Types of marketing agency explained

If you have made the decision to outsource your marketing it can be confusing to work out which type of marketing agency you need to appoint. There are many types of marketing agency each offering a different service. This blog provides a short, broad summary of each type of marketing agency to help you understand how they each might add value to your business and which type of marketing agency you need to appoint.

Most often an agency will specialise in one area only but some may combine services. Agencies also vary in size with some employing many specialists whilst others may operate as sole traders (Consultants).


Advertising agencies create, develop, and produce advertising campaigns across print (newspapers, magazines), outdoor (billboards, bus shelters etc), TV and radio. Some will also book advertising space as well (see Media below).


Brand agencies focus on developing brand identities – the company, name, visual identity, positioning etc. They normally undertake market research to assist with the development of the brand. Brand agencies often incorporate design (see Design below) as the process of developing a brand requires the development of a visual identity (logo etc). A brand agency is most commonly used when a company is starting up or an existing business is re-branding.


Design agencies provide graphic design services – converting a brand / message into a visual form. They will generally cover anything from designing a logo to producing the artwork for stationery, advertising and packaging.

Digital / Online Marketing

Digital or online marketing agencies are concerned with any marketing relating to the Internet. They focus on maximising the number of visitors to a company’s website and engaging potential customers when they are on the site. Some digital agencies also provide email marketing services.

Market Research

Market research agencies design, carry out and report on and / or analyse research on behalf of companies.  The research may be qualitative (e.g. focus groups and in-depth research), quantitative (e.g. Omnibus) and / or fieldwork (providing personnel for e.g. street questionnaires).


Media agencies specialise in planning and buying advertising space. This role is often also incorporated into an advertising agency.


Print agencies take on a company’s print jobs and outsource them to a printer. The agency takes responsibility for ensuring that the job is delivered on time, to budget and meets the specification.

Public Relations (PR)

PR agencies are concerned with making sure that a company and its products /services are mentioned in the media (newspapers, magazines, TV and radio) and other important outlets (e.g. tradeshows, conferences) for getting information about the company to potential customers. They focus on generating free editorial not paid-for advertising.

Social Media

A relatively new phenomena, social media agencies help businesses to build and maintain a presence on social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.

Web Design

Web design agencies build, develop and host websites. Most web design agencies also provide digital / online and social media marketing services.

A Marketing Consultant is the umbrella over all these services. A Marketing Consultant will work with a company to develop a marketing strategy and will then bring in the appropriate agencies and specific skill sets to deliver the marketing strategy.

If you are considering outsourcing your marketing and are unsure where to start please give Straight Marketing a call on 01395 269791 / 07754375078 or email info@straightmarketing.co.uk.

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