5 Different Types of Marketing Agencies and Why Most of Them Suck


The right agency can solve a lot of problems for your growing business. Between specialized expertise, a focus on helping you quickly and sustainably grow your business, and saving you the time, money and stress of hiring a new employee, contracting an agency is often the best course of action. That is, if you choose the right one.

The truth is some agencies suck. Whether it’s a matter of sucking at what they do, or simply sucking to work with, you should be very selective in choosing the right agency.

Here’s a quick look at some different types of agencies and why most of them suck.

1. Traditional Ad Agency

Unless Don Draper from Mad Men is leading your account, or your company is worth millions upon millions of dollars, the traditional advertising agency just won’t be able to deliver what you need. This type of agency specializes in coming up with advertising campaigns using mediums like print newspaper, television or radio commercials, billboards and bus stops. There are three big reasons why you should avoid this type of agency:

  • Changing media landscape means newspapers, magazines and television reach a much smaller audience than in the past
  • Hard to quantify results: TV ratings and newspaper circulation are imperfect metrics at best
  • Generally very busy offices that can limit the kind of individual attention your business needs

Read the case study to find out how Commerce Garage’s proven strategy helped Orange Theory Fitness boost web traffic by 293% and increase member signup leads by 33%.

2. Brand Agency

Steve Forbes, editor in chief at Forbes Magazine, once said: “Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.” If you’ve got a killer product but no brand, you don’t have much. That’s why brand agencies make their bread by developing brand identity. These kinds of agencies offered some serious benefits in the pre-internet days, when it was appreciably harder to get the word out about your company. But now, they’ll usually suck in at least three different ways:

  • Costs can be very high especially for a growing business
  • Will never be able to understand your company the way you do
  • Narrow scope of work that won’t help you in other aspects of your business

3. Public Relations (PR) Agency

PR agencies work to influence public opinion so that their client is viewed favorably by the general public. This is typically achieved by convincing reporters, editors and producers to mention the client in an article, radio or tv show. When done correctly, PR can be an effective tool. But most startups won’t need one — certainly not enough to contract an entire agency. Here are three sucky things you can expect from most PR agencies:

  • Hire turnover means your account manager and coordinators may change frequently
  • Lack of clear metrics that quantify their value
  • Declining viewership/readership renders their traditional strategies less effective

Learn how Commerce Garage helped Peace Collective boost their Black Friday/Cyber Monday revenue 21% YoY

4. Web Design Agency

Websites are one of the most important digital marketing channels there is. So it stands to reason why there are entire agencies devoted to optimizing your website to help grow your business. But often, that’s all they do. They’ll design you a slick website with no broken links and a high search ranking, but won’t have any expertise in how to actually drive traffic to your newly designed website. Here are three other ways web design agencies they tend to miss the mark:

  • Slow turnarounds and difficult to work with
  • Very narrow scope of work and will often refuse (or be unable) to support in other areas
  • Often work during “normal business hours” and are unreachable outside of those hours

Check out how Commerce Garage boosted Flytographer’s conversions by 141% while raking in 20x ROAS

5. Digital Marketing Agency (The Sucky Kind)

Unlike traditional advertising agencies, digital marketers unlock the power of the internet through digital advertising channels like search engines and social media. The problem is lots of digital agencies will be experts in one channel and one channel only. Perhaps they specialize in Facebook or search advertising, but won’t help your business grow through email marketing or vice versa. That’s why the kind of marketing agency your business really needs — the non-sucky kind — is a full funnel agency like Commerce Garage.

Read more testimonials to find out why our clients say Commerce Garage is the right agency to help grow their business

Finally, an Agency That Doesn’t Suck

Enough with the sucking. What your business needs is a full funnel digital marketing agency that supports your business wherever you need it. We are a team of creative digital experts whose mission is focused on driving results for your business.

Don’t settle for just some of the best services marketing agencies have to offer. With Commerce Garage, you’ll get:

  • Facebook + Instagram advertising
  • Google search and display ads
  • Conversion rate optimization and web development
  • 24/7 support and direct access to CEO and senior leadership
  • Video production and creative services
  • Brand development and strategy
  • Proven results and personal attention

Our success is your success — and we’d be thrilled to bring you on board to experience the Commerce Garage difference.

Let us know how we can help!