The Benefits of a Mid-sized Firm

May 21, 2014

Recently, two of the biggest names in advertising announced they would merge to form the world's largest ad firm. Under this umbrella will live a host of creative capabilities from advertising to public relations, branding to direct marketing, and media services to digital strategy. Consolidation seems to be the name of the game in the industry, as the large firms get even larger.

Interestingly, the impetus for this particular merger was less to compete with traditional creative firms, but rather to take on the mammoth technology firm, Google. The business goal of the merger is sensible and likely advantageous for the agencies. But does it benefit you, the client?

We propose a different way of thinking: Choose mid-sized instead of super-sized. Here are five reasons why.

1. Be a big fish.

Mid-sized firms have Fortune 100 accounts. They are built to service those accounts efficiently and smartly. However, mid-sized firms often have fewer of these global accounts, making you a big fish in a smaller pond. The result is dedicated attention from a team of experts whose primary goal is your success. As a result, you benefit from their heritage of having worked with clients in your space without having to worry about conflicts of interest or divided attention.

2. Secure senior attention.

Most professionals at mid-sized firms have come from larger firms. They have blue-chip expertise, but have made the conscious choice to leave the super-sized world. And with smaller staffs of experts, even the most senior professionals are active in account work every day. The team you meet at the pitch will be your primary account team. You never have to worry about bait and switch — at mid-sized firms there is no “B” and “C”, only the “A” team.

3. Pursue independent thought.

The majority of mid-sized firms remain independent. Independent status leads to independent thought, less restricted by the reins of a parent company or shareholder interests. Mid-sized firms enable themselves to stand out by developing unique perspectives, proprietary models and nimble solutions. The result is often cutting-edge, distinctive and quick thinking that will help propel you to the forefront.

4. Tailor the process (or results).

Mid-sized firms have processes in place to ensure predictable and beneficial results. However, they are also willing to tailor those processes to meet specific needs and outcomes. For instance, Discovery is a necessary part of any fruitful creative project, but the traditional process can be curtailed if you already have a great deal of relevant data. Or perhaps you have strong creative talent in house. They can be given the tools necessary to execute the visual components of the brand themselves. Ultimately, the goal of a mid-sized firm is to make you successfully self-sufficient.

5. Play well in the sandbox.

Mid-sized agencies tend to be focused experts. They know their fields intimately well, and readily communicate their self-imposed boundaries. For instance, a strategic branding firm likely won’t undertake a national advertising campaign. However, they will gamely work with your choice advertising partner – or recommend a non-affiliated agency they believe will serve you well. Mid-sized agencies play well with others.

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