What Is a Marketing Agency? Top Services and How They Work

What Is a Marketing Agency? Top Services and How They Work

Presentation to customers is everything for both existing and new businesses. Whether this happens via television commercials, billboards, flyers, or digital information like blogs and social media, marketing is essential to your company's visibility and sales.

However, marketing includes far more than just the visuals, as you also need to be able to track the performance and views of each campaign. If you’re looking to improve your marketing efforts, you may need the help of a marketing agency specializing in customized marketing plans and strategies.

Read below to find out more about what a marketing agency or marketing firm is and how they work.

What is a marketing agency?

A marketing agency is a team of trained individuals, or marketers, who work together to help a client attract customers and enhance the user experience through various media.

If you’re struggling to attract customers through your current advertising strategies, it might be time to hire a dedicated marketing agency to take a look at your brand. If you have new products or services to promote, want to be more aligned with your customers, or simply want to consider additional creative solutions or advertising channels, these outside experts can bring skills, knowledge, and experience to your team.

Some of the most common media for advertising include print and television, which encompass commercials, billboards, magazine ads, newspaper ads, and other print advertisements. Here are some examples of successful marketing campaigns created by agencies.

Marketing agencies can also work through other media approaches, which include search engine optimization (SEO) content, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, social media, email marketing, website design, and other less direct methods.

Common marketing agency functions include:

  • Digital marketing services include creating and managing advertisements through internet marketing via Google and other platforms or managing ads that pop up on other websites. PPC ads are paid ads in this category
  • Web development involves creating and managing your business’s website. Agencies can do web design using platforms like Squarespace and WordPress and, after publishing, can continue to update and track analytics for your website.
  • Campaign graphics involve creating graphic design, logos, and layouts for websites, billboards, or internet advertisements.
  • SEO is the practice of creating and managing strategies to increase your appearance on search engines in the category of organic or non-paid search.
  • Social media management includes creating social media posts and managing your social media presence and customer traffic through channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and more. They can also identify new social media platforms for your business or support leverage of user-generated content (UGC).
  • Strategic planning and analysis involves analyzing your company’s former and current campaigns and results and planning new ways to increase visibility. They can also create new marketing strategies that are customized to meet your needs.
  • Media purchasing includes managing budgets and purchasing advertising space on billboards, TV, radio, and other sources.
  • Copywriting involves creating written materials for your company to use in emails, websites, social media, advertisements, and more.
  • Email campaigns are involved with creating and sending out email marketing items for your brand.

Common marketing agency services

Specific services that marketing agencies provide to aid businesses in creating visibility include:

  • Attracting clients. One of the first steps to good marketing is identifying your target audience and finding ways to direct them to your company. A marketing agency will begin by identifying business goals and target markets to develop strategies to attract clients.
  • Managing accounts. Once you’ve begun advertising, a marketing agency can help manage your existing accounts and create marketing calendars to push the right materials out at the right time.
  • Planning media. By creating new media and making plans to optimize your existing media, agencies can ensure that your materials go out to the right channels at the right time.
  • Overseeing public relations. Your company’s image in the eyes of the public is important. An agency can help run and plan public relations events and communications.
  • Performing competitive research. An agency can conduct in-depth research on your competitors to determine where your strong points are and identify any relative weaknesses. Once they’ve analyzed the data, they can help with implementing new initiatives.

Different types of marketing agencies

If you’ve decided to hire a marketing agency, you’ll quickly learn that not all marketing agencies perform the same functions. Some marketing agencies are full service and provide a range of services and marketing resources, while others specialize, focusing on only one aspect or channel.

