We’re currently living in the era of convenience; everything we could ever want, or need is usually accessible through a one-stop-shop experience. Need a loaf of bread and a new pair of shoes? Why go through the inconvenience of finding a bakery and a footwear store, when you can get both in an expedited manner via Amazon?
In business terms, some marketers tend to seek the “quick-fix” solutions to address their brands’ needs. We have all seen them; there are near-countless marketing support offers found online and through consulting specialists who work in one capacity or another, some being legitimate and others gimmicks. However, most savvy marketing pros agree that while the “quick-fix” promotional tactics and one-time consultants satisfy short-term deadlines, they supply less benefit for the all-important long-term sales and marketing.
In this age of efficiency, and era of infinite lists of marketing action items, strategic marketers focus on both micro-marketing daily deadlines as well as macro-marketing extended views that keep brands on target for the long haul. This can require highly skilled and specialized marketers, unified as a talented marketing team; some would say, an army.
With constantly growing marketing “to do” lists needing accomplished each day – not to mention missed opportunities caused by the “just not enough time” challenge – corporate (or in-house) marketing personnel generate this kind of valuable support by retaining “full-service” agencies.
What is a full-service agency?
A full-service agency is an entirely client-centric concept, where an agency offers all forms of marketing, public relations, and advertising services under one roof. Although Eberly & Collard is a public relations agency at its roots, we also offer digital marketing, branding, advertising planning and creative, media relations, and more. As a client of a full-service agency, you can opt for the agency to handle every aspects of your integrated marketing, or just a few. The full-service agency is entirely flexible in catering to a business’ or brand’s marketing needs and can concentrate on both requirements and creative.
This, of course, is in opposition to the specialty agency, which is an agency that only offers a single marketing and / or advertising service. To draw from a previous example in explaining the specialty agency, imagine if Amazon exclusively sold footwear and nothing else.
Having a full-service agency is essential when executing a fully-integrated marketing strategy.
Many businesses now strive to have a fully-integrated marketing strategy, meaning that all facets of their marketing (advertising, digital, public relations, etc.), are nearly seamless. However, creating and cultivating a full-integrated communication strategy using only a single specialty agency, or multiple specialty agencies, can be nearly impossible. The difficulties of integrating multiple strategies, when each service is handled by a different agency, often creates gray areas that postpone any kind of marketing plan. While synergy among various agencies is indeed possible, a streamlined fully-service agency approach produces efficiencies and effectiveness in terms of output and results in addition to costs.
For example, let’s say you’re a business owner, and you have hired one agency to handle your social media, and another to manage advertising (both buying and creative planning). In this scenario, if you ever wanted to creatively concept, plan and purchase a sponsored (paid) Instagram campaign, who would hold the responsibility? After this is determined, it is likely both agencies would work together on this project, which could lead to additional costs for you.
At Eberly & Collard Public Relations, our advertising, social media and digital marketing departments, and others like the public / media relations team, already work with each other on a daily basis and are just down the hall from each other, making communication completely streamlined. And, not to mention, when working with a full-service agency, you can be certain that each department will be on the same page when planning multi-channel campaigns, which ultimately leads to a cohesive and consistent brand-voice across all media platforms being utilized.What if I’m only interested in public relations, or a single marketing service, for my business or brand?
A commonly held misconception surrounding full-service agencies is the higher cost that comes with agencies offering more than one service. However, one of the clear advantages of a full-service agency is its ability to conform to your business’ specific marketing and media needs which saves time, and time is money.
Are you only interested in one of a full-service agency’s services? In our book this is completely fine. By signing a contract for only one of an agency’s services, you are not simultaneously agreeing to pay for all its services; the true flexibility of the full-service agency is that it can essentially offer what a specialty agency can offer, which is expert guidance in only one area of marketing. Though, as your marketing plans evolve and expand, your full-service agency is at hand to provide additional services, teams and strategies; whereas, a specialty agency can only deliver on the one area of marketing upon which it focuses.
Although public relations has traditionally been the cornerstone of our agency, at Eberly & Collard Public Relations, we are full-service and integrated marketing agency, and are confident in our abilities to service any client-need using any form of marketing. If you would like to learn more about the outcomes a full-service agency can yield for your business or brand, let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, or contact us via the Contact page of our blog and website.