Marketing is not the same industry it was ten or even five years ago. The business is moving away from traditional tactics, such as billboards and commercials, to much more unique and cutting-edge strategies like Twitter campaigns and grassroots events. Boutique agencies, known for their small teams and niche expertise, have sprouted all over the country to accommodate brands' more distinctive needs.
Though these firms have been behind many major marketing successes, they still get a bad rap with big brands for being too small and inexperienced. But big is not always better when it comes to choosing a marketing firm for a business.
Size Doesn't Always Matter
Boutique firms are too often pegged as small and therefore unfit to support major brand campaigns. But today's marketplace is not just about major print and television efforts anymore. The new key to success depends on immediacy -- faster adaptation to the slightest change among a demographic or trending social issue, for example, could make or break a marketing campaign. This is where small firms thrive, as they are often much quicker on turnaround. Approving a design to send to the client, for instance, is much easier on a team of 4 than a team of 20. The boost in speed that comes with working with smaller teams means campaigns can begin quicker and see results faster.
Personalization and Passion
Boutiques also bring a level of personalization and passion to a marketing partnership. Employing a small firm often means the difference between calling and reaching a secretary versus reaching the CEO on the first try. Plus, these shops can't afford to pad employee numbers with a mix of rock stars and mediocre employees -- every member of the team is top-quality as there is no 'safety in numbers.' This ensures that every member of a team brings enthusiasm and a high skill level to their work for a brand.
Subject Matter Expertise
Don't waste money on a 500 person global agency when trying to reach an audience in Brooklyn, NY For any targeted campaign, local boutiques can deliver significantly higher ROI. They have experience with the specific demographic, better connections with local vendors, and higher subject matter expertise than an agency based 100 miles away. In addition, big agencies with years of experience too often stick to their guns -- traditional marketing methods. Newer and smaller agencies are more likely to take risks and excel in new-age digital marketing.
Selecting an outside marketing firm centers on having a solid understanding of a brand's needs. In recent years, boutique agencies have risen to the task of supporting major brand initiatives through having niche expertise and the ability to be more flexible and fast-paced than larger operations. The stigmatism of bigger is better no longer applies to the marketing industry. Different-sized firms have diverse specialties, offering brands more options when selecting outside marketing resources.
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