Marketing students! Oliver Jenkinson, a consultant at Living Online, has kindly provided us with some tips for finding the right marketing agency for you.
Digital marketing is an exciting, constantly evolving space. The marketing industry is lucrative once you’ve got your foot in the door, and it starts with selecting the right agency to approach. Given that there are a whole host of agencies out there, I’m going to help paint a clearer picture of the types of agencies that exist, so you can better find your niche.
Types of agencies
Digital marketing agencies
A digital marketing agency offers a suite of services that include the business functions of most of the agencies listed below. A strong digital marketing agency will have core competencies surrounding social media, SEO, Google AdWords, Bing Advertising, eCommerce, web design, graphic design, marketing strategy, research, growth strategy and more.
This is a relatively new phenomenon. To give you some context, growth agencies use the 19 growth hacking principles to create huge business growth for clients. Facebook expanded from a million users to 100 million users thanks to growth hacking techniques. Unlike the digital marketing agency, growth hacking isn’t confined by digital marketing principles alone. It uses every possible resource under the sun to drive growth. Currently there is just one growth agency in WA and just a small handful across Australia.
As the name suggests, advertising agencies are the creative soldiers of the marketing world. Despite what you may have learned, marketing and advertising co-exist, and can’t exist without one another. As a marketer, what good is a podium and audience without a speaker? As an advertiser, what good is a speaker without a podium or audience?
Media agencies are the good, old fashioned creative developers that go beyond the reach of an advertising agency to specialise in TV, video, radio, design, and so on. Within a media agency, you’ll usually find a zoo of extroverts full of creative wonder. Small media agencies are slowly becoming a thing of the past because growth, advertising, and digital marketing agencies tend to offer services that have an ability to use analytics to determine which activities are producing the most revenue for a client. Graduate roles here will be highly competitive, and the longevity of your career may be stumped if you don’t diversify your skills across marketing and advertising in the early years.
This is always an interesting one. You will find that most marketing, web development and design, and advertising companies offer branding as a service. The truth is, being a branding consultant draws upon a lot of psychology principles that can be woven into a creative medium that provides value to the client, that the client themselves may struggle to see. Outside of branding consultants, highly experienced graphic designers are your next closest profession.
Web development and design agencies
Against popular belief, web development and design has become less about being a coder and programmer, and more about being a talented marketer. Web development agencies do have a lot of coding expertise and they can do some absolutely fantastic things. They do, however, need direction from marketers to ensure projects have an objective purpose that will ALSO yield revenue for the client. Basically, the coolest app or website is completely useless if no one is paying to use it. If you’re moving into marketing, make very good friends with a young, ambitious developer, because they may be your ticket to infinite wealth.
Where to from here
It’s very difficult knowing where to start when you graduate. It’s even trickier when you’re told you’ve graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce with a Major in Marketing, Advertising or PR, only to find out that the jobs available out there require a combination of skills that probably don’t align with your original field of study.
When approaching agencies, try focusing on one of the following.
- If you have a special interest and want to pursue a more defined pathway, apply for advertising, branding, and media roles.
- If becoming the best consultant with a diverse arsenal of specialisations is your goal, become a Digital Marketer or Growth Consultant.