Business and Marketing used to be simple, 4Ps of Marketing – Product, Promotion, Place, Price, get that right, and your business got those wings to fly!
But is it that simple? Or times have indeed changed?
Nowadays, the marketing mix increasingly includes several other Ps like Packaging, Positioning, People, and (yep, we all know this right!?) Politics as vital mix elements.
If you have seen Mad Men, you know the range of activities the agency used to do for the brands. The creative directors led the strategy, thinking, planning, brand launches, copywriting, creatives, promotional plan, etc. In short, all agencies work around four aspects:
What does an agency like Everything Design do?
- Research: The base around which a whole plan is built. Unless you chalk out the feasibility of what your ideas are or what even is your idea, the question of execution does not arise.
- Strategy: After you have found out what your possible plan of action can be, it’s time to focus and turn that into an effective idea! Cause, ideas without a well-strategized path of execution are mere plans!
- Creation: Let’s admit it, whatever we do somebody somewhere has already done that before – but does that mean you have to offer the same thing everyone else does? Certainly not!
This is the stage where your strategy gets into action – innovation! You have a well-researched and organized idea right in front of you and your job is to create something new out of that.
- Distribution: The outcome of your research, strategies, and creation is useless if all it would do is sit idle somewhere down your production line or on your website! Come one! It’s time to amplify and distribute what you just created.
And the pro tip? Rather than trying to produce more or better content, marketers should focus on the distribution of their existing creations – a part of their overall strategy. However, this is likely just an afterthought for most of the 64 percent of marketers who feel they’re not using their content effectively. So rather than debating quality versus quantity, marketers should be debating how much to spend on promotion.
In 2022, there are so many different types of agencies that specialize in different areas, functions, and industries. Agencies are innovating in the type of business they serve as well. To name a few:
- B2B Agency – Agencies who work with B2B Businesses
- B2C Agency – Agencies who work with B2C Businesses
- D2C Agency – Agencies who work with D2C Brands
Now within these categories there are agencies whose niche will be either on branding or marketing. In marketing also now there is brand marketing or performance marketing. While brand marketing focus on long term brand building the role of performance marketing is to do immediate term sales.
In the D2C space there are agencies who focus only on shopify development or web development.
B2B Marketing Agency
B2B marketing agency consists of a team of marketing professionals who are there to provide you with all the guidance and tidbits you need to get your B2B marketing strategy off the ground.
The secret weapon of any B2B industry leader comes from a B2B marketing agency that helps not only with the strategic planning but also with tactful execution of an adequately planned B2B marketing strategy.
Creating a strategy will require industry-specific expertise, while properly executing it will require the right tools and experience. That is hardly something you can do yourself, at least if you want to see a significant boost in traffic, leads, and sales.
B2C Marketing Agency
B2C Marketing Agency, on the other hand, stands for agencies that undertake marketing communications that help a B2C firm to sell to their consumers. Here, the customers are individual buyers, rather than the ones involved in businesses that require them to undertake the purchases. Examples include real estate agencies, travel agencies, etc.
D2C Agency or E-commerce Agency
Direct-to-consumer (or D2C) agencies help D2C brands market their products directly to buyers without relying on traditional channels or any other middlemen. This allows them to sell their products at lower costs than most consumer brands, and to maintain end-to-end control over the making, marketing, and distribution of products.
An eCommerce agency is an external team that can help you start, manage and grow your eCommerce business without having to employ full-time staff to handle marketing and management of your online store. eCommerce agencies can help you with website development, marketing, and customer service. Many eCommerce agencies also make it easier to find and hire the right employees to take care of the day-to-day operations of the business.
There are also agencies who work only with SaaS companies.
Another way for agencies to niche is to focus on at what stage the company you are working with is
- Startups: the very first stage of a company’s operation, which is the brainchild of one or a group of entrepreneurs who are well-researched about what they intend to produce and can foresee demand for it. Startups can be further broken down into:
- Bootstrapped startup: In layman terms, a business funded by the founder(s) personal savings/amount borrowed from friends or relatives, basically funding the startup without relying on any external finance source such as those from a bank or credit institution or floating the business plan in the market to attract investors.
