Small Size is an Advantage for Ad Agencies

Big Size is Becoming a Big Limitation for Creative Agencies

There’s a lingering notion that an advertising agency’s size is directly related to their importance, relevance, and sheer skill in drawing attention. Yet, when it comes to executing an advertising campaign, many small agencies have the flexibility, know-how, and capabilities to better implement demanding campaigns.

Small Firms Are Nimble and Responsive

Jim Mitchem, principal at smashcommunications, says we have to think of small agencies not in terms of being small, but in terms of their strengths: offering quick response time, agency-wide collaboration, a sharp and creative edge. “[W]e must overcome any negative connotations tied to the word small,” he writes.

While these traits can be found in some large organizations, different levels of management and the siloing of roles inevitably makes larger organizations less flexible.

At Small Agencies, You’re Closer to Senior Employees

The management structure at small agencies tends to be more flat than at larger firms. This means that senior staff members will more likely be more involved with each account rather than delegating them to junior staff.

There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence of large ad agencies sending a senior employee to give the “pitch”, and once you’re sold on their services, your account will be passed off to a junior employee.

At a small firm, senior staff work alongside junior members — often in a mentor capacity. This helps ensure that your account is being managed by someone with fresh ideas and enthusiasm, but the account also has the necessary oversight by those with greater experience.

Small Agencies Are on the Cutting Edge

Ad agencies of all sizes are trying to adapt to the new media landscape and trends in digital media. And while big agencies may have the power to hire smart digital marketers and even buy entire organizations, however, they often have difficulty integrating these services into their core business and merging their digital and traditional functions.

In contrast, small firms are able to change directions more easily. New information and techniques can quickly pass between team members. It’s often easier for employees to schedule strategy meetings with management and to incorporate and implement new ideas.


Large ad agencies certainly have advantages and having an established reputation obviously attracts top-tier talent. And they’re able to use their considerable resources to buy or contract out those with the required expertise.

Small agencies, however, often provide the dynamic environment where the team can produce high-quality work and stay up-to-date with industry best practices.

Companies — including blue-chips — want to work with an ad agency that finds smart, holistic, and fast marketing solutions. The size of the agency they work with is really an afterthought.

If you’re looking to establish your brand or pursue a new direction, consider an innovative and small firm like FDI as an alternative to the big ad companies. We’re able to provide the fresh ideas and strong strategic thinking across all media platforms that captivate audiences and amplify your brand message. Why settle for Madison Avenue?

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