What Marketing Agencies Do: Explained!

The answer to the question, “how does a marketing agency work?” can be a bit mysterious. We all get to see the end products of marketing agencies’ work in the colorful brochures, attractive websites, clever TV commercials, bold signage and stylish logos that they create. But behind these exciting end products, what does a marketing agency do? 

In reality, the marketing agency process is not that mysterious. Like most other businesses, marketing agencies work hard behind the scenes to attract clients, to market themselves, to communicate well with their clients, to strategize with clients and identify their most pressing needs, to marry their creative designs and processes with the needs of their clients and to track the progress of their marketing campaigns. 

Attracting New Clients

Marketing agencies need to attract new clients just like any business does. Therefore, behind the scenes, marketing agencies are working hard to reach out to potential clients themselves. There are a lot of ways to do this, but of course the best way is to do really great work for all their clients so that they are known for excellence. This will help them get referrals and recommendations from their clients. Making quality touches by letter and personal contact with targeted high quality clients over a period of time, are great ways to keep an agency front of mind when the time comes for a marketing campaign. But most importantly marketing agencies advertise their own business.

Marketing Their Own Services

Vital to the marketing agency scope of work is marketing one’s own services to potential clients. Creating a fast, responsive and attractive website, optimizing it for SEO, building a clear and strategic brand for the business, using that brand to design a logo with a bold color scheme and building all other advertising from that brand; these are some of the elements of the marketing agency process. The best full-service marketing agencies produce these things for themselves to market their own services. One way to check the quality of an agency is to pay close attention to their own marketing website and materials. Ask them if they did their own work. If they did and you really like it, that is a good recommendation in and of itself.

Clear Communication

Since we are exploring the answer to the question, “how does a marketing agency work?” it is essential to highlight the fact that clear communication is necessary for great marketing. Great marketing agencies have clear communication channels within their business and among their staff. This includes clear procedures for communicating orders, prices, timelines, budgets, assigning tasks, completing tasks, on time tracking, etc. 

Equally important, great communication between a marketing agency and its clients must be a hallmark of every conversation, email, text, phone call and Zoom meeting. Are the clients’ needs, hopes, plans, history and frustrations being heard and reflected clearly back to them for confirmation? How are the early rounds of design work being received? Are questions and concerns being addressed swiftly and professionally throughout the process? Great agencies put a premium on clear communication because they know that all of the other aspects of the marketing agency scope of work are dependent upon clearly communicating needs. 

Identifying Clients’ Needs

Asking great questions is the key to identifying clients’ needs throughout the marketing agency process. Getting a thorough understanding of a business’s marketing assets and history is invaluable in the process of determining their needs moving forward. 

  • Where are their assets strong and where are they weak? 
  • What efforts have been made in the past to advertise? 
  • How successful were these efforts? 
  • What does the client know about brand strategy, website design, SEO, social media, etc? 
  • Who is the clients’ audience? 
  • What are their demographics? 
  • What demographic is being targeted? 
  • Who has been overlooked? 
  • What kind of budget is the client working with? 

These and many other questions must be asked and the answers must be carefully parsed and understood before any marketing strategy can be put into place. 

Strategic Planning

Great marketing agencies are excellent at strategic planning for their clients marketing needs. Much of this will end up being budget dependent since most businesses do not walk into the marketing process with an unlimited budget. However, a great marketing strategy takes into consideration short term, medium and long term goals and plans accordingly. The best agencies listen to your business needs and dreams and help you get to where you want to go through a strategic marketing plan. 

A lot of marketing agencies today have focused their efforts on niche aspects of marketing, (i.e. SEO, website design, social media, etc.). By working with an experienced full-service marketing agency, your business can work towards an overall marketing strategy for your business that will include all of the essential elements of marketing needed to fulfill that strategy.

Creative Design

Almost all of the essential elements in marketing require creative design. It is helpful for businesses in need of marketing to ask each of the agencies they are interviewing, questions like, how does a marketing agency work with its clients through the creative process? Do they hire out their creative design or is it done in-house? How many rounds of design are offered in a logo process or in the design of signs or print materials? 

Because design involves a lot of very personal preferences, if you have something in mind for your design needs, be sure to give an agency’s design team as much information as possible from the beginning. Agencies will often have packages for products that involve a certain number of rounds of creative design. The more rounds the higher the cost of the package. Therefore, if your business wants to limit costs it is very important to communicate your design ideas ahead of time to help shorten that process.

Meeting Clients Most Pressing Needs

Much of what goes into answering the question, “what does a marketing agency do?” is the fact that agencies help prioritize each client’s needs. Marketing involves a lot of elements. The effectiveness of certain elements will depend on your industry, location, current marketing assets, the kind of campaign you want to run, who you want to target and many other factors. Narrowing the field to meet the most important and pressing needs of your business is what separates great marketing agencies from good ones. 

This will require a lot of trust on your part; which is why finding an excellent marketing agency that you can trust to lead you in the right direction is crucial for long term success. 

Tracking Progress and Success

There are a lot of aspects to how a digital marketing agency works to improve your digital advertising profile. These aspects include building a great website and SEO. An underrated aspect of digital marketing, but one that is essential to long term success, is the tracking of SEO leads, conversions, progress toward goals and success in growing your business. These kinds of analytics are very important for understanding how your digital marketing is working, where it is not working and whether it needs to be updated, adjusted or even blown up for a whole new approach. The most important thing to remember is that you control how a digital marketing agency works for you, so if you do not like your results or they can’t explain what they are doing for you then keep asking questions or find a new agency who will really help you.


As you can see the full service marketing agency scope of work is broad and includes a wide range of variables that necessitate a great deal of experience and expertise. Working with a digital marketing agency can help you in that niche of your business marketing strategy. However, if you are a small to medium sized business in need of expanding your footprint, identifying a great full-service agency will offer you a much broader foundation for your marketing efforts and long term strategy. 

zö agency is just that kind of experienced, trustworthy, creative and strategic full-service marketing agency. Through decades of experience the zö tribe has honed its listening skills, its understanding of all aspects of marketing and its strategic planning acumen. Visit zö.agency to learn more about how zö agency can help you take your business to the next level. 

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