The Role of a Marketing Firm

The Role of a Marketing Firm

If you’ve never worked with a marketing firm before, or if you’re looking for a new agency and wondering what outcome to expect from the relationship, we put this together to explain how most marketing agencies work with clients.

So what is a the role of a marketing firm, anyway? Let’s get into it.

What does a marketing firm do?

Now, all agencies are a little different—the role a marketing firm plays in a business can vary from organization to organization, but a typical firm’s duties are the following:

  • Research the business, its products or services, the audience, and the competition
  • Create a strategy to best position the business and its products or services in a market
  • Create marketing language
  • Create visual design standards for marketing materials
  • Create core marketing and sales pieces (websites, presentations, ads, email campaigns, social media, landing pages)
  • Work or advise on a marketing budget
  • Develop and execute advertising strategy within a budget
  • Monitor and report on performance
  • Hold monthly or quarterly meetings around new promotions
  • Collect, interpret and use marketing data


This is a fairly typical marketing engagement with an agency. The agency learns about the product and industry, creates a strategy around selling or generating sales leads, then creates the language and visual designs as a foundation for that strategy.

Once the core messaging and visual designs are established and agreed upon by the client, the agency then creates key sales pieces to launch the product brand.

Usually, these key sales pieces include larger efforts like websites, sales sheets, and multi-channel campaign funnels.

Once these pieces are in place, a marketing agency’s role is to monitor performance, make adjustments, and drive traffic.

Driving traffic can take many forms, such as digital ads, traditional adverting, radio/television, and social media. These are typically called marketing tactics. The agency and client decide what tactics will best serve the client’s needs, while staying within the client’s budget.

There are also agency services that extend beyond this model.

A marketing firm’s role can go beyond traditional marketing campaigns

Marketing firms, and the leadership within them, can also serve clients in ways beyond product campaigns. We’ve had a lot of experience over the years working with our clients as an extension of their leadership team, advising on bigger-picture brand strategy, marketing technology, and best practices from other markets.

These roles are often still in tandem with the general campaign work, but here are a few other ways businesses work with marketing firms. A marketing firm can also:

  • Act as an outsourced CMO
  • Act as an in-house marketing team, or an extension of the team
  • Advise on Marketing Technology products, such as CRM, SEO, ABM, and other tools
  • Help clients to see bigger opportunities in their market

Businesses without a marketing team, or without any experienced marketing leadership, often use agencies to help fill in for those roles, sometimes creating relationships with the agency that last for years.

So why hire a marketing firm?

Most businesses hire marketing firms to increase sales leads, support sales efforts, build brand awareness, and grow market share, along with growing a company’s reputation within an industry.

Reasons to hire a marketing firm:

  • Generate sales leads
  • Build brand reputation
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Change the perception of a brand

Usually (but not always) an outside marketing agency will be brought in with a specific singular purpose in mind, such as introducing a new product of service to the market, launching a new brand, or reinvention and new promotional ideas around an existing product of service.

Sometimes, firms are brought in to help the client understand new tools, channels, and strategies in marketing. For example, a business may not necessarily have experience or understanding with digital marketing, and will seek an agency to help them better understand and use these channels.

Ultimately—and perhaps most importantly—marketing firms can inspire businesses

We believe that the greatest role a marketing firm can play is that of inspiration. Compared to the tactics of campaign planning, this sounds soft, I know. But hear me out.

Good firms help clients see their businesses in a new light. We bring order to chaos. We make internal teams proud of their organization, spark new ideas within them, and communicate a unified message about who and what they are.

We use strategy and design to simplify and solve communication issues clients have struggled with for years. And we make it look easy—like the answers were there all along.

Good marketing firms will show clients a beautiful new world, based on existing strengths, limitations, and aspirations. We create new ways to think about, speak to, and sell products. We solve business problems that sometimes the people closest to the products and services can’t fix on their own—ones they may have wrestled with for years.

The best firms help businesses from the inside out to inspire their audience.

Because, after all, customers don’t only care about what you do, but also what you believe in. They want to know why you get out of bed every morning and what drives you besides revenue. Marketing is about expressing values and viewpoints to people, and finding out if they see the world the same way. It’s about building relationships with audiences.

Anyone can create websites, brochures, and other collateral, but the true value in marketing comes in the ability to challenge clients to dream bigger, and to provide them with a road map to turn those dreams into effective, usable tools to inspire audiences both within and outside of the organization.

If you have any questions about the role of a marketing firm, or if you’re looking for a great marketing firm to help grow your business-  let’s talk. We’re always looking to help great clients.

Contact us today or call us at (314) 241-2866 and let’s get started.


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Mike Spakowski

Mike Spakowski

Mike Spakowski is Principal / Creative Director of Atomicdust and is involved with the day-to-day design strategy, art direction and studio management.

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