Once upon a time, it was a status symbol and privilege to be on the client list of a big advertising agency. These advertising agencies gave bigger, better service and dominated the media kingdom. The tables have now turned and this is no longer the case. So, if you’re currently tossing up between big or boutique advertising agencies to best fulfil your marketing strategies, here are a few things to take into consideration:
Big agencies give you their small fish
Big advertising agencies bring in the big guns when they are pitching. However, once the contract is signed, the senior team disappears and you are left with mid-weight and junior executives; people who don’t have the experience that you signed up for and need on your account.
Boutique agencies give you their whole pond
Their talent pool is transparent and the same people – owners and partners - work on your business every day.
Big agencies favour the financed
Understandably, big clients with million-plus budgets naturally receive favouritism, especially when times are tough. But where does that leave you if your budget can’t compete?
Boutique agencies favour no one
Every single client is important in a boutique advertising agency and every budget is respected and treated with the same dedication. Why? Because every dollar counts and repeat business is a priority.
Big agencies can’t specialise
You never see a big advertising agency working with all the big banks or all the big beer brands; they have to spread their net wide in order to remain big. So they specialise in being non-specific. Which means that they are, as a rule, dabblers in all categories, masters of none. For example, one minute your agency’s account team is trying to drive the sales of a new toothpaste in the market, the next they’re trying to engage passionate entertainment fans in an authentic way - it just doesn't work. Successful entertainment campaigns can't be born from patchy insights and lightweight knowledge.
Boutique agencies can own an industry
Industries such as entertainment or lead generation have unique needs and they lend themselves to specialist attention by specialist agencies. That’s why you find such industries flocking to a single insightful boutique advertising agency where all of their intricacies can be understood from day one.
Big agencies book you in
A tour has just sold out and added further shows. A film has just won an Oscar. Your entertainment campaign needs an urgent change and you need an instant response to stay ahead of the competition. You call the big agency and are told, “I’m sorry, she’s in meetings until this time next century.”
Boutique agencies fit you in
Boutique advertising agencies aren’t barricaded off by an impenetrable wall of meetings. People are accessible, proactive and reactive, 24/7. They make it happen.
Big agencies give you pigeon holes
The bigger an advertising agency gets, the more it has to run like a government department in order to keep track of itself. Often these advertising agencies have inflexible global marketing deals in place and a one-size-fits-all approach to media, not to mention clunky procedures and protocols that tie all your marketing arms in sticky red tape.
Boutique agencies give you free range
With no cumbersome hierarchy or multinational mumbo jumbo, things just get done. Boutique advertising agencies are independent and strategically agile, which leads to a refreshingly entrepreneurial approach and the ability to leap at any promising innovation before anyone else does.
Big agencies give you big bills
It's pretty obvious; big agencies have big overheads. If big shop prestige is still important to you, you’ll be happy to pay considerably more than you need to. If not...
Boutique agencies give you boutique bills
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