- Funded startup: This refers to startups that have sold their shares to investors in the market or borrowed money from credit institutions to get their business up and running. Branding and Website Project for i3systems and Web design for Bangalore Company – XIMKART are examples.
- Heavily Funded startups: Businesses that receive a huge amount of funding via their shares – from both investors and their friends or family who are ready to purchase the shares are called heavily funded startups. All of their financial operations are taken care of by these funds and do not require the founding entrepreneur to make significant monetary contributions. Most prominent examples in India include Oyo, Byju’s, Swiggy, etc.
- Small and Medium Scale Businesses (SMEs): These are businesses where the number of personnel, that is, people involved in operations is limited and they rely on internal funds, or cash from friends and family, to launch and initially run their enterprises. According to the World Bank estimates, they represent about 90% of businesses and more than 50% of employment worldwide. Formal SMEs contribute up to 40% of national income (GDP) in emerging economies.
- MNCs: Multi-national corporations are companies that operate in more than one country or nation – indicating a large fleet of workers and (without mentioning) no lack of working capital (read. investors too). The main objective of an MNC is to widen and diversify its consumer base and increase profits which in turn attract more people who are willing to put their money into that company. Examples in India include TCS, Deloitte, Capgemini, Tech Mahindra, etc.
Few agencies work only with a focused industry, like healthcare, technology, etc.
And it is very difficult to choose one over the other since there is a lot of overlap and the requirements are changing daily for one agency to fulfill all the requirements, is challenging.
Before getting into the details of different types of agencies and what they do, I think they don’t exist in isolation or sequence. Marketing, Branding, and Advertising being the parent functions, a brand needs all of them at any given point. Based on the industry and stage at which you are in the split might be different though. When you start, based on your strategy you may give more focus to Marketing over Branding.
Another point I want to make is even though professionals from each function would love to put them into various buckets and differentiate themselves, there is a lot of overlap between them. A marketing professional who does the strategy for the brand/product and a branding professional who creates the brand identity – both do very similar things or even the same things. But getting them to agree to this will be very difficult since there are no clear boundaries between them.
When you start a brand, a brand designer can very well do the marketing strategy for the brand. But a marketing agency may or may not do brand design. At the same time, there are branding agencies that do a lot of marketing activities. Some branding agencies only create marketing content and they find other agencies for the distribution. But if a marketing agency has a strong strategy team, a creative team, and a distribution team – it will can a full-service agency. This was the role many advertising agencies used to play and still do.
I would say advertising agencies are the mother of all agencies and advertising agencies were the ones who were technically doing marketing, advertising, promotions, creatives, video production, copywriting, strategy, and practically everything a brand needed. Bigger agencies did most of it in-house, while the smaller ones got the execution part done by other agencies.
Is Everything Design in Bangalore an advertising agency?
An advertising agency is an organization of professionals who provide creative and business services to clients related to planning, preparing, and placing advertisements.
A firm engaged in providing services of advertisement for clients to create awareness and market for them is known as an advertising agency. These agencies involve people with specialized skills and knowledge who are well versed in marketing, advertising, and consumer behavior. These experts combine their talent to create advertisements for their clients. Therefore, an advertising agency is a specialized organization helping its clients to adopt advertising for marketing their goods and services imost effectively
According to the American Association of Advertising Agency, an advertising agency is one –
i. Which is an independent organization.
ii. Which is composed of creative and business people.
iii. Who develops, prepares, and places advertisements in media.
iv. Which is for sellers seeking to find customers for their goods and services.
An advertising agency is a marketing service firm that assists its clients in planning, preparing, implementing, and evaluating various activities of an advertising campaign ~ Philip Kotler
Now since there are so many mediums to advertise and products, brands and people became more sophisticated the need for different types of agencies is very much required. Also, agencies started to expand their range of services, while some agencies decided to niche to a particular function or industry.
