One of the main reasons big agencies are hired over smaller ones is the belief that it takes an army of people to create, manage and run successful integrated marketing campaigns. It takes a lot less people than you were probably led to believe.
Unless you’re a giant corporation selling products and/or services to many different markets with different needs around the world, a small agency should be able to handle your business. The truth is, about five full-time people is all your agency needs. The rest can be completed by part-time or outsourced specialists. An experienced and talented team with the core competencies below can create, execute and manage pretty much all of your marketing needs.
- Writer/Creative Director
- Art Director/Designer
- Strategist/Account Manager
- Project Manager
- Media Planner/Buyer
Here are the specialists/services that can be part-time or outsourced:
- Coders/Web/App Developers
- Print/Broadcast Producers
- Data Analysts
- Event Planners
- Photography/Video/Radio Production
One of the primary selling points of big agencies is their depth of talent. It’s also one of the ways they rationalize charging you more. They have to because maintaining a large staff of full-timers is expensive. The truth is, very little of that depth is ever utilized for any one client. It’s there if you need it. The reality is, you very rarely do.
What’s more, there are thousands of extremely talented, very senior freelancers and independent companies that are willing to work on projects part-time. This allows small agencies – with the right network of freelancers – to offer the same on-demand specialties the big boys do. And in many cases offer more experienced specialists for less money.
The key is having a very talented and experienced core team that can manage and integrate all the work those outsourced specialists bring to the table. What’s not essential is finding that team through a big agency.