3 Things to Consider When Comparing a Full Service Digital Agency to a Niche Specialist

Laneah

The most fundamental decision that marketing managers make is whether to invest in a full-service digital agency or delegate individual tasks out to niche specialists.

It can be tempting to go with the niche specialists, but that might actually be a short-sighted strategy that doesn't ultimately provide the ROI of a full-service digital agency.

You've probably already heard the argument that a full-service agency provides branding, design, development, media and analytics services all under one roof whereas specialists, by definition, don't. While that's true, what really sets a full-service digital agency apart from niche specialists is that a full-service digital agency draws from a larger pool of experts to develop tailor-made business solutions for your company.

Strategy as a Roadmap

There's greater peace of mind in knowing that your current issues and future problems can be addressed by a team of experts housed in a full-service agency. The added benefit offered by a full-service digital agency is that you'll have a comprehensive roadmap of where you want to take your marketing and exactly how to get there. That's because brand positioning and alignment services inform and direct how you'll reach out to customers later.

Affordable and Comprehensive

While an ad agency can offer valuable marketing services, going through an ad agency can also be prohibitively expensive for startups or really any company trying to get the most ROI out of their marketing dollar. Many ad agencies also have to throw their hands up when it comes to offering web development services, mobile integration and cross-device compatibility to their clients.

A full service digital agency, on the other hand, can help your web development efforts by bringing a stunning front-end product to your customers. The development, design and marketing experts at a full-service digital agency can work hand-in-hand to ensure that all of the pieces work together. The implications of this are huge since you won't have to be scurrying from one niche specialist to another when you need another service, want to scale up later or need an issue addressed immediately.

This is all to say that by developing a comprehensive brand positioning, mobile and social media strategy from the outset, you'll save a ton of time and expense in the short term and be positioned to scale up down the road. The same can't be said for delegating out each individual task to a marketing professional, who may not have the expertise or in-house skills to handle certain tasks anyway.

Analytics, Tracking and Optimization

A full service digital agency also provides ongoing website analytics and real-time tracking so that you know how well you're doing, and what potentially needs to be recalibrated. It's very rare for a full service digital agency to offer one-off services and then never speak to you again: Instead you can expect things like email tracking, social media reporting, and online media management to be constantly updated to fit evolving technologies and your changing business goals.

There's an implied transparency in all of this in that with analytics and constant tracking you know how your marketing dollar is being allocated and how well you're doing. You'll be given constant online media management and reporting alongside metrics on the success of your search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising initiatives. All the while these initiatives will be referenced back to the brand positioning and content strategy that you developed alongside your agency at the outset of your marketing journey.

Originally published February 4, 2016 at 2:11 PM

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