The first agencies date back as far as 1786 when William Taylor opened his office in London, today acknowledged as the first advertising agency in history.
An advertising agency often referred to as a creative agency, is a company providing services associated with creating, planning, and managing advertising campaigns, but may also handle other forms of promotion and marketing for its clients. Advertising agencies are generally independent, external companies working for their clients.
All advertising agencies are called that because they are acting as agents for their principals which were the media. They were then, and are now, paid by the media to sell advertising space to clients. Originally, in the 18th century, and the first half of the 19th, advertising agencies made all of their income from commissions paid by the media for selling space to the client.
Although it is still the case that the majority of their income comes from the media, in the middle of the 19th century, agencies began to offer additional services which they sold directly to the client. Such services can include writing the text of the advertisement.
- WPP, London $19.0 billion
- Omnicom Group, New York City $15.3 billion
- Publicis, Paris $9.6 billion
- IPG, New York City $7.5 billion
- Dentsu, Tokyo $6.0 billion
Saatchi & Saatchi, perhaps one of the most iconic English agencies today, was founded in 1970 and rose to international prominence following relationships with clients such as British Airways and Toyota.
People have always posted notices or used visual devices to sell their services or products. Excavations at Pompeii have revealed signs and evidence that merchants advertised their goods at the time Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D.
A branding agency revolves around the strategy that all the intangible elements that over time drive brand awareness, brand equity, and brand sentiment. The main goal of a successful branding agency is to let the world know that your brand exists, what purpose it has, and what defines it. A branding strategy is a fluid, long-term strategy that often requires being revisited over time based on its success. All of what we discussed so far is a result of Brand Strategy.
A business is only as strong as branding. And the branding is as strong as the purpose – a purpose that the organization stands by and commits to. Branding goes way beyond the visual elements and only when you hit all the nails right will you be able to attain success in the ultimate branding game.
There are several well-known branding agencies in India but we, at Everything Design, believe in building brands with purpose. From creating your initial brand strategy to the visual elements, our approach to branding sprouts from answering the ‘why’.
If your brand needs branding assistance, reach out to us and we would love to help you identify and share your brand story, the right way.
According to Column Five Media:
“A creative agency is a term for an agency that offers a variety of services that fall under the umbrella of marketing and advertising. If you need any type of creative strategy, work, or promotion, they can help you get it done.”
And they are a B2B-focused creative agency that helps you outshine your competition, win people’s hearts and minds, and get measurable results.
It is very difficult to differentiate between an advertising agency vs a digital agency vs a creative agency. A digital agency focuses more on marketing strategy and execution. A creative agency focuses more on-brand design, content creation, and everything that revolves around creating a brand image.
Service Design Agency
A Service design agency creates sustainable solutions and optimal experiences for both customers in unique contexts and any service providers involved. Designers break services into sections and adapt fine-tuned solutions to suit all users’ needs in context—based on actors, location, and other factors – Interaction Design Foundation.
Why should businesses consider service design agencies while creating products and services?
This is because in every organization there are a lot of layers.
While a customer places an order on Amazon, behind the scenes a lot of use cases are getting created. Logistics need to be arranged, and information should pass through many departments, what if the person wants to change address, cancel the order, what if there is a query, what if they want to change the payment method, delivery instructions, etc. Hundreds of layers for one order.
Disinterested staff, misinformed employees, complicated processes, and clunky systems can all make it less satisfying to buy or interact with the offering, making it less valuable for a customer.
From research, the top factors why someone had a good experience at a hospital were related to interactions with personnel, including things like information flow, complaint handling, empathic and polite nursing staff, patient inclusion in decision making, a pleasant hospital environment, and the feeling of being cared for by a well-motivated team.
Five key principles—for a service design agency:
- User-centered – Use qualitative research to design, focusing on all users.
- Co-creative – Include all relevant stakeholders in the design process.
- Sequencing – Break a complex service into separate processes and user journey sections.
