Integrated Marketing Agency vs Tactic Specific: Pick the Right Approach

by | Marketing Strategy

two people planning a marketing strategy

When searching for a digital marketing agency to partner with, there are two agency models to understand and consider depending on the needs of your company. Integrated marketing agencies are an appealing option for businesses looking for comprehensive services and a streamlined approach. Conversely, tactic-specific agencies focus on one marketing modality, such as paid advertising or search engine optimization (SEO), which is another option for companies looking for support.

Throughout this article, we discuss both approaches more in-depth so you’re equipped to make the right decision for your company.

Let’s dive in.

Integrated Marketing Approach

An integrated marketing agency uses multi-channel targeting strategies with the same or similar messaging. Often this means the agency brings together various components of a successful inbound strategy combined with outbound strategies. This may include creating blog content, email campaigns, social media management, and paid ad campaigns. 

An integrated marketing agency is a great option if you are looking for a marketing hub capable of handling your strategy and execution. It is a holistic approach that looks at your entire business and the potential impact of the different marketing methods and channels on the overall success of your business. An integrated marketing agency makes recommendations based on the most appropriate strategies for your industry and the stage of your business. 

When a company is just starting out, it may be hard to know what kind of marketing expertise you need. An integrated marketing agency can provide all the expertise needed in one location, so you don’t have to stress about integrating the different methods into a strategy on your own. This decreases the overall cost and eliminates the inefficiency of employing a separate firm for each type of service.

Effective digital strategies require multiple channels working together synergistically. An integrative marketing agency makes it easier for companies to achieve their objectives with a single point of contact versus managing several different vendors responsible for different aspects of their marketing strategy. For marketers who want to bring multiple aspects of their campaign strategy under one roof, integrated marketing agencies are an all-inclusive solution that covers everything from content creation, promotion, and distribution.

With a thorough understanding of integrated marketing agencies, it’s time to discuss the tactic-specific approach.

Tactic-Specific Approach

As you advance your marketing maturity and budget, tactic-focused agencies can be useful when you need to go deep in a specific marketing channel. For example, you might reach the point where you consider hiring a dedicated PR firm who is exclusively focused on your industry. If your organization has a dedicated in-house team capable of managing multiple marketing channels, and you have the time and budget to coordinate multiple vendor relationships, then a tactic-specific approach may be an effective strategy for your business. This is a big reason why you see enterprise brands using multiple agencies in addition to their in-house staff to fulfill their marketing needs.

You may notice some correlations to the saying– when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail– if you choose to work with a tactic-specific agency. Tactic-specific agencies can help advise on a single marketing channel but it’s unlikely they can advise on which marketing channels would be the most effective for your business. Their recommendations will be specific to the services they offer, no matter how relevant the services are to your business. This comes at the expense of neglecting to recommend other strategies with the potential for greater business impact.

Working with Integrated Marketing Agencies 

When working with an integrated marketing agency, know that you may need multiple marketing tactics to accomplish your goals. For example, if you are looking for more leads and sales, choose an agency that specializes in inbound marketing methodology, as well as paid advertising. If you need help with brand awareness or building community engagement, look to partner with a marketing agency specializing in social media management and public relations.

Choose What Makes Sense for Your Business

There are many ways to market your business depending on your timeline, budget, and goals. Hiring a full-service integrated marketing agency is the easiest way to get your marketing strategy and execution taken care of seamlessly through one vendor. 

If you have a strong in-house marketing team who only needs assistance in a single area or is able to juggle multiple vendor relationships, you may find the tactic-specific model works best for your needs.

Start creating your marketing plan by outlining what you hope to achieve and defining how much money and resources you can allocate towards it. Then compare your goals to the unique offerings that integrated marketing agencies and tactic-specific agencies offer. If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency capable of handling all things strategy through execution, SmarkLabs does it all.

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