Is Bigger Always Better? / Go Big or Go Boutique?

In recent years there’s been a shift in the way clients interact with advertising agencies. Larger enterprises are starting to see the value in a small agencies, with smaller agencies across the world starting to win bigger brands, previously only won by those with hundreds of employees.

Big brands are realising they don’t need an agency that matches their size, but one that matches their ambitions. If you’re currently debating partnering with a big or a boutique agency, we’ve outlined a few points to help.

Adaptable Skills

Having a smaller team means the more hats each team member will have to wear. Each member of staff will most definitely specialise in a different field, but will have a larger skillset and will constantly be learning from each other’s expertise. This allows creatively to flow much better and can event result in creating more fluid campaigns.

With less corporate hierarchy, job definitions are blurred, and each individual is encouraged to reach the client-based goals, rather than focus on individual job role goals.

Speed of Response

Smaller agencies have fewer layers of management, which means fewer approvals needed, fewer processes and quicker decisions. If there was a problem or changes that needs to be made, it is far easier and quicker for a smaller agency to get things turned around. Directors and owners can remain close to the project, acting as a partner for clients in a way that isn’t always possible for larger agencies.

This is a massive advantage for clients that want to be 100% on top of trends when it comes to their marketing message.


The more people that work for a company, the bigger the overheads ultimately resulting in higher project quotes. Smaller agencies won’t need to cover huge overheads or pay wages for many people in the structure that might not even come into contact with your campaign.

Clients are often shocked by smaller agencies willingness to provide the easiest and cheapest solution rather than the most expensive, just because they’re a large client.

Different Departments

When larger agencies have different departments for marketing activities, they can be more inclined to turn to that department for a solution, which results in diffused responsibility. As a team gets bigger, it’s easier for each individual to put in less effort as they’re individually less accountable. As responsibility is diffuse the incentive to put maximum effort in is reduced.

In smaller agencies, each member has an amplified level of responsibilities resulting in everyone being determined to produce amazing work.

By having different input from multiple team members, all with different expertise, who all work together, means that you are more likely to have a successful, comprehensive, multi-channel campaign rather than, for example, a social agency opting for a strictly social campaign, or a media buyer opting for a traditional media campaign.


Having a larger team with more departments can result in the client and the creatives that work on the project never actually speaking to each other. Dealing with different departments can mean messages being passed along, often being misinterpreted.

Working with smaller agencies, you’re more likely to have one-to-one relationships with staff members that are working on your campaigns. Because you’re speaking directly with the creatives themselves, your ideas are less likely to misunderstood. This means small agencies are more likely to gain the trust of the clients, and deliver the project efficiently.

Chances are, in a small agency pitch, you could meet half of the team (including creatives and designers), whereas with larger agencies, you might meet only 1%.

Individual Attention

One of the biggest differences between big and small agencies is how the clients’ business is valued. Unfortunately, when a large agency is given a low-profile project it can be handed over to a “B” team. It’s common for employees in large agencies to be responsible for dozens of different projects, resulting in them having less time for each. With too much work on their plate, employees are prevented from being fully immersed into each project because they’re splitting their time between multiple clients.

In smaller agencies, there is no “B” team, meaning any work they are given is treated as important as any other. Having fewer clients allows each employee to become fully focused on each project.

Here at Belu Media, we believe great things come from great relationships. Which is why we keep our client roster small, allowing us to treat each partner as our most important.

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