- Evidencing – Envision service experiences to make them tangible for users to understand and trust brands.
- Holistic – Design for all touch points throughout experiences, across networks of users and interactions.
A Digital Agency is an advertising agency that has evolved to meet the changing needs of marketing in the digital age.
Digital Agencies marry graphic design and copywriting together with the latest technology and modern marketing methods, resulting in a highly creative mix of artistic science and a determination to fix problems and find solutions in a fast-paced world.
A digital agency’s outreach goes beyond just the aesthetics of design. It considers the overall user experience on every digital platform, regardless of what type of device is being used. From webflow development and UX/UI web designto SEO, social media, and content marketing – and everything in between – a digital agency works to deliver a functional design that not only looks great but also drives business growth.
Apple’s marketing believes that “design and utility are just two of the reasons behind Apple’s success and certainly give it a competitive advantage.”
But drill down to Apple and its individual products’ success in the market spaces they compete in, and you’ll see that design alone doesn’t do the magic. The company focuses on both product and consumer-centric marketing techniqueswhich gives them an edge over all others.
📢 A marketing agency is a business that researches, strategizes, brands, and promotes a company’s products or services. Ultimately, marketing agencies partner with a company to develop, manage and execute its marketing strategy to achieve defined business goals
Now that we are familiar with what are the types of agencies, let’s take a further look at how these agencies though very similar in operating procedures tend to distinctly differ from one another.
Creative Agency vs Marketing Agency
Difference #1: Market research vs user research
Market research is a core business function. Through market research, you can validate a business opportunity, examine the economic forces at play by investigating key industry trends and the competition, and get an idea of your potential market size.
But the main goal of market research isn’t to give you a solid foundation of the above alone.
Most importantly, it is to relate the findings from the research to your business case, ensuring that you get a firm grasp of how and where to be able to build stories that connect what you stand for and position your company for growth.
By using market research to determine “how” to position your business, an agency identifies measures to differentiate your brand from competitors. It also allows them to identify “where” that positioning should happen – something that comes from knowing your prospective customers’ demographics.
Marketing agencies excel more doing this type of high-level market research. Not only are they the ones who usually have market analysts working in-house, but they’re also the ones who go on to develop tools that enable this kind of market research. Market research helps to determine the how and where of your brand.
But to know why people would care, you must appeal to their interests and address their pain points the moment they spot your brand collaterals, most times without saying a single word.
Achieving this feat boils down to creating user-focused visuals and design assets that appeal to people’s interests or address their pain points, otherwise called psychographics.
User-focused design is the core of creative agencies. To excel at doing this, they always conduct user research to determine the psychographics of prospective customers, even after market research has identified their demographics.
This explains why you’ll find UX researchers and UI/UX designers leading the lines for creative agencies, which helps understand what a user is going through when they interact with a design.
Difference #2: Long-term branding vs specific targeting
Have you noticed something about most global brands?
Yes, they may evolve into trendy visuals as most often do when the organization feels they need a brand refresh after all, but the brand fundamentals rarely change entirely.
The reason for this is that branding, usually executed by creative agencies, takes a long-term approach. It involves creating design assets and visuals to depict what your company represents and to articulate your corporate identity even in the years to come.
This was the case with Google. According to a report by The Verge, redesigning its logo to look good on small screens had a profound impact on why Google evolved its visual identity design in 2015.
Google’s example depicts an important difference between creative and marketing agencies.
Creative agencies focus more on designs and don’t get into the weeds of studying changing market trends on specific channels.
And that’s where marketing agencies differ. Marketing agencies’ work revolves around seeking new avenues to market your business’ offering, reach specific audiences, and drive growth.
Difference #3: Go-to-market strategy development vs creative direction
Marketing agencies and creative agencies also differ in the area of go-to-market strategy development and leading the creative direction of the strategy execution on various channels.
That’s another way to say that marketing agencies can help you to identify what channels to market your product or service. They can also help you to plan and decide what content types will drive the most impact.
