So, you're a business owner exploring the options to increase your digital presence. I guess the question on your mind is:

Should you hire a boutique marketing agency?

To help you make an informed decision, I'll share some insights from Ernst Media's kitchen. We'll talk about the structure and workflow of boutique agencies.

By the end of this article, you'll know:

  • Is a boutique marketing agency the right choice for you
  • What can you expect if partner with such an agency
  • The key benefits of working with boutique agencies

I'm Evan, the founder of Ernst Media. You may not be sure what boutique digital marketing means, so let's start with the definition.

What is a Boutique Digital Marketing Agency?

Boutique digital marketing agencies operate from a single location or remotely and don't provide the full spectrum of services. Their teams consist of less than 50 people, each one an expert in a specific niche or aspect of marketing. This translates into a personalized service, direct access to experts, and custom-tailored solutions for every client.

A recent industry report by Promethean Research estimates the following distribution of digital marketing companies in the US:

  • Small firms with 1-10 employees make up 64%
  • Companies in the 11-50 employee range are 27%
  • Larger agencies with >50 employees are just 9%

As the numbers show, the majority of digital shops are boutique agencies, and that's no surprise. Not only SMBs but many large businesses prefer to delegate the management of marketing campaigns to small team agencies.

How Does a Boutique Marketing Agency Work?

Partnering with a boutique agency means you’re getting a marketing team that’s dedicated to understanding your business inside and out. Most of the time, you'll be in direct contact with the people creating and executing your successful digital marketing strategy.

the workflow of a boutique digital marketing gency

That was the generic answer...As promised, I'll share some insights from our kitchen.

I'll tell you a little more about our approach at Ernst Media. What you'll read should be what you'll experience working with any other boutique agency. However...

According to Statista, more than 54,000 advertising agencies offer digital services in the US. Thus, I can only speak with certainty about the processes my team and I follow.

Here is a Quick Overview of the Workflow

1. Building close relationships is important to us. So first, you can book a free call with me (the Founder & CEO). We'll talk about your business goals and challenges.

2. If you decide to partner with us, the next step is developing a customized strategy. We must pick the right marketing channels that correspond to your needs and budget.

3. From that point, you’ll receive regular check-ins and updates on important KPIs. This allows us to pivot, make adjustments, and deliver the best possible outcomes.

Now, let's talk about expectations.

What to Expect from Boutique Marketing Agencies?

Of course, knowing the workflow of a boutique marketing agency isn't enough for you to make a decision. So, let me elaborate by giving you an idea of what you can expect:

expectations when partnering with a boutique marketing firm

Personal Attention

Boutique agencies pride themselves on building close relationships with their clients. At Ernst Media, we always take the time to answer all digital marketing related questions and focus on the unique needs of each client's business.

Tailored Approach

You won’t get cookie-cutter solutions here. Boutique firms take into account your industry and target audience and focus on digital marketing strategies that work best for your business.

High-Quality Work

With a smaller client roster, boutique marketing agencies dedicate more time and resources to each project. For 15+ years, we've had less than 100 clients, and their testimonials speak for the results.

Meaningful Partnerships

Boutique agencies seek long-term partnerships rather than taking one-off projects. We like to work with SMBs, for example, as we have a lot in common and follow a similar path to growth.

Flexible & Fair Pricing

Most boutique companies (including Ernst Media) don't offer preset packages. A startup consultation or personalized marketing solutions for growing an SMB, you only pay for what you need.

I'll wrap up this section with a quote from Alan Cohen, as it resonates with our values:

"Success in business depends more on relationships than spreadsheets"

Why Hire a Boutique Agency?

We touched on the structure and workflow, talked about expectations...It's time for the final chapter.

I'll highlight the key benefits of working with a boutique digital marketing agency vs larger agencies. Again, this relates to how we deal with clients, but it's what you can expect from most other agencies with small teams.

I'll do a quick comparison so you can understand the main differences. I'm not trying to say that larger firms aren't capable of delivering high-quality results...They definitely are, but the processes aren't the same.

Boutique Marketing Firms vs Full-Service Agencies

› Unlike full-service agencies, which handle a large volume of accounts, boutique digital marketing agencies take a personalized approach to each client.

› A specialized agency will quickly adapt to changes in market trends, whereas big agencies often have more rigid processes and longer turnaround times.

› When working with a boutique agency, you'll communicate with the people doing the work. There are no salespeople or account managers like in larger firms.

› Most team members of a boutique agency are certified experts. Full-service agencies have many employees, including junior-level digital marketers working on small business accounts.

› Partnering with a boutique agency means your marketing campaigns will be managed in-house. Due to the high volume of work, larger agencies often outsource.

I hope you feel more confident about making the right choice for your business.

Our award-winning team focuses on several marketing channels, including search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and social media marketing. So, if you need any help...

work with a boutique digital marketing agency to grow your business