news: Full-Service Agency vs. Specialty Shop
October 10, 2017

Full-Service Agency vs. Specialty Shop

Hiring an agency always presents a time-honored question: do you hire the stacked, full-service advertising agency, or the stylish and chic specialty firm?  

This decision is fundamentally based on your business needs. You’ll need to consider whether you’re fixing just one piece of your marketing pie, or if you need a full batch of services to keep your brand rolling. 

For more integration and the most synergy across departments, a full-service ad agency is your best bet. The marketing sphere can be jammed full and hard to navigate, particularly when it comes to energy, so it’s important to make the right decision for you. 


The Difference Between Full-Service Agencies and Specialty Shops

Full-Service Advertising Agency

These agencies offer complete solutions and, as you might have guessed from the name, a full plate of integrated services to choose from. They’ll handle all marketing and advertising requirements that you, your brand, or your business may have, right there in-house.  

From strategy and branding to event management and creative designs, advertising agencies beef up your brand identity across the board. And who wouldn’t love that? 

Specialty Expert

Advertising specialists have specific areas of focus, like video production or Search Engine Optimization (SEO). They often have more streamlined capabilities, making them experts in their respective area(s).  

However, they’re generally smaller than full-service agencies and can’t offer the same level of integrated solutions.


Benefits of Full-Service Agencies vs. Specialists 

1. More Industry Knowledge

Let’s say you’re not getting enough leads to your website. You might think it’s because of poor SEO, so you visit an SEO specialist. But what if the issue is something else? What if your issue is actually overlooked, because the specialist agency doesn’t have other contextual knowledge?  

Agencies with more experience across multiple disciplines are likely to have a broader and more interconnected understanding of the industry as a whole. This means – you guessed it – a big advantage in identifying and solving issues.  

2. One Point of Contact

Unlike specialty agencies where you would have separate contacts for each part of your strategy, communication is usually easier at a full-service company. You’ll have a designated Account Manager, a single liaison for all questions and concerns (and, of course, glowing praise).  

If your strategy involves a lot of different facets, your AM will coordinate all of them and get the right info to the right people - strategists, programmers, copywriters, photographers, and big thinkers. 

3. Cohesive Strategy

Full-service ad agencies are in constant communication between departments and Account Managers. That means that each team member on your project understands your brand and knows the other marketing initiatives you might have going on. Access to important documents maintains smooth, consistent branding and key messaging across all forms of marketing. It’s efficiency at its finest. What’s not to love? 

4. Cost-Savings

While specialty agencies may appear less expensive than full-service agencies on the surface, look at it from a step back. 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. If you end up needing more than you think, it’s already there and ready to add to the pile. 


Hiring a Full-Service Agency 

To have value, marketing must drive performance. While strong individually, teams are stronger together. Having an experienced partner that helps you conquer challenges and achieve your ambitions is often the difference between falling short and rising above all the competition.