Do I need a marketing agency, publicity agency, or a marketing production agency?

Whatever metric and source you look at, one thing remains constant: global marketing spend is growing overall.

What marketing looks like for your business will depend on several factors, including:

  • Your budget
  • Your industry
  • How you deliver your goods and services
  • Where your business is at in its lifecycle
  • What your competitors are doing

Depending on where you stand among these points, you might be looking to use an external marketing resource to do everything from grow your business and brand presence to maintaining market share in the face of aggressive competition.

Who do I need to hire to help me achieve my marketing objectives?

As with most marketing-related questions, the answer is “it depends.”

You might immediately think, “I need a marketing agency.” But your needs might be a little more niche than that, which could lead to you spending money on things you don’t really need.

To help you make the right decision for your business and objectives, we’ve looked at the differences between a marketing agency, a publicity agency, and a marketing production agency.

What does a marketing agency do?

The term “marketing agency” is banded about a lot. It’s often used as a catch-all term, and you’ll find many marketing agencies that say they are “full-service.” This usually means they can (or try to) do everything you need, but typically not very well.

In many respects, marketing agencies work in a consultative manner. One of the most significant things you need to do when hiring a marketing agency is deciding how much consultation you want versus how much tangible task you want them to complete. If you’re looking to grow your business, you probably don’t want to spend €4,000 a month just for someone to tell you what’s wrong with your marketing plan!

Most marketing agencies will do the following:

  • Assess your current marketing performance and identify new strategies. They’ll help you identify where you can achieve the best return on investment and help you to set metrics and targets for your campaigns.
  • Implement your marketing plan (or manage the team that does). This is where some businesses get caught out hiring a marketing agency, as they don’t realize actually doing the marketing isn’t always included in the price.
  • Evaluate your results and use that feedback to tweak your campaign or develop new ones. A great marketing agency will have numerous reporting tools to give you a simple overview of what’s working. Actionable data is a must-have in marketing!

You might use a marketing agency at various stages in your business’ lifecycle, depending on your needs and specific objectives.

What does a publicity agency do?

Publicity agencies are often considered the most traditional type of marketing agency. They are typically more hands-on than your average marketing agency and exclusively focus on brand building and brand management. The most comprehensive publicity agencies will also act as your public relations partner, putting out positive stories about your business and providing assistance and advice around your response should anything negative hit the press.

A publicity agency’s tasks might include:

  • Proactive and reactive public relations management
  • Seeking out opportunities for a senior person from your business to give quotes to the print press, be interviewed, or even appear on TV and radio
  • Organize promotional coverage in relevant media
  • Managing your brand presence both online and offline 

What does a marketing production agency do?

Marketing production agencies, like Creative Media Network in Haarlem, The Netherlands, are focused 100% purely on creating your marketing materials.

Of course, there’s still a consultative element at play because these agencies want to know what you want! However, when you work with a marketing production agency, you always get to see and feel a finished product. As a business making an investment into your marketing, there’s nothing like having a tangible outcome that you can go and give to your customers.

One of the most significant benefits of using a marketing production agency is that you get consistency across omnichannel campaigns. How often do you see companies undertaking a marketing campaign, but the brochure doesn’t fit the brand, or the message you get from the video is different from what you get from the photography? This doesn’t happen with a marketing production agency because everything works together.

A marketing production agency can create all of your online and offline assets for you, including:

  • Specific campaign videos
  • General branding assets
  • Video and photography
  • Physical publications like brochures and catalogs

Whatever you need, everything from the first design to the creation of the final product is done. Then, all you need to take care of is distributing your marketing materials!

What marketing support do you need?

Understanding the type of agency to hire can be tricky. Too many businesses end up spending a significant amount of money on marketing resources before realizing they should have deployed that spending elsewhere. Unfortunately, this realization comes too late for many businesses, especially when it comes to marketing content production.

Don’t be one of them! Use what you’ve learned here to ensure you know exactly what you want from your next external marketing support partner, and hire the agency that will help you hit those objectives!

You may be interested in: 5 Tips For Choosing The Best Branding Agency For Start-Ups