Some of the different types of marketing companies and their services include:

  • Advertising agency. An advertising agency has a larger scope and manages any form of paid advertisements, including digital and print. Most often, these agencies are in charge of creating the graphics, publishing the ad, and managing traffic.
  • Digital marketing agency. Digital agencies specialize in online channels. After analyzing your current digital ads and customer base, a digital agency will work to create email, social media, web advertisements, and search engine optimization.
  • Promotion or sales agency. A promotion or sales agency focuses on advertisements surrounding a certain product to drive new sales and manage existing sales traffic of the product.
  • Social media marketing agency. Social media agencies specialize in social media promotions. These agencies create social media content, publish it, and review traffic. Many of these agencies also help create content calendars to show you the best times to publish your content.
  • Public relations agency. Public relations agencies focus on the company’s public perception. Many of these agencies help create advertisement campaigns, public speaking events, outreach, and other public events.
  • Freelance marketing professional. A freelance marketer is usually a trained individual working on their own. They can specialize in one specific medium and niche or be general and manage multiple aspects. Usually, they’ll take on a single client or have a small portfolio of clients at one time.

If you’re interested in working with a dedicated freelance marketing professional, Upwork provides profiles for numerous trained individuals who specialize in meeting specific marketing needs. Browse available freelance marketers on Upwork today.

The benefits of working with a marketing agency

When deciding between doing your own marketing or hiring a marketing agency, consider some of the following benefits of hiring an agency.

  • Expand your online presence. In a world consumed by digital media, some of the most effective marketing tools come from digital advertisements. If you’re not tech savvy or are unsure how to best expand your digital presence, a marketing agency can do a full analysis of your digital advertisements. Afterward, they can suggest new strategies, identify weak points, and create or manage new digital campaigns.
  • Understand your audience. While you may know many of your customers, marketing agencies have extensive knowledge of growing trends for certain customer bases. A marketing agency can analyze your current customer profile and develop effective solutions to target this market.
  • Become more cost-effective. If you’re spending money on ads that aren’t targeting the right customers, you may be wasting those dollars. A marketing agency usually charges an upfront cost, allowing you to stay within your marketing budget and pay for their services while guaranteeing the quality you need to attract customers.
  • Access specialized resources and tools. It’s important to have the right tools to analyze the efficiency of your marketing campaigns. A marketing agency often has access to detailed analysis software, which can provide an in-depth view of advertisement traffic and help determine your metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Gain a creative and professional perspective. Sometimes, all you need is a second set of eyes on your promotions. A marketing agency has likely worked with plenty of clients in your specialty and can provide an unbiased look at how to improve your current strategies.

Contracting a marketing agency vs. hiring in-house talent

Some companies use marketing agencies for their campaigns, while others use in-house teams to create marketing collateral and manage marketing processes. Before deciding whether to keep your marketing in-house or outsourced, you should know the key differences between the two.

Full-service marketing agencies In-house marketing
Agencies are a team of outsourced individuals contracted to create marketing collateral and manage marketing processes.

Brand familiarity. Agencies may take some time to learn your brand, but you can often find agencies with extensive experience working with brands in your specific product or service category.
Availability. While marketing agencies often have multiple clients, you can set your expectations upfront with your agency partner to ensure resources are available for your needs.
Cost. Marketing agencies don’t require you to pay for training or software, and you can select the contract and price that matches the collateral and services you need. With an agency, you pay for the exact amount of their service you need.
In-house marketing consists of a team of full-time individuals, led by a marketing manager, hired directly by the company to create marketing materials and manage marketing processes.

Brand familiarity. In-house teams are trained directly by your company and have a high understanding of your brand.
Availability. An in-house marketing team is directly available to your company for all marketing needs, as they are solely focused on your company.
Cost. While your company might pay an in-house individual a set salary, you may also have to pay for their software, training, and recruitment expenses. Additionally, your company pays them the same amount regardless of the collateral output.

Find the best marketing agencies

In working with a marketing agency, you can get a fresh perspective on how to create new advertisements that are eye-catching, cost-effective, and revenue-producing. Finding the right marketing agency or freelance marketer can be challenging, but Upwork helps companies like yours find the best talent to suit your needs.

Whether you want to contract through an agency of professionals or work one-on-one with a freelancer, Upwork allows you to search for available talent to find services that help you achieve your goals. Browse available talent for your marketing needs.

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What Is a Marketing Agency? Top Services and How They Work
The Upwork Team

Upwork is the world’s work marketplace that connects businesses with independent talent from across the globe. We serve everyone from one-person startups to large, Fortune 100 enterprises with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways that unlock their potential.

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