Why do so many companies shy away from working with an integrated agency? In our experience, it’s because they believe they can get a higher level of marketing expertise by engaging a series of niche agencies.
They want the best graphic design, so they hire a design firm that has a killer portfolio. They want the best copywriting, so they engage a crack team of wordsmiths. They want to dominate their social media channels, so they bring in social media experts who know how to get Likes, Shares, and clickthroughs.
Sounds like a great strategy, right? With a team of aces, how can you lose? The problem is that, in stark contrast to an integrated agency, this array of niche providers isn’t really a team at all.
Why Your Marketing Campaigns Need a General Contractor
Perhaps the best way to illustrate the need to work with an integrated agency rather than hire a series of niche providers is through an analogy. Suppose you’re redesigning your backyard around a new swimming pool. This is a massive project that will require the expertise of a range of different contractors.
At this point, you have two choices. Your first option is to call around town and find the best swimming pool installer, concrete layer, bricklayer, lawn designer, lawn installer, and so on. You can then coordinate schedules between all these professionals and hope that their work won’t collide.
Your other option is to hire a general contractor who already has a team of specialists they can quickly engage. Your contractor will take care of all the booking, ensure that everyone is working towards a successful final product, and present you with one nice, neat bill.
Which option are you going to take? Unless you are extremely well connected in the business, you’ll probably find it much easier to work with the general contractor—and you’ll be much more satisfied with the final product.
Now, let’s get back to marketing. Suppose you’ve engaged a series of marketing experts to handle your marketing content programs. You’re producing a new eBook and want to offer it to your audience. You’ll need to write the eBook, design the layout, send out an email campaign, design and develop a landing page, optimize the landing page for search engines, and promote the eBook on social media. You also may want to turn the content of the eBook into a webinar at some point, so you’ll need a slide presentation.
You could try to engage all the experts you need, but then you’d need to explain your objectives to several different parties, nail down their schedules and pricing, and deal with the inevitable delays and miscommunications that can happen whenever multiple companies are involved with a project.
And even if you’re sure you’ve hired the best professionals you could find, you may not be delighted with the final product. Why not? Because all these different agencies and freelancers will have a slightly different way of expressing the message you’re trying to get across. There could be subtle differences in tone between, say, your email blast and your LinkedIn messages.
By contrast, a good integrated agency will have all the experts you need under one roof. When they take on your project, they’ll be responsible for bringing in the talent they need to get it done. A project manager will help ensure not only that deadlines are met, but also that the work meets a consistent standard. And you’ll have one point of contact throughout the entire process.
But Can an Integrated Agency Deliver True Expertise?
As we mentioned earlier, people like to hire marketing specialists or niche agencies because they believe they’ll get better talent that way. And they suspect that if they work with an integrated agency, they’ll get jacks-of-all-trades but masters of none.
This simply isn’t true if you work with the right integrated agency. The best agencies only hire people who are truly experts in what they do. They find the best writers, designers, social media experts, campaign strategists, and so on. And they keep them all under one roof (although nowadays, that “roof” is often virtual).
Espresso B2B Marketing is just such an agency. We’d love a chance to tell you more about the advantages of working with an integrated agency. Got a marketing campaign to discuss?