January 3, 2024

What does a marketing agency do?

Explore vital roles of marketing agencies: SEO, branding, research, and brand development for business success.

What does a marketing agency do?

For any business, a well-planned and -executed marketing strategy is crucial to success.

There are many different types of agencies that can enhance your marketing efforts, all supporting businesses in different ways. Below, we cover some introductions to what services a marketing agency or consultancy offers, the benefits of that working relationship, and explore some of the different types of B2B marketing agencies you may find in your search.

What services do marketing agencies offer?

Marketing agencies — sometimes called marketing companies or marketing consultancies, but we’ll explain the difference shortly — exist to help businesses be seen and heard by the right people. They offer a wide range of services to promote products or services, build brand awareness, and reach target audiences.

The specific services provided can vary, depending on the agency's focus, expertise, and the needs of their clients. Here are some common services offered by marketing agencies.

• Strategic planning — for example: market research, identifying target audiences, competitor analysis, goal setting, and strategy development.

• Branding — for example: logo design, core positioning and messaging, brand identity development, and brand guidelines.

• Digital Marketing — for example: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and influencer marketing.

• Advertising — for example: creative development for print, digital, and broadcast ads, media planning and buying, campaign management and optimisation.

• Public relations (PR) — for example: press release writing and distribution, media relations, crisis management, event planning and management.

• Content creation — for example: copywriting, blog post creation, video production, infographic design, podcast production.

• Social media management — for example: social media strategy development, content creation and curation, social media monitoring / engagement, and analytics / reporting.

• Website development and design — for example: website design and redesign, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design, website development and maintenance.

• Analytics and reporting — for example: data analysis, performance tracking, return on investment (ROI) measurement, reporting and insights generation

• Market Research — for example: surveys and focus groups, data analysis and interpretation, consumer behaviour studies

• Email marketing — for example: campaign strategy and design, list management, automation setup, performance tracking

These services can be offered individually or as part of comprehensive marketing packages, depending on the agency and the client's needs. Businesses often collaborate with marketing agencies to leverage their expertise and resources to create and implement effective marketing strategies.

What’s the difference between a marketing agency and marketing consultancy?

The terms ‘agency’ and ‘consultancy’ are often used interchangeably in business and the professional services industry. However, while there can be overlap, they generally refer to different types of organisations with distinct purposes and functions.

Nature of the work

Typically, a marketing agency will provide creative or marketing services to clients. This might include advertising agencies, digital marketing agencies, design agencies, and so on. They execute specific tasks or campaigns on behalf of their clients. Marketing consultancies, on the other hand, focus more on the provision of expert advice and strategic guidance. Consultants are hired to analyse problems, assess situations, recommend solutions. They may or may not be directly involved in the implementation of their recommendations.


Agencies are known for specialised skills in areas such as advertising, public relations, graphic design, web development, and so many more. They generally have a team of creative professionals who work together to deliver a specific service or campaign. Consultants, in contrast, are typically hired for their expertise in a particular industry or field, as well as having a broader scope of services: strategy development, organisational restructuring, process improvement, and more.

For example, here are some specific types of agency that may exist

Technical SEO agency: Would you like to create a more effective website and be seen more online? A technical SEO agency is the digital architect of your brand. They specialise in fine-tuning your website's technical aspects to improve its visibility on search engines by enhancing site speed, optimising meta tags, assisting with Google’s crawling processes, and ensuring mobile friendliness. Technical SEO agencies pave the way for higher search engine rankings and increased organic traffic.

Brand development agency: Branding is the heart of your business identity. Those pitching themselves as brand development agencies are the artists behind the canvas — they develop a compelling brand identity, that resonates with your target audience and fosters trust, alongside brand messaging and accessibility considerations.

B2B research agency: The experts in market insights, competitor analysis, and customer behaviour, B2B research agencies make sure you’re able to analyse and act on the data you collect or acquire. Armed with information, businesses can make informed decisions, tailor their strategies, and stay ahead in the competitive arena. Sometimes businesses that are too close to the information are too zoomed in to see the full picture, and an impartial review is needed to draw impactful conclusions from the collected data.

Client interaction

Agencies often have more direct and hands-on interactions with clients throughout the execution of projects. Client collaboration is crucial for agencies to understand the client's needs and preferences. Consultancies are similar but, by having a more strategic and advisory role, they work closer with top-level management to identify problems and propose solutions.

Duration of engagement

Engagements with agencies are often project-based or campaign-based. Clients might hire agencies for specific tasks, and engagement often has a defined start and end date. Consultancies are in it for longer-term relationships. They might work with clients on ongoing projects or provide continuous advisory services over an extended period.


The primary outcome of agency work is often a tangible product or result, such as a marketing campaign, website, or design collateral. The primary outcome of consultancy is often intangible, such as strategic plans, recommendations, or improved business processes.

These distinctions can vary, of course. Some organisations use the terms interchangeably or, as is the case with us at Transform, might offer a combination of both agency and consultancy services depending on what the business needs.

How to choose the right marketing agency

Choosing the right marketing agency is crucial for the success of your business. To help you make an informed decision, here are some handy steps to consider taking.

1. Define your goals: Clearly outline your marketing objectives and goals. Know what you want to achieve — brand awareness, lead generation, sales, or something else — before speaking with anyone so your time is spent in the best possible way.

2. Identify your budget: Determine your budget. This will help you narrow down your options and find an agency that aligns with what you can afford or are willing to spend.

