There’s a common misconception that working with larger marketing agencies is the only way to get effective marketing.

This isn’t true. While these agencies might seem to have more structure, they are able to promote such an image because of funding from investors and working with large clients, including well-established, high-end brands. Smaller marketing companies should not be underestimated. In fact, many large agencies leverage smaller agencies to improve their marketing strategy.

The benefits of working with a smaller marketing company are just as powerful as going with the big guy. The perks of using a smaller agency are that the more intimate environment means employees will pay closer attention to your account, even if it means working twice as hard to make any necessary adjustments to hold onto you as a customer. The structure is far less rigid with smaller agencies, allowing flexibility for more creative solutions and idea proposals.

Given that the digital landscape continues to evolve rapidly, it would be imprudent to assume that we can predetermine automated marketing structures now that will serve us just as well in the future. Effective marketing requires testing, feedback and implementing that feedback through iterations. Audiences feel more closely connected to brands that make an effort to connect with them on a more personal basis, which is a luxury the larger marketing agencies don’t have. Just because the larger marketing agencies may have access to more resources doesn’t necessarily mean they’re more experienced and can guarantee solid results in an ever-changing economy.

With the high amount of regulations and standards that larger agencies have to adhere to, room for creativity is sacrificed because testing new waters simply may not be allowed. When considering the social media market, for instance, a previous niche such as menswear blogging has now become an oversaturated trend. This is because everyone is doing the same thing and not experimenting nearly enough to see what else consumers could find appealing. Thinking outside the box is one of the most overlooked marketing strategies. If money follows attention, attention will follow that which is different. You can’t explore “different”, seemingly strange ideas with the rules at a larger marketing agency.

The fact that larger marketing agencies delegate a good portion of their work to smaller agencies that can be more focused on the client-consumer interaction speaks volumes.

In order to make the consumer feel important and valued by the brand, there needs to be some type of intimate connection formed through digital exchanges. This could mean direct twitter responses to customer service questions, to company replies for every user question written in the comments of the brand’s social media page. Instagram has been a revolutionary exploring grounds for both small and large brands. Ultimately, the best creative concept or idea wins; it doesn’t matter how much “time and money” was invested into its implementation. Marketing is so much more accessible nowadays given how integrated social media and digital branding has become integrated with our daily lives.

You should never discredit a smaller agency, especially when they have the advantage of forming more intimate relationships with clients where any work done is detail-oriented and personalized to the needs of that client (as opposed to fitting concepts into a prefixed format). Retaining clients and maintaining their business is paramount to a successful relationship between the company and the client. This requires room for exploring new trends, ideas and concepts. Having a “flex plan”, for example, would give a smaller marketing agency the creative freedom (and power) to implement new strategies every month, whereas a larger marketing agency would not be allowed to do the same.

Another key advantage of working with a smaller design and marketing agency is the response rate.

Clients are far more likely to receive a quicker response through a boutique marketing agency than through a large, corporation-like marketing agency. Even the communication methods are more flexible, where a client can quickly email, call or ping their marketing representative, which allows for a more collaborative approach. There is also a greater level of access that comes with going smaller, given that teams are more willing to have several members chime in, whereas in a more structured environment, this would be considered inappropriate.

Business acumen alone cannot guarantee effective marketing. The ability to adapt is incredibly important to taking hold of the new ways information and media is consumed. The closer you can work with your marketing representative, the better. A less formal communication method doesn’t necessarily equal bad business. Quite the opposite can happen, actually. With smaller firms, a lack of notoriety of your brand will not lead you to be served with less attention; you will be treated with the same respect as every other client because each client matters within the walls of a smaller firm, not just the “big guys.”

You can save a significant amount of money by investing in a smaller marketing agency that can get the same job done with less resources. The truth is, successful marketing doesn’t require a team of hundreds and an impressive corporate office; it requires a dedicated group of individuals who are willing to work around the clock to rework their strategy until it produces results that stands out from the rest.

With the smaller firms, you also receive the benefit of having access to more specialization meaning your marketing plan will be custom-tailored to your exact needs as opposed to being a cookie-cutter method.

You also won’t have to spend time trying to navigate different ranks just to get in touch with the one person who can help you. This exclusivity factor hinders the cultivation of meaningful relationships that are less transactional and more collaborative.

It’s ultimately up to the brand to consider what its needs are, and chances are, a smaller marketing firm can bring you the same results as a larger marketing firm. Just because they’re more widely-recognized doesn’t make them more knowledgable. The popular kids aren’t always the smartest ones. Trust the unpopular nerd who no one pays any attention to during lunchtime. You’ll be glad you did. Plus, he’ll likely be much nicer than the cool kids, anyway. The same way no student is inherently better than another just because they fit an archetype, a large marketing agency isn’t automatically better than a smaller marketing firm. Smaller marketing firms tend to be far more results-driven, disregarding conventional methods that may not get them there. The handling of small businesses by bigger firms is almost factory-like in that there isn’t any special attention paid to the brand. Individual attention to a brand’s needs is key to success.