Here’s an interesting question to ponder: how do we define ourselves as an agency? Adweek introduced a similar query last week when it wrote about how those characterizing themselves as “social media agencies” are finding the label too limiting and not representative of the scope of work being done. In response to this finding, I think we can all agree that shops are better off employing an integrated marketing approach that connects traditional, digital, and social media in a united strategy.
But that doesn’t mean identifying your agency as specialized in a particular category limits your appeal to clients. There is something to being an expert in a specific field, especially if you run a small agency. Often, clients are looking for a very specific marketing need, and those that do it best are going to be hired, regardless of size. Larger agencies are able to keep a wide range of experts on staff, but smaller shops can compete by offering the same type of specialized knowledge by narrowing its focus on a particular industry or capability.
The truth is that all agencies can’t be experts in everything. The biggest might be able to get away with such a claim, but having the largest staff doesn’t always translate into the best results. Marketing needs are diverse and, as new technologies and strategies are introduced, will become even more varied. More experts will be needed, regardless of whether or not they work for a monolithic organization or a start-up shop. As a result, positioning your agency as the expert in a certain competency or category will help you stand out from the crowd and differentiate from less qualified competition. For example, at silver creative group we have a number of specialties: real estate marketing, gourmet food marketing, branding, launching products and online marketing.
Next time you’re weighing your agency’s existential questions, don’t get too caught up in whether or not you’re limiting your appeal by maintaining a narrow focus. It might just be the thing that gets you hired.