The Growing Opportunity for Small Agencies

The rise of technology has democratized the advertising landscape. Agencies no longer need to be among the largest holding companies to have global reach and cutting-edge capabilities. As The Drum recently pointed out, big brands are very interested in handing their budgets over to smaller agencies these days, given that these firms often have the same capabilities as their larger competitors.

While this is great news, perhaps the more exciting part is that small agencies have an even larger opportunity when it comes to serving SMBs. This should especially appeal to agencies that exist as part of local media companies. While many of these companies started as a way to provide creative services to print and digital ad buyers, there is now an opportunity to extend their offerings well beyond, attracting the business of SMB advertisers with a wide variety of marketing needs.

What this looks like in practice is remarkably simple. Small agencies can partner with marketing service providers that bring the range of capabilities that companies of all sizes are looking for, including programmatic ad buying, audience targeting, mobile ad serving and creative services. Rather than build their own technology or negotiate contracts with a handful of platforms, these firms can turn to providers who offer something akin to “agency in a box,” with all of the capabilities to expand services beyond their traditional offerings.

Once again, this is all thanks to technology. In-house agencies at media companies started so that ad buyers had a simple option to develop for creative for newspaper ads. Now, they can help build and traffics ads for digital campaigns, social media and mobile. These ads also aren’t confined strictly to the owned-and-operated publications of media organizations. Now advertisers can work with in-house agencies to have their ads appear on publishers’ properties, as well as across a variety other sites.

These are the kinds of digital ad services that many SMBs now want to take advantage of but lack the time and resources to manage on their own. Self-service options do exist in the market, but many more SMBs will be inclined to turn to media partners to help them manage, especially if they already know and trust the media partners or agencies because of past experience.

By partnering with organizations that make it easy to offer cutting-edge digital services, small agencies -- those in-house at media companies and stand-alone independent shops -- can thrive in a technology-driven ad industry. Partnerships like this open up new revenue streams, while also making it even easier for SMB advertisers to get everything they need from one resource.