you want, I’d be happy to talk with you. And if it helps, I can recommend a couple of fantastic marketing agencies in Swansea.
The most important thing to remember is to do what feels right for you and your business.