Why a big marketing agency isn’t the answer…

Recently, we lost out on a contract that I am confident we could have delivered with our eyes shut, and still exceeded their targets, on the basis that our agency wasn’t ‘big enough’. 

Despite finding our proposal brilliant and not having any questions over our ability, they still went with an agency four times the size of Aphra – because, like many other businesses looking for a marketing agency, there is a mindset that size matters. It’s perceived that the bigger the agency, the more you spend, the better the results will be.

I’m here to break a secret to you… that isn’t necessarily the case. I’m not for one minute saying these agencies aren’t up to standard; they may well be. However, in the case of our particular example, we knew the agency they’d chosen were so busy, they were outsourcing their work to other agencies. We knew that there was a high chance the company who’d selected them was going to end up with someone less qualified and less invested – and not even part of the ‘large team’ they’d been sold. 

As a result, they probably wouldn’t get the best results either. It felt very disappointing, especially when we had been in a position to ensure they worked with a senior team who each had over 10 years’ experience in the services they needed. It would have all been delivered in-house, meaning better quality, care, cost and results. And, ultimately, a happy customer!

The reality is that just because something seems bigger and better, that’s not to say it always is. Bigger agencies will often put junior team members on contracts that potentially require much more skilled individuals, and this often leads to a high churn rate. There are many large agencies out there who knowingly burn through customers because they find it easier to keep winning work than delivering a competent service month after month.

Of course, there are the exceptions to the rule – and there are many large marketing agencies who provide an award-winning marketing service. They are the businesses we aspire to, even as a local marketing agency in Colchester, because there’s nothing wrong with having a ‘big business’ mindset, even as a smaller marketing agency. 

However, the moral of this story is to lose all assumptions when it comes to working with marketing agencies – and don’t judge a book by its cover. Yes, a bigger team can mean a more agile response, but there’s no reason why a smaller team can’t also deliver in this way.

Agencies employ their staff based on business needs – so no matter the size of a business, there should always be an individual assigned to the work who is capable of delivering it. The size of the team doesn’t dictate the quality of the work; it all comes down to capacity. 

A team that is trying to force too much into their schedule will rush work and deliver less quality. However, if there is capacity and skilled workers, any team size will be able to help your business grow – and the smaller it is, the higher your chance of working with senior individuals. This means greater value, better return on investment, and more opportunity.


Interested in learning more about working with a marketing agency in Essex? Get in touch with us today at Aphra on 01206 912914 or e-mail [email protected].