The Difference Between Creative Agencies and Marketing Agencies
Writer: Daniel Kremsa
Targeted for SMBs considering support from a marketing agency but unsure of what support is needed and where to find it. This article will explain the differences between a creative agency and a marketing agency.
PPC agency, creative agency, ad agency, SEO agency- the list of agencies is endless these days and has continued to grow as the field of marketing has expanded. Choosing a marketing partner that’s right for your business first involves determining exactly what it is you need and who to get it from.
What is the difference between a creative agency and a marketing agency?
To explain the difference between a marketing and creative agency, let’s first start with the difference between branding and marketing. A brand is the visual and written articulation of your product/service, whereas marketing is the method by which you’ll introduce that brand to the market. Similarly, a creative agency mostly focuses on branding (but not exclusively) and creating the visual assets to accompany the brand to market like a logo, video, animations, graphics, illustrations, etc. A marketing agency will focus on the strategy for bringing that brand to market as well as the execution of that strategy.
What is a creative agency?
A creative agency generally handles the visual execution of brand or marketing activities in the form of graphics, print collateral, logos, illustrations, video, copywriting, headlines, animations, etc.
When to hire a creative agency
If you’re in the process of branding, either creating a brand or re-branding then you will want to involve a creative agency in the process. In addition, when you’re in need of graphic support, a creative agency will be able to fulfill your visual needs.
What to look for in a creative agency partner
In any partner, look for examples of prior work, preferably within your industry. Each creative agency will have their own identity and you’ll want to make sure you resonate with their creative approach. Ask questions like:
- What’s your research approach for creative?
- How do you work with your clients to develop an accurate creative brief?
- What similar industry creative can you show us that you’ve worked on before?
What is a marketing agency?
There are many different types of marketing agencies. Some agencies specialize in different areas of marketing such as digital marketing, SEO, content marketing- the list goes on. Generally, a marketing agency is one that handles some or all aspects of marketing strategy and planning.
If you need support either in strategy, planning, or executing any marketing activity. You might need support from specialized, channel-specific marketing agencies like a PPC agency or SEO agency, or you may need strategy development from a consultant or a more full-service agency. Determine first where your strengths are internally, and then look to strategic partners to execute the parts your least strong in.
When to hire a marketing agency?
Before engaging any marketing partner, if you do not have a marketing strategy already, either create one or look to a marketing agency that can help you with both building the strategy, plan, and execution. The more you can partner with one holistic marketing agency that handles both individual marketing channels and the strategy and planning, the more cohesive your efforts will be. The less moving parts and less middle-manning between agencies, freelancers, and internal staff, the better. Ask questions like:
- How do you approach marketing strategy and planning?
- What channels do you have a specialist in (i.e. PPC, Email, SEO, etc.)?
- How do you manage project work with clients externally and internally