Marketing Consultant vs. Marketing Agency: What’s the Difference?

December 5, 2017 / by Chris Myers

Marketing consultants vs. marketing agenciesjpgMarketing consultants and marketing agencies do the same thing, right? Not necessarily. While the lines between the two continue to be blurred, there are still noticeable differences. The best way to start explaining these differences is to define a marketing consultant and agency.

What is a marketing consultant?

Study.com defines consultants as “[professionals that] are paid to share their expertise and knowledge to help businesses attain goals and solve problems. Consulting is a wide-ranging field with positions in innumerable industries”. Consultants are basically the brains behind the operation. After evaluating your problem, they provide you with the best strategies and tactics possible.

What is a marketing agency?

A marketing agency can be defined as “an agency that has the capabilities of handling all aspects of the marketing process… including strategic planning, creative, production and interactive marketing services”. Essentially, a marketing agency can provide you with the same strategies and tactics that a consultant, but also implement them.

Which is best for you?

As time goes on, the differences between consultants and agencies are starting to become less obvious. More and more agencies are beginning to offer strategic advice, as well as implementation. On the flip side, more and more consultants are implementing their own advice for their clients. With this being the case, how are you to decide which help is right for you or your company?

The two main factors in deciding whether a consultant or a marketing agency is best to solve your problems are budget and staffing. Marketing agencies tend to cost more than consultants because they are not only providing you with the strategy you need to succeed, but also they implement these tactics into your business. So, if you have a smaller budget, you will probably lean more towards a consultant.

The next factor is the bandwidth of your staff. If you have a large enough staff to implement the strategy that a consultant will present to you, then obviously you don’t need to worry about a marketing agency to implement them for you. However, if you have a smaller staff that doesn’t have the capacity to implement these strategies, you will probably be better off paying for a marketing agency to seamlessly implement their own strategies and ideas. Strategies are useless without implementation, right?

Now that you know the difference between a marketing consultant and an agency, it’s time for you to evaluate your problems that need solving and decide which option is best for you. If you need help making that decision, reach out to me at cmyers@chargegf.com or contact us!

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