Creative agencies, therefore, are a better option if you know what channels and content types to create, especially when there’s a need for the expert design of the final deliverable of such content.
For example, a marketing agency may find that your brand will drive more engagement and growth on social media. But they may lack the creativity required to produce appealing content for the social media channels your company uses to appeal to your target audiences on those platforms.
Creative agencies, on the other hand, are the ones to turn to when you need expert design execution specific to a go-to-market strategy typically developed by a marketing agency.
Difference #4: Analytics vs creativity
Let’s pretend for a moment that there was some truth in that myth.
Because I consider it a good way to differentiate a marketing agency from a creative agency.
On the other hand, creative agencies deal with the irrational aspects of a business by applying creative thinking and emotionally-driven design development to appeal to intangible human emotions not necessarily measured by numbers. However, let’s say you want to identify insights into how your advertising campaigns are performing or will perform in the future relative to your business goals.
Or, you need data insights such as traffic sources, channels driving the most impact for your business, and what your sales funnel metrics are saying, marketing agencies are the ones to turn to because these tasks require analytical data crunching.
If the data crunching by marketing agencies reveals the need to improve your design or recreate them entirely to get them to become more appealing to specific audiences or channels, creative agencies shine better for doing this.
Marketing Agency vs Branding Agency
It is a never ending debate – marketing or branding – which comes first – who does what?
One week a certain marketing technique may work, then next month a whole new approach could show bigger results. With marketing, you have to get immediate results in order to continue the process. Marketing is not about developing long-term relationships like with branding, this mid-term approach is all about getting more people though the doors.
The goal of the branding agency is to help a business to connect with and then establish longer relationships with clients.
Branding is all about keeping focus on the bigger picture, helping to provide the consumer everything they need that they are not getting from a business in a similar niche. It focuses on creating consistent, trusting, coherent, strong relationships.
The Role Of Your Marketing Agency
The marketing agency does not have to develop the theme or logo for your company, all that is in place already. The marketing agency is going to discuss with a company their goals and core values, then try to align an advertising strategythat will connect with the most qualified consumers. This can only be done successfully if the branding has already been completed by a brand agency.
The Role Of Your Brand Agency
The brand of your company goes out like a beacon to the world, and if done correctly, connects with people on an emotional level. The brand is how the consumer will be able to identify your company from the millions in your niche, so it really has to be done with creative skill, care and focus.
Digital Marketing Agency vs Performance Marketing Agency
A performance marketing agency undertakes forms of online marketing and advertising programs specifically targeted towards and driven by a particular action. This can range from a sale to a lead, a click or anything else in between, which ultimately results in a call to action, or CTA.
While some performing marketing agencies charge a commission or referral fee for each action, others might charge on a traditional percent of media spend model but still focus on the conversion objective.
A digital marketing agency, on the other hand, provides a wide variety of marketing services under one umbrella that a business typically does not have in-house expertise in. The agency has numerous client goals, but the ultimate goal is to help you increase your product and service sales through their efforts.
Performance marketing comes under digital marketing – a method that utilises online channels. The former uses a payment model that only requires clients’ payment after achieving their desired outcome, whereas the latter runs on the basis of a usually year-long contract.
Next, digital marketing – or online/marketing via the internet – is a generic term that encompasses a variety of payment models, channels and strategies, while performance marketing can include optimising these strategies and channels. Critically, the decision of the product model type defines the marketing strategy.
Performance marketing strategies generally have shorter-term goals, unlike digital marketing goals, where performance strategies typically focus on easy-to-measure metrics like the number of leads generated.
Media Agency vs Digital Advertising Agency
Media agencies advise companies on how and where to advertise, and on how to present a positive picture of themselves to the public.
Data and insights-driven Digital Advertising Agency specialising in Programmatic Advertising, Search Advertising and Social Media Advertising.
According to Adobe, data-driven digital advertising agencies are still leading the way for over ten years now. The companies that focus on digital marketing over media agencies enjoy 1.5x market share more than those that do not. There is a good reason why the CEO of Nike is a designer – despite other forms of advertising popping out, people still value their creativity.
