Boutique Vs. Big Digital Marketing Agency? 
So you're a business owner looking to work with a reputable digital marketing agency to work with to promote your products or services online. You've probably asked for some recommendations, or even Googled "Digital Marketing Agency" and shortlisted a few agencies based on their good reviews.
But how do you know if your project is going to be a success... or just an unwanted expense? In this article, we take a look at the pros and cons of working with a boutique and a large digital marketing agency and share with you what you can expect.
We are a group of individuals in Absolute Digital, a small digital marketing agency in Singapore that help elevate brands through digital innovation. Most of our team has experience working in a large digital marketing agency and a small one.
This article is merely our view on which clients are better suited to work with which agencies. Of course, due your due diligence before you select an agency that you're most comfortable with working with, in your long-term campaign.
Boutique Digital Marketing Agency
Working with a boutique digital marketing agency has its pros and cons. Some businesses (in our opinion) are better suited for these agencies, while others are not (we'll explain why). It's important to ask yourself about the priorities of your digital marketing campaign performance: Cost/Budget, Speed, Quality of Work, Team Presence, Support, and Experience.
Pros Of Working With A Boutique Digital Marketing Agency
- These agencies typically cost lesser as they require a less amount of resources compared to a larger digital marketing agency.
- They also tend to focus more on your projects as they have fewer clients to work with
- They are usually faster in response, as compared to larger agencies with a chain of command, or more clients to handle
- Some of these agencies focus on one or two of their core services such as SEO. Therefore, they can be more experienced in that field.
- You get to see unfiltered data on the clients that they're working with as they're more likely to share with you their portfolio.
- They're more likely to put more effort into your campaign to add to their growing portfolio
Cons Of Working With A Boutique Digital Marketing Agency
- They are more likely to have fewer resources (or some outsourced their work), so quality control might be subjective. Always check if they do in-house or outsource.
- They might lack the volume of clients or experience in certain areas
- They might be less organized in terms of working structure or project management
- New agencies might not be in business for long in this competitive industry. Therefore, your project might get stuck in the event the company ceases operations
- They might not have the support level such as Meta or Google partners that larger agencies have.
Larger Digital Marketing Agency
Larger digital marketing agencies are the obvious choice, right? Well, maybe. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of working with a larger digital marketing agency, or what you could expect if you're already working with one.
Pros Of Working With A Larger Digital Marketing Agency
- Larger agencies usually have more resources at your (the client's) disposal. This means that more often than not, most things are done in-house.
- Most of these agencies are also accredited agency partners with Google and Meta. This means you know you're getting the best after-sales support.
- They are usually organized and have a well-proven working structure when it comes to project management and execution of your digital marketing campaigns.
- They are usually experienced and some agencies even have international projects.
- They usually provide one-stop service, for example, a larger agency may have the capabilities to do your ads, web design, creatives, and media for you.
Cons Of Working With A Larger Digital Marketing Agency
- They are more likely to charge higher fees to maintain their larger team and additional resources
- They are more likely to take longer to support due to the chain of command or the many clients that they are working with
- They are more likely to be a jack-of-all-trades agency, not focusing on specific services or industries.
- They are more likely to have a longer timeline for your campaign(s) due to their organizational structure and are less flexible for last-minute changes.
- They are more likely to use their best-performing campaign performance as their portfolio, but that does not necessarily mean that their average benchmark performance for all clients gets the same results.
Our Goal For This Article
Our goal for this article is to remain as unbiased as possible so that YOU (as the client) can have an accurate representation of each type of agency and select the one that you feel most comfortable with. We would like to especially highlight that there is no one perfect agency as each and every one of these digital marketing agencies has pros and cons (yes, even Absolute Digital).
Our best advice is that you should take your time to shortlist the agencies and give them a chance to pitch to you on your digital marketing project. Only then, see which one makes the most sensible proposal and one that fits into your budget, timeline, and comfort level to work with.
Shortlisting A Digital Marketing Agency
What to look for when shortlisting a digital marketing agency?
Check for their technical experience i.e. if they're proficient in what they do. You may ask for a sample of their reports, tips on certain specific problems you're currently facing in your campaigns, or one of their past campaigns to judge.
Check for their own campaign performance. For instance, if they're an SEO agency like Absolute Digital, they should rank on page 1 of Google Search.
Practical Know-How tips. Ask for advice on simple DIY tips to improve your search results ranking immediately and test it out for yourself. If they are open to sharing and their method works, it is highly likely they know their stuff when you engage them too.
Check out their reviews on Google.
With that, we hope that you have a clearer understanding of what it is like working with digital marketing agencies with different benefits and flaws. We hope that you can make an informed decision based on this information and we look forward to your digital marketing project being a success.
If you have any questions regarding this article or any digital-marketing-related questions, feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Absolute Digital SEO Agency
If you're trying to optimize your website for Google SEO, we'd recommend reading this article first to get started: 3 Ways To Improve Your Google SEO Campaign Right Now! For more on SEO agency topics or SEO-related articles, you can read our SEO blogs here.
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