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Why Big Brands Choose Small Agencies

When we think of the world’s largest companies, we often assume it’s a similarly-sized agency leading their marketing efforts.
That trend is changing, however, as more big companies turn to small agencies to help them reach their audience and achieve their goals.



In her article “Why Big Brands Hire Small Agencies,” Jami Oetting offers several reasons for that change. At inVeritas, we see the trend happening as well. Our client roster includes global brands along with local businesses and nonprofits.

Oetting’s article offers six reasons for this shift, crediting the change to a smaller agency’s ability to be nimble, creative and efficient in ways their larger counterparts cannot.

“Big brands with big vision are looking for agencies that can match their perspective, not their size,” said Ruth Bernstein, co-founder and chief strategic officer at New York-based YARD. “If you’re a smart CMO trying to re-steer the titanic from hitting an iceberg, you would want a speedboat, not a bloated cruise liner to help guide you. They want an agency that can quickly respond to their needs while maintaining creativity and flexibility.”

  1. They need partners for smaller, project-based work: Larger agencies typically work on large campaigns that require longer turnaround times. With the agencies busy with the larger campaigns, smaller agencies succeed with the smaller and more defined projects. Additionally, more companies are bringing their marketing work in house, but they still need help from outside resources. Increasingly, they are turning to smaller agencies for those individual projects.
  1. They want specialists: Companies look for agencies with an expertise in a certain field. Rather than having a breadth of knowledge, companies like to see depth in one industry or service, which means they don’t have to spend the time to bring the agencies up to speed. “Big agencies have a breadth of experience and are a great place to resource a brand’s strategic or creative needs — it’s an efficient one-stop shop,” said Lynne Bartron, VP of advertising and strategy at LifeLock. “But those same agencies often can’t go deep into a category or vertical.”
  1. They want results – faster: The bigger the company usually means the more process, bureaucracy and red tape. Clients who want to move quickly are looking for more the kind of nimble partners found at smaller agencies.
  1. They’re looking for deeper insights: More companies are looking for outside partners to help with marketing strategy. They may do the execution internally, but they look for help with strategy, which is where an outside perspective is most valuable. The flatter organizational structure of a smaller agency lends itself to this type of work, so the client is dealing with agency team members who both lead and work on the business.
  1. They want a partner willing to take risks: Large agencies often come saddled with legacies, shareholders or team members who love to say “this is how we’ve always done it…” These limiting factors are leading to more talented people setting up their own firms or partnering with each other. “It seems like we’re in a golden age of professional services/creative services. A big brand would seek out the firm being led by a uniquely talented leader so they could work directly with that woman or man,” said Jim Cuene, president of a 50-person digital innovation consultancy.
  1. They care about culture: Clients want to work with partners whose culture and views align with their own. People want to work with people who enjoy their work and advocate for their company. “We have worked with agencies of all sizes and what we have found is that smaller agencies tend to become part of your marketing team — they get ingrained in your company’s DNA,” said Abby Lee, VP of marketing at RE/MAX. “They are more interested in your business and helping it evolve and grow than they are interested in using it as a vessel for awards and accolades. And yet they are the ones that have created the most compelling and effective creative we have seen.”

To read the full article, visit: http://blog.hubspot.com/agency/big-brands-hire-small-agencies?utm_campaign=blog-welcome-emails&utm_source=hs_automation&utm_medium=email&utm_content=21796335#sm.0000000iud3zwqmf2ms1djac2yh5o


To learn more about inVeritas’ services, including public relations, market research, government relations and management consulting, visit www.inveritasinfo.com.