According to Yaw Dwomoh, Chief Executive Officer at Idea Hive, it is easy to assume that price is the only driving factor behind the decision to go small, but many brands will be thinking beyond budget. Equating size with safety is a naïve way of thinking.
The move towards ‘smaller’ agencies could be attributed to brands effectively maximising on their campaign efficiencies while managing a conservative budget and exercising greater control over their campaigns.
The Covid-19 era has brought immense change to the world. We are living in unsettling times and operating in unchartered territories. Whether it is how individuals behave or how industries operate, it can be safe to say that the virus has and will continue to change it all.
Marketing and communication departments will be standing back to look at the pre-pandemic trend people started talking about way before everything changed. We will see marketing departments having to consider contraction in demand and profits and most importantly how to do things differently.
This shift in thinking gives brands access to nimble creative teams that counteract their large and slow-moving business models. Teams with a more niche skill set disrupt rather than develop and they are open to hyper-creativity and not just doing business as usual. In the case of 360-degree marketing, where this type of agility is crucial, more of the big brands will be looking to smaller agencies with varied capabilities.
If you oversee marketing and communications, it is easier to collaborate when you are constantly in contact with the team accountable for and working on your project. But what gives these new contenders the edge?
Here are the top reasons why big brands are choosing smaller agencies:
1. Forward-thinking ideas
If you are not changing, you are not moving forward. Small agencies can implement new ideas and services faster than their larger counterparts. They can also drop redundant services with ease, which means eliminating the extras that will benefit the agency and not brands. These updated service packages make it easier to implement new ideas that will place brands ahead of the pack.
2. Unique and specialist services
Many small agencies exist within a network of specialised professionals who can be mobilised when needed. This means brands gain access to a pool of skilled people (who can be hand-picked for their project), without paying for the maintenance of specialist business departments.
3. Commercial insight
Many small agencies are started by experienced industry professionals wanting to do things differently. As a result, clients receive advice that is informed by commercial insight and in-depth knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. The benefit: your project is handled by these same high-level professionals.
4. Undivided attention
Working with large teams can be difficult and in a fast-moving digital world, where the customer journey is no longer linear, urgency is a necessity for companies to make the most out of customer touchpoints and micro-moments with less back-and-forth.
Working with multinational agencies could subject brands to slower turnaround times as they serve hundreds of clients at any given time. Niche agencies dedicate their time to a limited number of projects from start to completion, paying closer attention to the scope, reviewing for challenges and in the end giving brands a realistic report. This ensures that work is not completed only for the sake of delivery.
5. Faster results
Bigger organisations come with more layers. This slows down approvals, processes and the overall completion of projects. If you are employed by a large organisation, you already know how this works and it’s unlikely you want to partner up with another business that has the same stifling bureaucratic processes. The good news is that creative vision doesn’t hinge on size. Small, agile agencies look for talent that can relate to your perspective and get the work done faster.
As niche agencies take the time to understand client needs and seek to maintain a healthy working relationship with a client, they are open to putting the clients’ ideas first and making recommendations. This makes them easier to work with on campaigns, no matter the magnitude. This lowers the risk of friction between teams from both sides and projects are not delayed unnecessarily.
In this rapidly changing world, brands will be looking for niche agencies that are interested in becoming an effective extension of their business rather than only pursuing work that will win them the next award. This approach pushes creative boundaries and gets better results.