3. Understand your needs: Assess what specific services you require to achieve your goals (or have questions ready for a marketing consultancy if you want a bit more input). Whether it's digital marketing, content creation, social media management, SEO, or a combination of these, make sure the agency specialises or can exhibit experience in the areas you need.

4. Research possible agencies: Look for marketing agencies that have experience in your industry or similar businesses. Check their portfolios, case studies, credentials, and client testimonials to gauge their expertise and success in delivering results.

5. Meet the team: Request to meet the team that would work on your account. A strong, experienced team, with values and culture that align with your own, is essential for the success of your marketing campaigns. Get some idea of the strategic approach they would take, discuss measurable objectives, key performance indicators (KPIs), and make sure the agency is transparent about their processes, reporting, and costs.

We hope, by following these steps, you'll be better equipped to choose a marketing agency that fits your business’ requirements and contributes to your overall success.

The benefits of hiring a marketing agency

Hiring a marketing agency can offer numerous benefits for businesses looking to enhance their brand visibility, reach target audiences, and achieve their marketing goals.

Expertise and experience: Marketing agencies typically have a team of professionals with diverse skills and expertise in various aspects of marketing, including digital marketing, social media, content creation, SEO, and more. This collective knowledge can bring a wealth of experience to your marketing efforts.

Cost-effectiveness: Employing an entire in-house marketing team can be expensive due to salaries, benefits, and training costs. Marketing agencies often provide a cost-effective solution, as you pay for the services you need without the overhead costs associated with hiring and managing a full-time team.

Scalability: Marketing agencies can scale their services based on your business needs. Whether you're launching a new product, running a seasonal campaign, or expanding into new markets, a marketing agency can adjust its strategies to accommodate your changing requirements.

Focus on core competencies: Outsourcing marketing activities to an agency allows your internal team to focus on core business functions. This ensures that your team can concentrate on what they do best while leaving the marketing efforts in the hands of experts.

Fresh perspectives and creativity: External marketing professionals can bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to your campaigns. They work with a variety of clients and industries, gaining insights that may not be apparent to an in-house team focused solely on one business.

Efficiency and timeliness: Marketing agencies are often more efficient in executing campaigns due to their streamlined processes and experience. They can also respond quickly to changes in the market or unexpected opportunities, ensuring timely and effective marketing efforts.

Measurable results: Marketing agencies use analytics and reporting tools to track the performance of campaigns. This data-driven approach allows for continuous improvement, optimisation, and the ability to demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) of marketing initiatives.

Access to a network of professionals: Marketing agencies often have partnerships and collaborations with other professionals, such as graphic designers, copywriters, and web developers. This allows for a seamless and integrated approach to marketing campaigns, leveraging the skills of specialists when needed.

Risk mitigation: The marketing landscape is dynamic, and trends can change rapidly. Marketing agencies are often better equipped to navigate these changes, adapting strategies to mitigate risks and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

While there are clear advantages to hiring a marketing agency, it's essential to choose the right agency that aligns with your business goals and values. Communication and collaboration are key factors in ensuring a successful partnership with a marketing agency.

How much do marketing agencies cost?

The cost of hiring a marketing agency or marketing consultancy can vary widely depending on several factors, including the size and reputation of the agency, the scope and complexity of the services needed, the geographic location, and the industry. However, as part of an integrated plan, you can select which parts the agency takes on and which parts your own team have covered.

When should you hire a marketing agency?

Hiring a marketing agency can be beneficial for businesses at various stages of their development or under different circumstances. Here are some situations when you might consider hiring a marketing agency.

Lack of in-house expertise: If your internal team lacks expertise in a particular aspect of marketing, such as digital advertising, SEO, or social media management, or perhaps even the resources, be they time or equipment, hiring a marketing agency can provide the skills and tools you need rather than hiring more people or buying more equipment.

Strategic planning: If you need help developing a comprehensive marketing strategy or require guidance on how to achieve some intimidating business objectives — rebranding, or launching an entirely new product or service, for example, a marketing agency can offer strategic insights and planning to properly execute the work you need done to get where you need to be.

Scaling your business: As your business grows, you may need additional marketing support to scale your efforts. A marketing agency can provide the scalability needed without the commitment of hiring more full-time employees.

Objective third-party perspective: An external marketing agency can bring an unbiased, fresh perspective to your marketing efforts. They can identify areas for improvement and offer creative solutions that an internal team might overlook.

We’re here to help

Marketing agency expertise spans a wide range of crucial tasks, making them invaluable partners for businesses seeking growth and visibility. From technical SEO optimisation to conducting in-depth competitor research, blog posts to a complete brand makeover, marketing agencies act as a comprehensive toolkit to help your business thrive.

Moreover, marketing agencies are versatile. They can serve as your sole marketing function, orchestrating all aspects of your marketing strategy, or they can seamlessly integrate with your pre-existing marketing team — as discussed in our webinar on the same subject. This allows you to focus on what you do best, while the marketing agency supplements and enhances your overall efforts. This collaborative approach ensures every facet of your marketing strategy aligns for a powerful and coherent brand presence.

The team of experts at Transform offer a full package of services. Our professionals are committed to staying at the forefront of industry trends, ensuring that we provide cutting-edge strategies and solutions tailored to your unique needs. Whether you're a start-up looking to establish your online presence or an established company aiming to scale to new heights, our holistic approach to marketing empowers brands to thrive in today's competitive marketplace. We're here as your trusty partner.

Get in touch with our team of experts today to find out how we could help your business.


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