What is a Marketing Agency?

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If you were to Google the term ‘marketing agency,’ it would be expected you’d be faced with hundreds of thousands of search results with an intimidating number of marketing-related terms and different agencies to sort through. This then begs the question, what is a marketing agency and why should your business consider using one? How does it differ from advertising agencies or even individual marketing consultants? Which one should you pick? In this article, we aspire to clear the muddy water on this so you will know plainly what it is you’re looking at.

Oxford Dictionary defines ‘marketing agency’ as “a company that provides marketing services on behalf of another business.” Put plainly, marketing agencies focus on ensuring that businesses (like yours!) can achieve both their short and long-term business goals. This is achieved by implementing various marketing strategies depending on the stage of growth. There are four main types of marketing agencies: digital marketing agencies, advertising agencies, marketing consulting agencies and niche agencies. Each focus on different characteristics of marketing, with different specialities due to how broad marketing is. Additionally, there are all sorts of other smaller marketing subsets, skilled in a wealth of areas from graphic design agencies and brand agencies to those with a social media focus.

What is a Marketing Agency?

Digital marketing agencies focus on search engine marketing (also known as SEM) and advertising. SEM includes search engine optimisation (SEO) which is to assist a webpage or website to get to the top of the organic search results. While search engine advertising consists of using the advertising suite of the search engines and 90% of the time, it is on Google. This can include Google search ads, display ads, Google My Business and their associated networks. The other search engine that some digital marketing companies also assist with is Bing and Yahoo.

Some digital marketing agencies also offer social media ads on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.  Google is by far the biggest search engine available with 91.54% of the market share. Marketing on Google, other search engines and social media is very measurable and affordable. Digital marketing strategies may also include retargeting and remarketing which is a form of online advertising that enables your ads to be displayed to visitors after they leave your website or social media page.  Often agencies in this field are Google certified.

Advertising agencies have a traditional marketing approach and usually work with bigger budgets and larger businesses. Advertising agencies often provide a fully integrated solution from branding to strategy, right through to full media buying solutions. These are usually the agencies that produce TV ads, radio campaigns, online/offline campaigns etc. You will also find that there are agencies originated from the advertising agency model that have split into more specialised agencies such as creative agencies or media agencies.

Marketing consulting agencies have a focus on strategy, with some implementation as well. Often it is an extension of a marketing department, marketing contractor or marketing agency such as Marketing Minds. The strategy in this sphere is all-encompassing in the sense that all marketing channels are considered. When a business wants every part of marketing looked at, employing a marketing consulting agency is the best option as it ensures the big picture is analysed.

Marketing consultants are usually external parties and they are usually engaged for project work and often at a strategic level. Consultants usually provide their services to multiple companies and work alongside the C-suite, owners or directors of the company. While a marketing contractor generally works part or full time for one or two companies only and for larger companies, will be part of the marketing team; while for smaller companies, they may be the marketing person in the company.

Niche agencies include more specialised agencies such as direct marketing (e.g. Direct mailouts), social media marketing agencies which focus on building a tribe/community on social media, and PR and social influencer agencies who work with influencers, concerning endorsements and product placement. Another common niche agency is design agencies, these agencies focus on visual delivery and are often experts in anything from font creation to artwork.

With the knowledge and experience of a marketing agency, often, they will be able to provide you with a benchmark and audit of your performance and marketing activities. For the long-term success of your business and the ability to outsmart your competitors, the marketing of your brand is essential and the reason why most successful companies would engage a marketing agency/consultant and reap the benefits from it.

If you’re interested to know more about why you should hire a marketing consultant, read this handy article with 7 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Marketing Consultant and check out a few of the places our marketing agency has been featured to get some third party opinions.


Your business could qualify for partial government grant with Marketing Minds Digital Marketing Success programme.

If you want some more personalised advice on reaching your marketing objectives, or if you have any other questions, call us at +64 9 6344 390, email info@marketingminds.me or contact us.
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