What is the Difference Between a Marketing Agency and a Marketing Consultant?
Investing in your marketing strategy can propel your company to meet, and even exceed, your sales goals. Realizing you need help is the first step toward success, so to do it right, you’ve got to call in the experts. But once you start looking at your options for marketing support, it can become overwhelming to realize how many options there are. What is the difference between a marketing agency and marketing consultant? And which one do you need? We’re going to break it down for you.
Agency vs. Consulting: What’s the Deal?
It can be tricky sometimes to tell the difference between agency and consultancy. One reason is that people often use the terms interchangeably. In addition, they often offer similar services and can deliver comparable results. But what are you really talking about with a consultant vs. agency?
Generally, a consultant is an individual who advises a company on marketing plans and methods, often on a short-term or project-specific basis. A consultant can help you create a plan, establish your messaging and tactics, and monitor progress.
A major difference between consultancy and agency is an agency usually consists of a larger team, offering a wide range of services in one place with expertise in diverse methods that can help you take a more holistic approach to your efforts. A marketing firm can also help you create a plan, establish your messaging, and monitor progress, but will likely have a broader scope of experience with a larger team.
Choosing Between Marketing Consulting Firm vs. Agency
There are several factors to consider when deciding between a consultant vs. agency:
Skills: Since it is usually one person, consultants often have a narrow focus and specific but extensive expertise, while an agency tends to have a wider breadth of knowledge. For example, a consultant may focus on a particular industry or part of the marketing process, like strategy or execution. With a larger team, agencies likely have more experience at their fingertips. Even with a larger scope, marketing agencies also tend to focus on a particular area like branding or digital marketing consulting.
Cost: When deciding between marketing agency vs. consulting options, companies mistakenly assume a consultant is the more cost-efficient option. A consultant may have more flexibility with their rates where an agency would not, but if they have a lot of expertise in a certain niche, they may demand high rates. Either option is still often cheaper than building a team in house.
Service and relationship: Companies may choose a consultant because of the one-on-one style of support. With an agency, you will likely work with more than one person, although most agencies still have one or two people serve as your point of contact who are responsible for overseeing your portfolio. With this team in place, an agency may be able to take on larger projects in a shorter period while their status as a one-person shop may require a consultant to push projects out longer or pass on projects that need a quick turnaround. When choosing between consultancy vs. agency it’s important to know that both regularly use outside contractors as needed.
Deciding between a consultant vs. agency is a critical decision you’ll face as you work to enhance your sales. It’s important to have a good idea of the services and competencies you think you need but also to be open to the recommendations of the professionals you are meeting with to potentially hire. The consultant or agency that is right for you is going to be one who seems to know and understand your business, has the skills you require, and feels like you would enjoy working with them.
As a marketing agency with a team of digital marketing consultants, it’s easy to guess where we land in the debate between a consultant vs. agency. For less than the average annual cost of hiring an experienced, full-time marketing team member, Paradigm’s clients have access to a team of digital marketing consulting services professionals with a wide range of skill sets, including strategic marketing, social media, branding strategies, content writing, website development, graphic design, print design, and other online marketing consulting services. Are you deciding between a consultant vs. an agency? Contact us today so we can make the decision easy for you.