This question has been doing the rounds for years now, and for many, the jury is still out…but in case you’re interested, here’s our two penn’orth on the subject…. (the fact that we’re a 360 agency might give you a bit of a clue)
In essence, the argument tends to lean towards the idea that working with specialists is potentially the right way to go. Why? Because they are experts who focus on one area and therefore have a deeper level of knowledge, insights and execution. On the other side of the coin is the full-service agency who could potentially be deemed a jack of all trades and thus a master of none.
But for us, the benefits of having everything done under one roof far outweigh the negatives. Here’s why: Clients get a holistic strategy in which all touchpoints work better together, and there’s a consistency and user-journey that might otherwise be a little fragmented and not quite meeting the customer needs. As a customer it’s never a great experience to be hooked in by a leaflet or social media ad, only to go to the organic feed to find that the look and style is totally different, they can’t find what they are looking for, or worse, a promotion isn’t active or looks nothing like the first piece of communication you saw. This more often than not, happens because there’s been a communication breakdown between agencies along the way.
When we first integrated digital marketing into our business, many brands didn’t even have a website, nevermind a social media strategy (and we’re not even THAT old…well maybe some of us are). At this point everyone was intent on seeking help from experts in the field and very clearly defined ‘digital agencies’. However, now digital is not only an essential part of every strategy, but usually the driving force and core of it’s entire approach, which is why 360 agencies like us have completely integrated it into our thinking, our team skillset and the essence of what we do. We know how important it is to give you all of the support you need whilst not losing any of the consistency and brilliant design that you get from the expert creative team.
We also need to consider the fragmentation of the marketplace. Consumers have shorter attention spans than ever before, and they are usually using multiple devices at any one time. Which means to be successful, you have to put your brand in front of them multiple times, in multiple ways before any kind of recognition happens. This is why brand consistency is absolutely critical. And surely consistency is easier to achieve through a single agency approach?
The team who work at Design One are not simply a jack of all trades bunch, but a group of individual specialists who apply their expert knowledge to everything they do - all whilst sitting side by side and sharing exactly what they are doing with their respective counterparts. That’s why you get the best of both worlds; they each get to be involved in the overall strategy, objectives and plan, whilst applying their own specialist skillset to make sure it’s going to be successful. Clients also benefit from getting one point of contact who has the all-seeing eye over a project and can make sure that every area is connecting effectively and efficiently (although we’re also totally happy for you to talk to anyone and everyone in the team if you so wish!)
So, it’s pretty obvious what we believe is the stronger option, but equally we do have many happy clients who work with us on a singular part of their marketing strategy too. This can work just as well with the right ingredients; Communication and clarity. If a client has someone at the helm who is coordinating everything brilliantly and aligning agencies as they go, a campaign using a multitude of agencies can be a resounding success, and equally, if the communication falls down, it can be an epic failure. So, it really depends on your set up, your internal priorities, and what you want your agencies to deliver.
We’re a team who love to communicate, so feel free to give us a call and we can have a chat about how we can help you.