Digital Marketing Consultancy Or Agency: What Are The Differences?
Many clients and marketing companies tend to get mixed up when it comes to distinguishing between a digital marketing consultancy and an agency. Some agencies think they are consultancies and some consultancies think they are agencies. So what is the real difference between a digital marketing consultancy and agency and are the lines blurring between these two? Here are the 5 key differences between a consultancy and an agency:
1. The Vision
The biggest difference between a consultancy and an agency is the vision. As a digital marketing consultancy, it is our mission to transform our client’s vision into a reality. A consultant will never try to change the mission and end-goals of their clients. Instead, we will work with our clients to create a winning digital marketing strategy that helps them achieve their company goals. At KDM we won’t try to change your brand or key message. Instead, we will work with you to get results from it. Agencies, on the other hand, will create a campaign or strategy around their own goals, such as an increase social media followers or website visits. And they will aim to promote these goals to their client when trying to win them over without really listening to the needs of their clients or even the challenges they are facing.
2. The Timescale
Digital marketing agencies tend to have a short-term focus. This means they might focus on small areas of your digital marketing. For example, increasing your Twitter followers or running a PPC campaign to increase website visits. At KDM we always make sure our results are ever-lasting. This means we see digital marketing as a whole mix of integrated channels and not just social media or websites on their own. A digital marketing consultancy will tend to look at the bigger picture, such as how do we use social media, websites, online advertising, content marketing and so on to increase our client’s sales or market share. Instead of saying, how do we increase website visits or our client’s social media followers.
3. The Human Resources
Following on from our previous point, a key part of a long-term focus is the employees of our clients. To ensure long-term results, employees need to have the knowledge and skills to continue implementing the digital marketing strategy. As a digital marketing consultancy, KDM works with our client’s internal staff by offering training, workshops and resources to help them implement a solid digital marketing plan. On the other hand, an agency works completely outside the client’s employees with none or very little communication. A digital marketing agency will implement a competition or a digital marketing campaign and leave it at that. This means the end-results of hiring a digital marketing consultancy are definitely more likely to last a longer time than a digital marketing agency.
4. The Services
As a digital marketing consultancy, we consider ourselves to be experts in creating and optimising successful digital marketing strategies that drive sales and improve ROI. However, we are not experts in areas, such as agriculture, healthcare, retail and other specialities of our clients. This means we don’t employ account managers whose role it would be to learn the details of your business and industry. Instead, we as a digital marketing consultancy work with our clients to identify areas of improvement and develop a plan to achieve their goals. We trust and respect our clients to be the experts in their industry and we’ll be the experts in digital marketing.
5. The culture
Agency culture is filled with issues ranging from interdepartmental politics to wasted resources. A typical digital marketing agency may have separate departments or employees focusing on areas, such as SEO, PPC, social media and so on. This separation in roles leads to competition, lack of cooperation and a whole lot of wasted time, money and resources. The end-result for the client is a higher cost involved and longer time scales on projects. At KDM, we don’t waste time managing conflict and differing views from different departments. As a digital marketing consultancy, we work together to focus on one single goal: Creating digital marketing strategies that work for our clients. Together we work out the best route for our clients and work towards helping them without wasting any time or money.
A digital Marketing Consultancy/agency model
Over the recent years, we have seen a rise in agency/consultancy models, where a digital marketing agency will also offer consultancy services to their clients. The problem with this model is the hidden costs involved. An agency trying to be a consultancy will easily try to sell other unnecessary services to their clients, such as SEO or their content writing services. As a digital marketing consultancy, our prime focus is consulting. Everything we do whether it relates to social selling or marketing automation will always come with consulting. Why? Simply because we want our clients to have a digital marketing strategy that can survive a very long time, instead of something that will only work for 3 months or so.
So, do you need a digital marketing consultancy or an agency?
After reading this post, we hope you can see the key differences between a digital marketing consultancy and an agency and why KDM is the right fit for your business. We also hope you can see the reason why, KDM have never needed to hire a business development manager or a salesperson because, since the beginning, our business has come from referrals and repeat clients. The two things that set us apart from others are our expertise in digital marketing and the respect we have for our client’s expertise in their industry. Together this creates the perfect partnership between consultancy and client.