Sunday, 13 October 2019

The one stop agency doesn't exist

It is the dream of every business owner to have a single agency that can make all their marketing pain disappear. This agency will come in, understand the business, do all the marketing activity that needs doing and, importantly, do it precisely the way the business owner wants it done.

My view? Such an agency doesn't exist, and if it does, please comment on this post with your secret.

From my experience, the one-stop agency hardly ever delivers one-stop service. They always drop the ball somewhere, have a weakness they don't know of, or don't admit too, and more often than not fail to offer a real holistic solution.

But one cannot blame the agencies. They need all the business they can get and will hardly ever say no. They know of the need for "full-service" agencies and often market themselves as such, despite it not being the full story. The reality is that marketing is much too broad, too complicated and too fast-moving for a single agency to be able to deliver everything.

Think about it: not even the global giants work with only one agency.
A core pillar of strategic marketing is this idea of an integrated marketing mix, meaning a combination of tools should be used together to achieve clearly defined communications objectives. Such a marketing mix should use a variety of tactics to communicate a single brand message and move prospects through the purchase funnel. The nature of such mix f tools almost always means using different suppliers to deliver the work.

Instead of looking for a single agency to meet with all your marketing needs, I suggest you instead focus on doing the right thing: define your marketing objectives and find the best partners to deliver on it in an integrated manner.

There is no such thing as the one-stop, full-service marketing agency. Effective marketing is like baking a cake - you need a handful of ingredients to make it tasty. Unfortunately you hardly ever get all these ingredients from a single shop.