Specialist Agencies: The Benefits
Although many large organisations tend to rely on a single outside agency for marketing services, there is an increasing trend for businesses to work with specialist outside agencies, to achieve higher quality yet cost-effective outcomes. This is especially the case with smaller corporates (£20-150 million turnover), who may have a less generous marketing budget.
Whilst a single point of contact (the “one-stop shop” approach) makes life easy for the client, can it ever outweigh the benefit of using specialists in their field for the various marketing communications requirements? Smaller specialist agencies will view, and may value your business in a different light and therefore be more driven to achieve the results you are aiming for. So targeting your available spend effectively with specialists in their field can lead to not only better quality of results but cost savings too.
Value for money and better service
There are several reasons why specialists can offer better value for money and better service to smaller corporates. Those include:
- Your account is highly valued – you are a major client for them.
- As a consequence, the specialist agency “goes that extra mile” for you.
- A full-service agency may not have the in-house expertise.
- A specialist agency is exactly that, a specialist in their field.
The key feature of a smaller specialist agency is that they have to be good at what they do to survive. There is no hiding place for a smaller specialist agency. As an individual within a specialist agency you must contribute value to both the client and to the business you work for. The margin of error in a specialist agency is far less and the consequences far greater. Therefore the client gets a very focused service.
This is not to devalue the work of a larger, full-service marketing agency, or their data teams. We work as data specialists with a number of full-service agencies in very effective and successful partnerships. These partnerships, that are usually transparent, work particularly well with a specialist data agency because of the complexities of data and the high cost of data management and analytical capabilities.
Specialists in their field
Data is a good example, because it is a highly specialised field. What may appear on the surface to be a simple DM campaign can quickly run into trouble if the data element is not given due consideration. Any project requires careful analysis and consideration of the several vital areas that must be taken into account, in particular a large project that involves buying in lists. Those may include:
- What data to use, cold data, customer data, non-converted prospects, shared data, bought in lists?
- What channels do we use, email, postal, telephone, SMS, all or a combination of these?
- Where did the data come from, how was it created, is it compliant?
- Do we use one source of data or multiple sources?
- How do we overcome duplicate records, how do we even define a duplicate?
- How can we avoid paying for duplicates?
- What licence type do we need?
- How do we build a test matrix prior to roll out?
- How is the data going to be maintained over the next 12-months?
- Where do we get international data from and how do we know what we’re buying?
- How do we measure responses and determine what’s working versus what isn’t?
- How do we get all this data into one consistent format, and what format is best?
- How can we be sure we’ve done everything in our power to make sure we’re not wasting money on buying the wrong data?
- Does the data need cleaning before we use it?
- Are we sure we’re staying compliant with what we’re proposing?
- Can the data be imported into our CRM system?
- Will our email company broadcast this campaign for us?
- How can we avoid the spam filter?
- How can we learn from one campaign and apply it to the next campaign?
These are just some of the considerations, but they are all “bread and butter” to a specialist Data Agency. The high level of in-house expertise will provide you with a superior quality outcome that is also cost-effective, ensuring that your marketing budget goes further. The fact that businesses are increasingly turning to specialist agencies is testament to that principle.