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  • Writer's pictureC.E.K. & Partners

Don’t Hire That Big Agency: How a Smaller Branding and Content Marketing Can Offer More.


There’s a trend gaining traction in which bigger B2B and B2C companies are turning to smaller agencies, whether specialized marketing research firms, branding agencies or content marketing companies, for support and help with achieving their goals. What this underscores is that quality and expertise are what really matter. In a Forbes.com article, it was suggested, “Clients are missing out on some world-class talent because the smaller advertising agencies are not all on the radar of the major pitch consultants.”

“Clients are missing out on some world-class talent because the smaller advertising agencies are not all on the radar of the major pitch consultants.” - W. Burns, Forbes.com

Experience matters.


While our award-winning talented marketing research experts and communication pros hail from the world’s top shops, we believe in the power of small – and we aren't the only ones. In the ‘20s, one of America’s largest advertising agencies presented its firm’s credentials to a potential client by stating, “If you give us your account, we will dedicate more than 50 copywriters to it.” The client’s response to that agency: “How about just one good one?”

Why should you want to tap into the power of a small marketing, marketing research or content marketing firm that is also a certified women-owned small business?

Reason: Most small agencies are independent and don’t report to a holding company.


When a small brand strategy or marketing research agency doesn’t report to a holding company, the team has the flexibility to truly put the needs of its clients first – over quotas, margins and rigid hourly rates.


It allows a partnership to develop based on trust, flexibility and doing what is right – over what is driven by a P&L or expected by the holding or parent company. Note: The latter often leads to selling solutions that might not be necessary.

Reason: Small agencies are gutsy.


Small agencies are willing to do what’s right and willing to make it happen for your company. After all, they started their own small business and do not work for a big agency, seek awards or watch the clock. They are willing to be resourceful and stretch their client's dollar to make an initiative successful.

Reason: Small marketing research and branding agencies employ world-class, award-winning talent.


Not all world-class talent stays at large agencies. Furthermore, their level of skill and expertise means they do not need to hold traditional jobs. A small marketing research firm or content marketing agency can tap into talent that has worked on world-class brands and at the leading agencies and brand consultancies. Talented people who now seek flexibility with where and how they work.

Reason: Small and large agencies assign the same size core teams.


No matter how many offices or employees your large agency, marketing research firm, or content creation agency may have, generating successful results for their clients is dependent on the actual team managing it, not the agency or leadership handling it.


Whether an agency has 30 or 3,000 employees, the reality is the same number of people are assigned to the project. You can expect a core team of 5-7 people across brand strategy, marketing research, design, content creation, and project management, with other experts coming in and out during the process. Do you really want to pay for talent sitting on the bench for months when a smaller, more nimble agency with the right collection of talent can pull them in only when needed – meaning expertise with lower overhead and costs?

Reason: Small agencies offer diversity of thinking and customize teams just for you.


When a brand strategy agency or marketing research firm doesn’t have the overhead of 100 or 5,000 employees, it can be thoughtful about who should really be supporting your business, whether for specific initiatives or for distinct aspects of the initiative.

Small marketing agencies are problem solvers. In seeking solutions they know they can pull from their collective of experts. This mean they aren’t recommending solutions based on what they are capable of handling with the staff they have on the bench. Tried-and-true frameworks and approaches are leveraged with small agencies. Unlike large agencies, there isn’t one formula or approach because it’s driven by a financial model to ensure quotas, profit, and margin.

Reason: Small agencies focus on relationships because the right fit is important to everyone.


Smaller marketing research firms or content creation agencies, like Atlanta-based C.E.K. & Partners, establishes relationship with their clients. They are looking for long-term partnerships that are mutually beneficial for both parties. Plus, as a certified woman-owned business we can also help you meet your supplier diversity needs. While your brand is seeking the right partner, the right fit is important to small agencies – at least to us.

Reason: Small agencies tend to be more cost effective.


Without the heavy overhead and quotas weighing on a small agency, it’s often possible to achieve a higher quality of work at a more cost-effective price.

What are you waiting for?


Ready to leverage the power of small in a big way?


While these are some of the simple truths we know to be embraced by our clients, it’s important to remember that you too can expect big brand strategy agency thinking and actionable insights from a small marketing agency team with senior talent dedicated to your business.


We’re selective about the companies we do business with and we only work with a limited number at any one time. Ready for a different type of partnership?

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ABOUT C.E.K. & PARTNERS

We build brands. Capture insights that matter. Drive business growth. C.E.K. & Partners offers our clients – technology leaders, global fintechs, banks, payment processors, healthcare organizations, health plans, non-profits and purpose-driven brands – the same experience, expertise, and dedication that have been applied successfully at many of the world’s leading firms and for many of the world’s top brands – while at the same time, providing a level of personal and direct attention!

Category leaders depend on us for marketing research, brand strategy, content creation, and design services.


We're here to help. What are you waiting for? Contact us today.


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