Four Benefits of a Boutique Agency.March 1, 2023
A boutique marketing agency has different meanings for different people. Over the years, Ciceron has been as big as 30 people and, at other times, much smaller. We’ve always been a boutique–a flat structure of digital specialists focused on creating intimate relationships with our clients and the work.
I recently wrote a few LinkedIn posts about my experience running a boutique agency and what I think some of the benefits are over a larger, more traditional agency. Based on the response I received, it seemed like a great topic to explore a bit more.
Benefits of a boutique Marketing agency vs. a big one.
- Better access to agency leaders. At a small marketing agency, you have more direct access to agency leaders. Clients regularly benefit from the highest level of expertise. Junior talent receives more growth opportunities and visibility to new disciplines to broaden their career. And small agency leaders are intimately aware of and involved in nearly all facets of the business, from finances and strategy to emerging service lines and expertise, as well as have more hands-on mentorship opportunities.
- Intense focus on proving every dollar delivers. Smaller agencies generally have smaller budgets. Not always, but often enough. The need to prove every dollar works leads to higher levels of flexibility and innovation.
- Freedom and agility to quickly implement advanced technology solutions. There tends to be less red tape at a boutique agency. Because of this, we can more easily stay on the leading edge of new ad technologies. Small marketing agencies can also choose vendors based on what’s best for the client versus being held to preferred vendor partners.
- A boutique agency tends to prioritize human investment at every level. In a flat organization, people at every level have their hands in the day-to-day. The wins are bigger and brighter because everyone experiences the work (not just one team or practice). Any losses, like an account or staff members, feel really close to the fire. For some, it’s too intimate. For others, that fire keeps us motivated to bring our very best.
Sometimes I wonder if agency people are ever truly satisfied, myself included. Of course, there are countless times when I’m entirely jealous of massive budgets. On the other hand, I cherish the opportunity to solve big problems with intimacy, focus and imagination. After all, Goliath may be bigger, but David feels undoubtedly cooler.