Digital marketing agencies also tend to have more reach than media agencies since the latter focuses on developing better and well-researched marketing ideas.
SEO Agency vs Content Marketing Agency
SEO agencies typically focus on data and metrics in the search world. It’s all about calculating visibility and traffic as well as finding trends in searcher behavior so that the company can create the best possible content.
These agencies typically spend some time completing keyword research to understand how to optimize a piece of content to show up on the top of a Google SERP.
A content marketing agency, on the other hand, tries to understands the features and principles of your business and creates content based on what will help your audience most. It doesn’t focus so much on search analytics, rather putting emphasis on the way things are written and why they are written that way.
Both agencies use data to help out forward the best possible marketing idea for your business. In fact, SEO and content marketing should work together because they do overlap in places. The data that SEO agencies unearth should be able to help content marketers and vice versa.
Simply put, the major difference between the two agencies is that SEO drives its decisions based on [search-driven data and analytics](https://www.tellius.com/search-driven-and-natural-language-analytics-what-it-is-and-why-every-data-driven-organization-needs-it/#:~:text=Tellius Fit In%3F-,What is Search-Driven Analytics%3F,in the form of visualizations.), whereas a content marketing agency makes its decisions based on more audience-driven data and general content creation knowledge.
Website Design and Development Agency vs UI/UX Design Agency
A website design agency helps identify why and what kind of website does a company need at it’s current stage of operation.
This is because websites help you communicate to a potential customer, what the company does, how the product/service works, but most importantly what is in it for the customer and how to achieve it.
A website design agency ensures that the storytelling on the website is good, and becomes a place to generate leads or complete sales. It also makes sure that your website acts an ambassador for the entire brand that represents not only what your company can do for individual clients but also how it can make them a part of the company’s mission to improve the world. If your website looks unprofessional, customers may think that your business is too.
A UI/UX agency, on the other hand, is a consulting company that is highly specialized in producing a quality user experience for a given digital product.
Typically, they are capable of producing the design and architecture of a marketing website, mobile user interfaces, and in some cases, B2B software.
One of the greatest features of a UX design agency is that when designing something for a user they understand all the different scenarios a user will be going through (user scenarios) and ‘design’ the UI for that user flows. This ensures the customer a good user experience. If you don’t spent enough time and effort on figuring out UX, it will lead to bad UI, which gives the user a bad experience at the end of the day.
So, now you’re quite clear on what are the kinds of agencies your business might need the help of during its course of operations.
I know that obvious question in your mind. Let’s get it!
How to Determine the Right Type of Agency for Your Business?
Perhaps the toughest questions!
Whatever business you are in, you do need branding, marketing, a good website (design), SEO, content marketing, digital marketing, etc. So, that means you need to hire these many agencies?!
In most cases, a content marketing agency’s job comes first. This is because you want to understand your audience and the buying cycle first and figure out how to create that amazing content according to that.
It’s after this that you want your content to really become visible, and that’s where SEO comes into play. So, it’s important to look for an agency that does both!
Here are 5 things to keep in mind before you hire an agency for your business
- Find out about the agency you plan to hire in detail and see if your core values and company culture are the same or not – very important since it shows how well you will be able to work with each other.
- Eye the portfolio – check the previous projects and client feedback for the agency you wish to work with!
- See if they offer multiple services – for example an agency that does say both website and communications design. Companies like these tend to have a diverse and better work culture.
- Do your own groundwork and understand what you want the agency to do for your business and how much of it you understand – complete knowledge makes any system work better.
- Last but certainly not the least – walk the talk! An agency can help show you the path and do the basics for your business but unless you work towards what you put forward as your principle, none works out!
Did You Know?
Everything Design is an agency that not just designs and develops your website but also does your SEO, marketing communication, content writing, most importantly branding and so much more (yep, that one step solution)! Get on the phone/drop us an email today to ensure your business matches its vision!