Multiple Vendors vs Agency Relationship

August 10, 2015
Written By Dr. Ryan Lowe

Agencies vs Vendors.

As you consider the next big thing for your organization, where do you turn for third party services? To a vendor or three that specialize in that thing you’re looking to do next – or to a full service agency that can help you reach the goal in front of you, in addition to preparing you for what lies ahead?

It all depends – on your resources, your plans, how integrated your efforts should be, and how far ahead you want to plan.

If your budget is small, and your goals are very focused – multiple vendors may be the way to go. On the other hand, if you need to launch a new product and need branding, advertising as well as social media buzz. A full service agency that can create an integrated approach to cover all your needs will suit you better, and will help you plan ahead to build on your initial success.

I’ve compiled a couple of lists to help you figure out which is the best choice for your business.

You may want to go with a team of vendors that specialize in unique areas if:

  • Your goals are isolated and distinct.
  • Your team has identified who will select and manage each vendor and relationship.
  • You have clearly defined criteria by which you can judge the vendors’ skills, qualifications and potential conflicts of interest.
  • If using multiple vendors to complete a project, you have identified a process for communication and coordination of effort.
  • You can quickly and easily coordinate an impromptu meeting with all parties in case there is a hot issue to discuss.
  • The project coordinator is trained with integrated communication to ensure each party’s work and effort is strategically aligned.

You may want to go with a full service agency if:

  • You want to decrease complexity, reduce the risk of misalignment across efforts, and streamline your vendor relationships.
  • Your project requires a well-integrated effort across media platforms as well as targeted audiences.
  • You want to work with just one group of people, who learn and know your brand inside and out.
  • You want to have a single point of contact as well as someone who will be responsive to you. In addition to being responsible for the overall coordination and success of your project.

Engaging a single full service agency can help ensure a well-integrated effort across all media platforms and markets. Having one agency relationship can streamline your workflow, timelines, as well as efficiency in addition to your sanity. You only need to train one group of people. Keep them involved with your business and challenge them to be forward-thinking and focused on your brand. Your single point of contact will be more focused on specific solutions that are best for your business. Your single point of contact also ensures the direction you provide will be applied uniformly throughout the “specialists” within your one agency.

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