The Golden Age of the “Small” Agency

The Golden Age of the “Small” Agency

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Looking for a company to run your marketing campaigns is not easy. Do you go with the large reputable media company or the small local agency? You are most likely wondering which advertising agency is best? Or how do I choose a marketing agency? Well here our answer is simple, go with the “small” or shall we say agile one.

Here are 4 reasons why it’s the Golden Age of the “Small” Agency:

Lower Margins + Commissions

Let’s do the math here. If a company is making 80% profit before admin expense and rep commissions on Product A, but only 30% on Product B it’s pretty obvious which product the sales reps will ultimately show bias toward right? Well, guess what! That’s how large media companies work. An 80% profit margin on a radio buy, is a lot higher than 30% on digital media and therefore it’s in the company’s best interest to sell the higher margin medium. The unfortunate part is that the sales rep, although they may be good at heart, is simply a victim of this system as they are caught in between. A traditional media sales rep, working for a large agency, is only as good as what is in their toolbox to sell, and their toolbox is given to them.

Small agencies are not caught up in the chain of bureaucracy and the availability to choose whichever tool they see fit is available. This allows the reps to be knowledgeable in the latest tactic and therefore assist clients reach their goals with the most cutting-edge techniques on the market. By the time these techniques have trickled down to a rep in a large agency, it’s already 9 months too late as the algorithm and initial best practice has probably already passed them by. In addition, there might be instances where one of the top-level senior-level corporate types wanted to make a name and drove a partnership with a company into the media company’s digital portfolio. The poor rep gets the pressure to justify this move and now they are on the streets selling a worthless tactic.


Have you ever run into the issue of wanting to make a change to your media campaign and then have to chase down your media rep? Well, in case you didn’t know, they then have to chase down the media buyer, who then has to chase down the representative for the said media outlet, they have to find the guy running the Google campaign etc.…That is a nightmare! Especially when this simple lack of efficiency can cost you tens of thousands of dollars. P.S Each of those steps come with a cost/commission added to your media budget.

With a small agency, you can simply send a text message and have all campaigns stopped in a matter of 2 minutes; at least that is our reality. Need we say more about this?

Web of Inclusion Mindset

Author Sally Helgesen states that the “Web of inclusion” is used to describe integrated and organic organizations that become effective because management puts itself at the center rather than at the top.” There’s a hierarchy in large companies for a reason; it’s just the nature of the beast. The chain of command is great for employees as they know who needs to do what and who reports to who, but when it comes to clients it’s not the best method. As a client, you have one point of contact, your media rep and that’s the person you must communicate with. They then take your wishes and pass that information along to the relevant party etc. etc. This takes time and money to do so.

With the structure of a smaller agency, you have direct access to each person and the department. This brings about many benefits such as the nimbleness factor mentioned above. This along with the fact that your brainstorming session is all-inclusive and you are also extending your internal team’s knowledge base. It’s a no-brainer which structure is more appealing to clients or at least it should be.

Digital Acumen

The last main advantage of working with a small agency is the digital acumen that each person in the firm possesses. When working for any large company, naturally silos being to emerge. The media reps know their jobs, the sales reps have their tool kit and sell a package, the OTT specialists know how to bid for OTT, but if you ask someone what someone in another department is working on it’s highly unlikely that they’ll have an answer.

By nature, a small, tight-knit team is able to achieve much greater transparency and therefore increased digital acumen about the details of a product or media tactic. Questions can be answered on the spot and it’s always great to speak to someone who knows what they are talking about. The typical, “ Well let me ask someone” answer, does not exist in a smaller agency.

The reason we’ve chosen to keep our agency “small” and also work with other “small” agencies is simple. We have fundamentally different views than the large media corporations on where the future of marketing, media, and advertising is going and how to best be positioned for success. We encourage every business owner to thoroughly vet their media partners and ask the tough questions. Our bet is that one will have a quicker turnaround time with a fraction of the cost.