What types of marketing agencies exist?

Some agencies aren't the same

Peter Desmyttere
January 28, 2020
⏱ 2 min. read

Recently I witnessed a heated discussion among business managers and clients of marketing agencies. The starting point of the discussion was the question “What type of agency am I?”. In the end it turned out that the way owners looked at their marketing agency was not the way clients position marketing agencies in the market. A mismatch between corporate image (how does the market look at me) and corporate identity (what do I want to radiate to the market). Seriously, because every marketer builds an image or identity and works on an identical brain position among customers and prospects. Isn’t that right? And me, I leaned back and enjoyed myself while the clichés and jargon were projected in the room.

The spectacle then kept haunting me for days. How do I actually look at the world of marketing agencies? How do I make a decision for one agency or the other? And how many types do I think exist? Read with me…

At Husky, we work with a variety of external marketing agencies or specialist marketers to strengthen our marketing team. We work with a creative agency to bring campaigns to a 'visual cum laude' level, with a graphic agency for branding tools, with a specialised content marketing agency and with an advertising agency for the management of digital campaigns. 

When choosing an external marketing agency, I always ask myself 2 questions:

  • Do I need strategic advice or am I looking for executive excellence?
  • Is the desired result rather creative or should it be pragmatic (hands-on, directly usable)?

Am I looking for a strategic marketing partner who approaches my question or problem in a pragmatic way? Then I'm looking for a strategic agency that builds its core business around advising clients in a targeted way and I want contact with marketing consultants. They start with an audit of the current situation and finally deliver an advisory report, step-by-step plan or marketing plan. We appealed to such an agency when we wanted to expand our services to a new market.

Am I looking for a strategic marketing partner who approaches my question or problem in a creative way? Then I'm looking for a creative agency that builds its core business around developing creative scenarios for clients and I want contact with creatives. They start with an audit of the current situation and finally deliver one or more creative proposals. We appealed to such an agency when we wanted a new combined positioning for Husky (to marketing teams and marketing agencies). They are the creators of our slogan 'One pack. All on track.

Am I looking for an executive marketing partner who approaches my question or problem in a pragmatic way? Then I am looking for a specialised executive agency that builds its core business around the implementation or marketing of actions and campaigns and I want to contact executive marketers or account managers who organise status meetings. These agencies take the implementation of actions firmly into their hands from the outset and build a sustainable collaboration based on measurable results. We call on such an agency for lead generation via digital campaigns.

Am I looking for an executive marketing partner who approaches my question or problem in a creative way? Then I'm looking for a specialised graphic or communication agency that builds its core business around coming up with and designing marketing tools and I want to contact graphic designers or account managers who discuss designs with me. These agencies are masters in the graphic or visual translation of strategies and can be used in a very targeted and flexible way at specific moments. We use such an agency to create onepagers, user stories, campaign images or visuals.

This way of thinking and deciding works fine for our company and our marketing team. We don't have to resort to clichés or jargon. Two questions, four quadrants: I think every marketing agency fits in.

One pack. All on track.

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