Before we start talking about a full service agency, though, let’s briefly touch on the smaller, more specialized agencies or individuals out there. While certain projects might require a smaller agency’s agility, there are several drawbacks to using a small agency.
Riskiness: because smaller agencies are, well… smaller, they’re usually at more risk of going under if a few things go wrong. If that were to happen to you, then the relationship you’ve built with them — and any projects in the pipeline — will all be wasted.
Siloing: oftentimes, the activities being performed by a small agency are going to be siloed (i.e., isolated from the rest of your company’s activities). In general, if certain aspects of your digital marketing are separated from the core, then you’re going to run into some less-than-ideal situations.
Lack of technology expertise: typically, the smaller shops aren’t going to have the technical background that larger companies do. This can result in an inability for the company to solve more complex issues.
Focus on price: price should only be looked at as one factor in hiring your next agency, and it should definitely not be looked at as a standalone attribute. The old adage “You get what you pay for” should be taken into account here, as some smaller agencies focus on price at the expense of effectiveness. So in the end, while larger agencies might be more expensive, they’re actually worth it (assuming they have proven results).
Independence: while this is often viewed as a positive attribute (and it definitely can be), if independence means a lack of connections that would help to solve complex issues, then it quickly becomes a problem. This is related to the lack of technology expertise problem mentioned above.
Okay, enough with the negativity (and we apologize if you work for a smaller agency and we’ve offended you). Let’s take a look at what a full service eCommerce and digital marketing agency can bring to your next project.
Consolidation: with an end-to-end agency, you end up with one company to handle both your technology and your strategy. This naturally leads to an…
Integrated approach: your efforts across all platforms will be unified, bringing you closer to omni-channel excellence.
Predictable outcomes: most projects are like life, which is like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get (basically, things will come up that you didn’t anticipate). But by going with a full service agency, you’ll have more predictable outcomes, as you have the consolidation of activities, integrated approach, and…
Centralized communication: the days of talking to one agency about your social media efforts, another for SEO, and still another for PPC are gone. We don’t advocate violence at Echidna, but talk about killing a bunch of birds with one stone.
Proven processes: any reputable full service agency is going to have a solid history of work to show that they can deliver on time and actually provide implementation assistance (e.g., a go-to-market strategy to help you realize the full benefits of the work they’ve just completed).
Minimal risk: As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, working with smaller companies or individuals inherently entails a higher amount of risk, which is lessened when working with a larger company.
Consistency across channels: with one agency to direct all of your eCommerce and digital marketing efforts, you can be assured that siloing will be minimized.
So the list we’ve built above is fine and dandy, but what does any of that actually mean for your company? Well, to give just a few examples of real-world applications, let’s say you’re working on a rebranding or switching eCommerce platforms — the technology prowess of a full service agency, coupled with its digital marketing expertise, can smooth and optimize the launch of either of those projects. Or another example could be something as simple as being able to bring the marketing team into early conversations during the discovery and development phases of a technology project, something that wouldn’t necessarily be possible if working with multiple agencies. And at the end of the day, working with a full service agency really gives you the capacity to solve complex problems while keeping the integrity of your brand in place.