Working for a large advertising agency may have its glitz and glamour. There may be a beer fridge or a ping pong table, a long roster of behemoth brand clients and huge expense accounts for wining and dining. But boutique marketing shops offer important client benefits that are worth considering. No matter how big or small your brand is, a boutique agency may be the right fit for you.
Because we’re a smaller team, the communication is more tight-knit. The account manager is interacting with everyone working on the project daily – often hourly. We’re all informed of the client’s objectives and expectations.
Likewise, because the account manager has direct access to everyone working on the client’s project, he/she can communicate back to the client with more certainty. There’s no disconnects.
As a client, you always know who your go-to person will be. (You’ll probably also get to know the rest of us working directly on your project fairly well, too.)
At larger agencies, the person communicating back to the client may not be working alongside the rest of the team as closely. There may be more links in the chains of both command and team communication.
When new information is brought to light, everyone at a boutique marketing shop – and its client – can be updated quickly.
A boutique agency’s streamlined communication boosts productivity and efficiency.
Our services aren’t one-size-fits-all. We don’t have standard packages or do things by habit. With a smaller roster of clients, we can ensure each one is getting a tailored fit. Our customized approach is across all phases: discovery, research, experience testing, production and activation.
We decide what the client really needs, and then deliver a customized proposal detailing how we will craft the marketing services just for you!
Being a boutique size means we’re focused on fewer clients and projects at one time. This allows us to react in a nimble fashion when changes occur. (And changes always occur!) We’re extremely flexible to work with, and we’re quick to adapt to situations.
We also train our operations and in-the-field staff to be flexible, as well. With streamlined communication, we’re able to try, fail, adjust even when we’re already in activation mode. Failure isn’t an option, so making real-time tweaks to routing or talking points can improve an activation’s success rate.
We’re flexible, too, in the hours we keep. We can accommodate your schedule for meetings and check-ins. Most of us know what it’s like to juggle a work/life balance, so it’s not about the 9 to 5. It’s about making time when it works best for everyone. At larger agencies, many of the junior staff will be hourly and therefore limited in their availability.
We recently activated a “dirty plate” installation for Whirlpool. It was truly a team effort. Even my foster daughter has “gravy” (aka paint) on her Frozen shoes for proof. We rally around and do whatever it takes. We pour our hearts into projects, and we help each other out. That’s the kind of spirit you get when you choose a boutique agency.
While small, we’re mighty. We know each other really well, sometimes like a family. That means we know each other’s unique skill sets and can optimize accordingly. We value each other and depend on each of our strengths to carry out a project.
Everyone brags about the team they have – big or small. But at a boutique marketing shop, our people are truly everything. We’re really careful only to invite strong links to our chain. There’s no room for energy-wasters. We’re a team of real experts.
Unlike bigger agencies, we’re more selective about who’s in the room during meetings, too. And unlike bigger agencies, it’s not uncommon for our owners and executive leadership to be involved in project meetings, as well. If we need to pull in third parties, we do, so that we can oversee and manage a fully turnkey and seamless campaign experience for our clients.
Because we’re specialists, our team collaboration extends to other agencies and partners as needed. If you want us to work with your existing branding group, great. If you already have a market research team, perfect. We’re willing to play nice and are always fully transparent, so that you achieve the most integrated, cohesive campaign possible.
We have more to prove. This means, our clients get our best every time. No one here is afraid to dig in or get our hands dirty.
Because our team is accessible and flexible, we can make quick decisions and get campaigns rolling swiftly. We are excellent at executing quick-turn brand experiences.
For example, FOREO contacted us at the end of November for a January activation at CES. We started putting creative ideas together immediately. When our leadership team reviewed the initial ideas, there were some red flags that needed addressed. Because we’re working together so closely, we were able to revamp our ideas and implement a new direction. New decisions were fast; there was no delay in production or activation.
We value our clients as true partners, so we focus on clearly understanding from the beginning of our relationship. This deeper understanding of values, brand personality, audience, etc., allows us to present savvy solutions earlier. And because we truly understand the needs and wants, we’re quicker at identifying the best decisions possible.
This understanding also cuts out the back-and-forth that can sometimes happen when a larger agency (or some of its junior team members) didn’t take time to ask important questions first. Even if they present more ideas, we are confident our ideas are more strategic.
Our processes are streamlined, so our creativity is never stifled by roadblocks of a rigid structure. Sure, we vet ideas through approval checkpoints, but we’re quick at doing so.
We don’t have as much overhead. Our rent is cheaper, our team is smaller and we negotiate every dollar we spend. We can pass these savings onto our client partners, so the price you pay is always fair.
Even if you only have seven people working on your actual project, a big agency is still providing pay, benefits and office space for thousands of employees. You might have the same amount of people working on your account at a boutique marketing shop, but with less the cost.
MIGRATION FROM URBAN CENTERS
Most large agencies are in downtown districts of large cities. In the past, this was beneficial as other downtown clients could be hosted for extravagant lunches and happy hour. But the world doesn’t operate the same anymore. Workers, in general, are more remote and migrating away from urban centers.
No, we’re not in Manhattan. And we don’t need to be. We travel when we need to, we’re accessible by phone and web conference, and we have production partners all across the U.S. We’ll come to you, not the other way around (although you’re always welcome).
Our national programs aren’t limited to the market we know best. We will activate wherever it makes the most sense to intercept your target audience.
An off-the-beaten-path location helps us keep those costs lower and provides our team with more flexibility (that they in turn show to clients). We’re positioned to give more than to take, so to us, it is only a benefit that we’re not located in the heart of NYC.
Each of us is passionate about we do. And we’re also passionate about giving our client partners an amazing experience in working with us. That’s why we think about each personal touch and work hard to show our appreciation. Not just at the holidays or during award season, but with every interaction we have with you.
I said it earlier, and I’ll say it again. We have more skin in the game. Every account, big or small, is vitally important to our own personal success and livelihood. We care a lot, we work hard and we put forth our best effort, every time.
To us, it’s about helping our clients achieve more. Why? Because we’re all friends with them. We like to see our friends succeed.
Because we’re juggling less accounts than the larger agencies, we’re able to give you the personal attention you deserve.
If you want to be friends, too, and try a boutique marketing shop on for size, say hello!