There are major problems and misconceptions pertaining to running a marketing agency. When I think of the term “marketing agency” a lot of fluff and flash comes to mind: cool and trendy downtown offices, nice coffee machines and unpaid ambitious interns with brand new MacBooks of the latest model. These employees are eager, young marketing professionals wanting to create the next Coca Cola brand, and they’re obsessed with irrelevant marketing metrics. Last, these agencies can speak all the cool new digital marketing jargon, which is more talk, yet no action.
Sadly, many - and possibly most - marketing agencies are of the variety just described; they present themselves as something they are not - whatever that “something” is. Since day one, we have made it our mission to stand by our core values and be fully transparent about who and what we are.
When people ask me what GoEdison does, I’ve naturally caught myself consistently answering one way: “We’re a boutique marketing firm that helps small businesses grow.”
I know, the canned description sounds pretty general. The good news is we don’t live and preach a “canned” approach to anything we do. If you really breakdown the simplicity of the above statement, it’s 100% accurate.
Why We Choose Boutique Marketing
First, let’s breakdown the definition of the word “boutique.”
Bou-tique - boo ‘tek/ (noun) - a business that serves a sophisticated or specialized clientele. (Secondary definition)
When we set out to start servicing clients, we had one goal in mind: to help smaller businesses grow through creative and bold growth strategies. So, you might be thinking, “Okay, that’s great, but what does that really mean? How does that relate to being boutique?”
Our passion is small business. In relation to the definition, small business is our specialized clientele. We want to be sophisticated and creative with how we work with smaller brands.
We saw a big issue in the small business marketing world. Smaller businesses were paying agencies a premium price for little to no return on investment. These agencies would send monthly detailed reports - mostly filled with sexy, irrelevant numbers - and have little-to-no contact with their clients. At the end of the day, when it was all said and done, the small business client wasn’t important to the big-time agency; they weren’t a priority.
The Digital Marketing Industry is Broken
The intention of this blog isn’t to rip on digital marketing or our competition. If we’re being honest, it’s safe to say the digital marketing industry is completely broken.
Let’s face it: it’s a complete risk when a smaller business approaches a digital marketing agency. There is zero standard within our industry when it comes to quality work and expectation. More times than not, we find ourselves putting out fires with our clients from negative past experiences with other marketing agencies; this is a problem.
As an outside partner, it’s our job to deliver a turn-key experience, and thus far, we have found, many digital marketing agencies have failed to deliver this.
To be clear, there are many great digital agencies out there. However, there are just as many - if not more - bad apples that have spoiled the perception of our industry.
Why has the digital marketing agency been so broken?
Back in 2006, the world of marketing changed forever; it began rapidly switching from traditional to digital. Agencies started popping-up left and right, and clients (big and small) started hiring companies with zero standards, ROI or expectations. The result of this digital hiring spree was companies hiring bad agencies, getting bad quality work in return (no results), and wasted budgets. This is the moment the industry became broken. Shoddy work and lopsided agency contracts has become more common than quality digital marketing work.
Big Business vs. Small Business
Our message is simple and straightforward. As a boutique marketing agency, we’re small and simple. We’re a small business, just like the clients we serve.
The upper-hand we have as a boutique marketing agency is the personalization and passion we share with every one of our clients. When working with a boutique marketing agency, there’s no canned speech, strategy or results. Honestly, as a small business ourselves, we can’t afford bad results, so everyone on our team is a rockstar. Sadly, when dealing with bigger agencies, we’ve the found this to not be the case.
The theory between us wanting to be a big business vs. staying a “small business” is simple: we want all of our Account Managers to have a reasonable workload. We want everyone in our company invested in our clients. When running a bigger business with an employee number system, it’s hard to keep account management genuinely invested in the clients.
We’ve decided to make genuine investment in our clients our standard. We believe staying 100% boutique allows us to stay true to our philosophy, and thus far it has - no brag, just fact.
What is Boutique Marketing?
Last but not least, let’s wrap this up with explaining (in our words) what exactly boutique marketing means to us.
Boutique marketing is a small business that fully understands its clients’ needs, wants and the marketing pain-points - aka: where progress and growth is to be focused. Boutique marketing has a strong emphasis on content marketing, branding and strong creative advertising. Working with a smaller boutique brand allows the client to work with marketing professionals whom have niche expertise and the ability to work with smaller marketing budgets. Also, the professionals maximize the dollar-for-dollar results because they’re invested in each client - aka: there’s a genuine relationship.
Making the move from a big, sexy named marketing agency to working with a passionate small boutique marketing firm can bring reservations. However, one thing’s for sure: if you want commitment, a quality relationship, growth-hacking at it’s finest, and a marketing team that lives and dies by its results, then hiring boutique is worth the “risk.”
At GoEdison, we know the risk is to not work with a boutique marketing company.