Want more customers? No matter your organization’s size or scope, you need to invest in some kind of marketing strategy to connect with more leads and grow your revenue. The challenge is that hiring an internal marketing team takes both time and money, both of which are in short supply.
Instead, partner with a third-party marketing specialist to get better results in less time. With the right partner on your side, you’ll be able to get more out of your marketing efforts and spur meteoric business growth.
But there are so many marketing providers from which to choose. Marketing agencies and marketing consultants promise the same results and services, but they’re very different. A consultant is an independent person who advises on short-term marketing plans and tactics. An agency, on the other hand, has a large team that offers a wider range of services on an ongoing basis.
Not sure which option is right for your business? Compare these five benefits of hiring a marketing agency versus consulting.
Marketing consultants are experts in their particular niche. They might not have a breadth of experience, but their narrow focus and depth of knowledge are perfect for campaign optimization.
For example, if you need an expert to help you overhaul your advertising ROI, a marketing consultant has the expertise to get the job done. In fact, depending on what you need, you might want to hire multiple marketing consultants to touch on different areas of your marketing strategy.
Because they are just one person, marketing consultants usually focus on strategy instead of execution. If you go with a consultant, make sure you have the internal resources to execute on their strategy.
Unlike a consultant, a marketing agency has multiple people available to work on your campaign. Instead of focusing on a single issue, agencies have a larger team to create everything you need. They specialize in both strategy and execution, so if you want a one-stop shop that offers comprehensive services, an agency is a better bet.
Both a marketing consultant and a marketing agency are more cost-effective than hiring an internal marketing team and starting it from scratch. But which option is better for your budget?
If you have a very limited marketing budget, go for a consultant first. Consultants are individuals, which means they tend to have cheaper fees. However, consultants will only take you so far. Remember that they specialize in strategy, not execution, so you’ll still need a plan for implementing the strategy they create.
Agencies have large teams, offices, and software. You’ll spend more to work with an agency versus a marketing consultant, but remember that you get what you pay for. Yes, marketing agencies cost more than consultants, but that’s because they offer more services and capabilities for the money.
- Level of service
If you’re deciding between a marketing agency and a consultant, think about the level of service you want. What do you need them to do for you?
Consultants are better for spotting specific problems in one area of your marketing strategy. For example, if you know your customer experience needs work, a consultant can pinpoint the problem and offer solutions.
However, if you need a marketing expert to create a strategy and execute it, go with an agency. Agencies give you consistent help executing your strategy. They write your blogs, manage ad campaigns, and send emails on your behalf so there are fewer marketing tasks on your plate.
Because of that, a marketing agency is a better bet because it offers marketing help that grows with you. A consultant is just one person, but an agency can add more team members to your account if you need more support.
- Turnaround time
How quickly do you need work completed? Is this a short-term project or a long-term collaboration? Your preferences will affect your decision to work with a marketing agency vs. a consultant.
Marketing consultants are better for short-term work like SEO audits, Facebook Ads optimization, or audience research. The good news is that it takes just a few hours to onboard a marketing consultant because you’re educating one person about your brand. Marketing agencies require a longer learning curve because of their larger staff, but it’s an investment that pays off in the form of a stronger, more reliable partnership.
Keep in mind that consultants have a limited amount of time to work on your campaigns. There’s a good chance you’ll need to wait longer to schedule meetings or receive reports because of their constraints.
Marketing agencies have more hands on deck, which means they can meet more regularly, send reports more frequently, and iterate your campaigns more quickly. Yes, you invest more time in an agency at the beginning of the relationship, but overall, you’ll save more time with an agency.
- Point of contact
The nature of marketing consulting means you’re building a close, personal relationship with your consultant. They don’t have a team backing them up, so when you hire a marketing consultant, they’re your only point of contact. This definitely streamlines email chains, but if anything ever happens to your consultant or they’re not delivering what you want, you’re out of luck.
Thanks to its large team, a marketing agency is always available to help you. You’ll probably come into contact with multiple team members, but your main point of contact will be an account manager who handles every aspect of the relationship.
You’ll enjoy a single point of contact with either a consultant or an agency. The difference is that an agency has backups and systems in place in case your point of contact isn’t available, you need additional personnel, or you want to increase capacity.
Choosing Between a Marketing Agency vs. Consulting
In some cases, you might work with both a marketing consultant and an agency—it all comes down to your unique situation. Choose between a marketing agency or consulting based on your budget, time, and needs. If you want more robust help and the best agency service in the business, consider partnering with Nitrous Effect. We are a unique company collaboration of specialty agencies that solve complex business challenges better and faster than the traditional agency model. Contact us today and find out how we help brands build strong marketing strategies for dramatic results.