Marketing Advisor Vs. Marketing Agency: Which One Is Right For You?

As a business or marketing leader, you should understand your team’s strengths and limits. You can see when it’s time to call in outside support to achieve your goals and deliverables.

But what kind of help do you need? While marketing agencies and marketing advisors play in the same space, the work they deliver is fundamentally different.

What’s the contrast between a marketing agency and a marketing advisor? And more importantly, which one do you need to find? We break it down here.

How They Work

Marketing advisors and consultants are usually tight, lean teams ready to sit with the owners, lead strategy development and get the roadmap set efficiently.

They’re likely skilled marketing vets who’ve been in the trenches on internal teams. They assess challenges and limitations, get up to speed quickly, identify gaps, and manage stakeholders to advance projects.

Agencies tend to be bigger shops; they’re not as nimble and are often more rigid in support services because of their size. With a larger book of business, there’s not always the flexibility for quick turnarounds or last-minute pivots. Individuals at agencies are often more invested in their organization’s internal politics rather than the dynamics of your workplace.

What They Deliver

A growth marketing strategy doesn’t exist in a bubble. It must be designed to suit your organization’s larger strategic goals, with short-term plan and long-term vision.

Marketing advisors consider the whole picture and guide the development, frequently consulting on operations, sales execution, and customer experience. What are your business’s purpose, core values, and barriers to success? What sets your organization apart in a commoditized business world? How do you share your vision and purpose with the world?

Many advisors, including Bongo Consulting, have an extended partner network of expertise to and services to contribute on key components of marketing plan development. There are many channels to consider so tapping into a network of experienced marketing partners can win you access to an expert in each area.

Agencies, for the most part, tend to be more tactical. An agency will likely set campaign goals, and they can definitely turn out stellar copy and eye-catching visuals. They’re also well-positioned to provide insights and analytics into your campaign results, but it will be up to you to connect those results with your organization’s broader strategy.

What They Cost

Agencies run with a lot of overhead. When you pay your agency invoice, you’re covering–at least in part–the entire staff, lightbulbs, copiers, even the agency teams’ car service.

What you get in return is not always clearly defined. While agencies will often trot out the big-name leadership to pitch new prospects, your day-to-day contact will be most likely with junior agency members

Marketing advisors–and Bongo, in particular–operate differently. Many consultancies have small distributed teams. At Bongo, our team is mostly remote. We don’t carry the overhead of expensive office space and all the trappings that come along with it.

And while operating costs are low, the value clients receive is high. Because our team is small, there is no bait-and-switch. You get unfettered access to senior-level brainpower and output from our first meeting throughout our relationship.

Ready to learn how you can benefit from working with marketing advisors? Reach out so we can discuss your needs and see if we–or someone in our network–can help.

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