THE BENEFITS OF A BOUTIQUE SERVICE
Business owners hire big agencies by default because the latter is deemed “safe” since they have the wherewithal – resources, infrastructure, talents, and pedigree. What many of these business owners don’t know is that boutique firms provide the same skills as larger agencies – with distinct advantages that make them achieve the same goals – at a fraction of the cost.
A big agency would typically have hundreds of employees working in isolated teams assigned to one, two, or more clients. Regardless of the account they’re working on, each team would follow a structured hierarchy and particular processes. However, the boutique agency employs a smaller, specific group of talented individuals who work together to achieve the same goal. As a matter of practice, a boutique agency would take time to discuss ideas with you and clarify any questions they have before they begin execution. Even after they start working, they would carry you along every step of the way to be sure they deliver to your taste.
Our society largely programs us to view bigger as better, but when it comes to the agency that handles your businesses, this doesn’t have to be the case. There are times when a smaller, adaptable, and agile boutique-style firm is more suitable to achieve your end-goal than a large corporation.
While the number of staff in a boutique agency may be smaller, their strength is anything but. They’re usually able to provide forcible comprehensive efficient and cost-effective solutions. The small size of a boutique agency gives it the leverage of knowing clients as people, not just companies. They, therefore, have the perfect opportunity for conceptualizing and creating branding and marketing materials.
Advantages of Working with a Boutique Agency
Budget and Costs
Boutique agencies do not run a large overhead when compared to a larger firm because due to their relatively small size, they don’t pass on costs to you which makes them budget-friendly. Of course, there is this popular belief that the more you spend on a campaign, the bigger and better the outcome. This is not likely to be the case these days. However, large agencies still charge higher agency and overhead fees. It’s easy to understand why: they have to pay salaries, run higher utility costs, and maintain large, swanky offices. These things won’t pay for themselves and the invoice goes indirectly to you. Even though you’re paying high with big agencies, only a minute fraction of the total sum goes into the actual campaign. Isn’t it a better option to chose a boutique agency that can channel the bulk of your funds towards your goal?
Moreover, when you choose a boutique firm, you have control over the services you use and pay for, unlike with a large company where you usually have to choose between predetermined packages and may still have to pay for items you don’t need. This flexibility of choice with boutique agencies reduces costs as you only spend money on services that meet your needs.
Speed and Access
Too many middlemen in company communication create a lot of loopholes as vital pieces of information can get lost. There’s a good working relationship that keeps you in the know of what is being worked on with boutique agencies. Even if the owners are not directly working on your project, you can be sure that they know about you and they know what you hired their agency to do.
Gone are those days when companies correctly thought that the small sizes of boutique firms made them unfit to support significant campaigns. It was an acceptable line of thought when the world moved at a slower pace. Nowadays, businesses don’t just need to adapt, but to do so fast. Boutique agencies have leverage of speed and adaptability. For example, a social media campaign designed by a team of 5 people instead of 15 will be faster to approve and execute. More people translate to more processes, more signatures required, more approvals needed, and more bureaucracy. With boutique agencies, campaigns can begin earlier and results will come in faster.
Unlike boutique agencies, big agencies are often plagued by inefficiency and inflexibility. When a problem arises, you may not know who to contact as there are so many people playing a role in developing a campaign. When you do figure out the person involved, Also, receiving a response to a query can take a longer period when working with a large agency, since they are simultaneously handling multiple clients. Boutique firms are known for their quick turnaround. Knowing whom to contact, and getting in touch with them is easier when only a few people work on a campaign.
Skills and Execution
Boutique firms are strongly recommended if you want faster results. They take on only the projects they have the resources and expertise to handle. So, they don’t spend more or less time than necessary for any project. The strategy boutique agencies adopt to fulfill this requirement is specialization. Small agencies provide specialization and focus which larger firms usually lack. Since large companies work with various clients, they tend to have less experience and expertise in working with specific markets. At the end of the day, they offer cookie-cutter solutions to their clients. Cookie-cutter approach and solutions can yield poor results because they never really get to know your business or team.
Contrast this to when you work with a company that takes the time to understand your unique situation from the first contact. This is the kind of attention you get from boutique agencies. Although many large firms pay lip-service to personalization in their ideation and execution, it is largely impracticable for them. Boutique agencies have the flexibility to dig deeper than a larger team. For example, when it comes to digital marketing, you can select out a big agency that handles digital marketing for various kinds of businesses in various kinds of industries, or you can select a boutique firm that specializes in digital marketing for your specific industry and niche.
Boutique agencies understand the needs, objectives, and challenges of your business and market and can help you develop solutions to them. The team that comes up with the solutions also gets to work on your project. This keeps the communication lines open and leaves little room for error. Due to the strict internal procedures of larger firms, there are different teams that work on a single project. While boutique firms are willing to try new tactics to achieve their goals, large firms prefer to have a set way of doing things. This one-size-fits-all approach that big agencies have can be a disadvantage to businesses that are yet to grow their bottom-line. At the end of the day, clients that patronize big agencies generally have to adapt to the methodology of those large agencies. However, boutique agencies are more likely to adjust to their clients’ needs.
Creativity and innovation are the flavors of a successful campaign. Fortunately, you don’t need a heavy budget or large staff to have these two. In reality, the strength of smaller firms is in trying new things. This means they adjust more quickly to the fast pace of change in our world than larger firms. Boutique agencies are willing to explore the best way to build your business and would readily do things differently. This is why they prioritize building their team with tenacious, disciplined, and daring people. Boutique agencies don’t trivialize the importance of the right talent. If your business could use a new strategy, a fresh perspective, or better collaboration in order to achieve its goals, then a boutique agency is the appropriate fit for you.
No business can thrive if it is not heard. No business can succeed if it does not listen. Boutique agencies provide the environment that nurtures and personalizes communication. There’s something about knowing that the team you’re working with is built just for you. That direct link that comes with working with a small agency is often underappreciated, but it is everything. Time is of the essence in the business world of today. So many people come up with good ideas and how fast you can get it to the market may be the determining factor between the idea that thrives and the one that fails.
The personalization that boutiques offer could mean the difference between reaching a secretary and reaching the CEO on your first contact. Boutique agencies generally offer a more personal experience. This provides an opportunity to build a healthy working relationship with your team, and improve communication since you’ll directly contact the specialists working throughout the duration of your project. All these tell you that you’re not just another sale in the invoice, you’re a valued client.
Big agencies have many people involved at different stages of your project and they may change with each meeting you have. You should opt for people who will emotionally invest in your vision. Your boutique team prefers to hear your voice and opinions to understand your vision and translate it into words, images, and experiences. Meanwhile, larger firms rely on third-hand interpretations to do the same.
Large firms have their advantages; big-name clients, heavy budgets, and other whatnots. But they rarely pay enough attention to smaller businesses who need it the most. Boutique firms treat each client like they were all the firm had, and aim to satisfy them fully. If you want the best, choose an agency that’s as invested in your goals as you are.
Leave a Reply