At bfw, we talk a lot about being a “full-service” advertising agency, but what may seem like a vague term is actually a powerful strategic advantage for our clients. With the proliferation of advertising-adjacent SaaS solutions and digital-only agencies in today’s marketplace, it may seem like a cafeteria approach to your advertising strategy is a smart choice. After all, you can control more aspects of your outreach and branding that way, right? You may even find some great deals! Not necessarily. Here’s are three reasons why full-service agencies are a different breed when trying to execute an integrated advertising strategy:
Institutional knowledge is a thing, and full-service agency partnerships help you foster it.
Picture this: you’ve found a lot of different partners to execute various parts of your advertising strategy, and you’re excited about getting started. To kick off each item, you need to meet with each group separately…and get them up to speed on who you are/what you do, what the project entails, your internal procedures and policies for billing and project management, your brand guidelines, and more. Expect a half to full-day discovery meeting—at least. If you’re not happy with one of your partners, you’ll have to repeat the process over again for the next project. That additional time and expense would be skipped if you had a long-term advertising partner with capabilities to manage multiple aspects of your advertising initiatives. The full-service partner knows who you are. They know what you do. They have a handle on your unique procedures and requirements, and they’re ready to ramp up quickly.
Too many cooks in the kitchen aren’t suddenly a plus. A full-service agency keeps that number down.
While there is certainly a proper time and place for incorporating specialized partners to handle specific aspects of your advertising, adopting a fully cafeteria-style approach can lead to more headaches than you might expect. Why? Because you’ll be taking on a role that you probably didn’t sign up for: mediator between opinionated professionals who don’t even work in your organization. If your creative agency executes website copy one way, but then your SEO agency decides that the site copy should say something else for an SEO purpose the original agency may not agree with, you’re stuck deciding which set of recommendations will be executed and keeping everyone up to speed on changes that may affect future workflows. Sure, you can instruct these guys to speak to each other directly too (which they’ll bill you for), but since you’ll have the final say there’s no way to shrug off the responsibility of managing the relationship entirely.
Full-service agency partnerships make your life easier because the relationship matters.
As described above, institutional knowledge creates its own efficiencies and can only be achieved by partnering with someone who knows your business well. Even if you think you’ve found point vendors to do small projects separately and inexpensively, the time and expense of managing newcomers on a project-by-project basis can pile up and tax internal resources. It can also make keeping track of previous projects harder—an additional challenge when reading in a new vendor. A partner that knows you well needs less time to execute simple projects and can leverage experience to ensure complex initiatives are handled smoothly without too much handholding. On an interpersonal level, a lasting agency partnership that’s seen multiple complex projects completed will bring a sense of familiarity and camaraderie that you can’t get from one-off projects. The stakes are different, period. You want your business to thrive, right? A long-term partner will feel the same way—and work with you to make it happen.
Our agile, South Florida team of creatives and advertising professionals can execute complex campaigns seamlessly and will partner with you to create a close, productive relationship. If you’re looking for a full-service agency, keep bfw in mind or – even better – get in touch with us to find out how we can help you.