Last update : 17 September 2020
Looking to avoid the pitfalls of web marketing agencies? Look no further! There are quite a lot of web marketing agencies in existence! When I joined Microsoft as the web marketing manager I had to work with many web marketing agencies without understanding why we needed so many of them. It was only later that I realized that behind the term “agency” hides many skills and specializations. Before starting my own web marketing agency in Montreal, I first made a competitive study to understand how to build my own. Today, I’ll tell you in this post what I learned about the world of web agencies and how we, my associates and I, have decided which direction to choose for our little BIG agency. Since this is a subject I want to fully detail as much as possible, I’ve chosen to break up the subject in several articles to gradually publish my writings.
What is a web marketing agency?
Here is where I’m supposed to quote the official definition of a web marketing agency and give it to you, citing my source of course. As this is my article and that the aim here is to deliver personal experience and advice, I’ll give you MY definition: A web marketing agency is any person(s) offering web services (SEO, SEM, graphic design, web design, consulting in web strategy, content writing, web analytics etc.). Indeed, I found in Montreal (and this is probably the case elsewhere) that many self-employed freelancers call themselves agencies while agencies with many employees presented themselves as self-employed to get additional contracts.
In the end, it doesn’t matter if the person works alone, in partnership with other web marketing experts or within a web agency as long as the job is well done. The world of the online web is by definition dematerialized and everyone can offer their services to anyone at the price they want. This not only creates an exponential competition but also comes with even more complicated choice when choosing an agency or a web expert because everyone is an “agency” and everyone is a “web marketing expert.” We’ll go into more detail in the following section.
Web marketing agencies and web experts are not the same (in some cases)
I do not know if I’m about to reveal a governmental secret, but this blog post has to be a little bit juicy. Many web agencies work with other web agencies and even independent experts (I admit in rereading my sentence that this is perhaps not the scoop of the century). For those that might be surprised, I’ll explain why, under certain conditions, it is in your interest that your provider outsources some of the work.
Take the example of a basic website creation project (a website with 8 pages in French and 8 pages in English) including the creation and translation of content. The web agency or freelancer to whom you entrust the design of your website may not have the skills to create and translate all the content that you request. They therefore have a choice between refusing your project (being unable to complete it 100% by themselves), leaving you to fend for yourself in writing and translating the content of your website, or they take charge and find someone to do the job.
In reality, the big issue focuses around the requirement of your provider to tell you whether they are going to outsource some of the work. In this case, the decision is up to everyone to be transparent or not with their client. If as a customer, you ask your provider directly if he will subcontract some of the work, I think the provider really must tell you the truth.
This first introductory article was to introduce the world of web agencies and explain how some projects may be shared between several independent experts or web marketing agencies. In the example I gave, it’s a question of the collaboration between providers in the interest of the client (you) but you will discover in the next chapter that it can also hurt you greatly in certain situations. To continue reading, click the link below: The Web Marketing agencies Vol 2.