Top 4 Reasons That Make Full-Service Marketing Agencies the Wrong Choice

Gem Swartz  /  Sep 25, 2016

Having spent my 15-year career at full-service agencies, I have a good grasp of how well-meaning agencies can miss the mark with meeting client needs.

Here’s how:

  1. Not everyone needs full-service marketing support.
    Some clients don’t need a full-service offering. They may only need support for content marketing, branding or website design. Choose an agency that’s flexible to support your needs, and is willing to work within your budget to provide service for your top priorities.
  2. Full-service marketing agencies can sometimes mean a lot of overhead.
    When an agency is fully staffed with full-time employees in every department spanning from Account Planning, Account Management, Creative, Production, Media, and Digital, there is pressure to keep everyone busy and billable. So, if an agency wins a retail account but only has bandwidth within the financial services team, then the agency is forced to assign “experts” from a different vertical to support the retail business.
  3. Full-service marketing agencies can lead to bloat.
    Again, when an agency is fully staffed with full-time employees in every department, the number of agency personnel that attend client meetings and internal meetings can start to grow over time. And, not all these agency personnel are critical to the business or add value. What does this mean for the client? Hourly rates of all those that attend the meeting can really add up, so a one-hour meeting with 10 agency people may cost you $1,500 and up.
  4. Full-service agencies can mean lots of layers.
    Full-service agencies with lots of layers can mean that you’re left to deal with junior account people or have junior creatives and copywriters assigned to your account. While a senior executive was present at the new business pitch and was instrumental in convincing you that you’ve chosen the right agency partner, you may never see that senior executive again.

Now, there is a way to benefit from a full-service agency without experiencing all the downsides outlined here. You can work with an agency like Catalyst, founded by senior marketing professionals who possess varied expertise in the fields of high tech, consumer packaged goods, retail, healthcare, higher ed, and real estate. Our full-service offering means that we can evaluate your marketing needs, help you prioritize, and develop and execute a strategic, holistic marketing plan…without the costly burden of full-time, in-house employees. Instead, we have a pool of skilled resources that we assign based on industry expertise and project scope. The client benefits from having one point of contact, with access to a range of marketing experts, sourcing only what’s needed and strategically driving the marketing plan to generate results.

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