Full-Service or Per-Project Marketing Agency: Which is Better for Your Business?

With how quickly the digital marketing world moves, as a business owner, it can be tough to keep up. Maybe your business is growing rapidly, or you’re struggling to keep up with current marketing strategy trends. You could even just be looking for a few extra resources. Luckily there are many options for hiring marketing help depending on how much you need. Basically, it boils down to agency work vs. freelance work. If you decide to go with an agency, two of the most common options businesses are turning to are hiring full-service marketing agencies, or hiring an agency on a per-project basis. But which type of agency servicing is better suited for your business?

full service marketing agency

Full Service

When you decide to hire a marketing agency for full service, they’re going to provide pretty much exactly what it sounds like: everything. Agencies are made up of a number of specialized employees, all trained and skilled in specific aspects of marketing. When you choose full-service, essentially, you’re giving this team control over creating, testing, and implementing your entire marketing strategy. This includes branding, promoting, website/app development, design, advertising, etc. Anything you need.


  • Offers everything under one, single-point contact umbrella, so you don’t have to keep track of who is doing what.
  • For small or start up businesses trying to create a cohesive brand, the full service will do it for you and make sure it all fits together with your vision.
  • Allows business owners to focus on core business needs instead of trying to keep up with digital marketing trends/creating their unique brand.


  • Cost of full-service is usually going to be higher, because they are doing so much more—it’s up to you if it’s worth it.
  • If you don’t feel you need all the services, you could be wasting your money.
  • Someone else is in control over a large part of your brand, you might want to do certain parts yourself or feel you have better ideas and it can be tricky bringing that up to an agency. Be sure to work with an agency that values your direction.

brochure print material designPer-Project 

When you hire an agency on a per-project basis, that means you’re only putting them in charge of specific projects you need completed. This could be a single campaign, a video you need produced, a website you need designed, etc. You might use this agency once or keep them on for any projects that come up that are out of your bandwidth. The main differentiator is the agency does not have full control of your marketing. They only influence certain aspects or channels of it whenever you decide. This “a la carte” type service is less cohesive for overall branding but might make more sense for larger companies.


  • You as the business owner maintain control of your branding.
  • You always have the option to outsource specific projects of any size, or delegate tasks you don’t have time for on a particularly busy month, but at the end of the day everything else is still yours.
  • This option is cheaper if you’re only planning to use them for a few projects.


  • For smaller businesses or start ups, this fragmented, “a la carte” approach can be risky, creating a disjointed brand feel and customers pick up on that. Scattered marketing methods create missed opportunities.
  • Project-based servicing means you might not always be getting the same people doing the work each time–meaning quality of work will differ.
  • Most agencies offer a cheaper bundle deal for full-service, so if you’re finding yourself using an agency for most of your projects, it might be costing you more money. This is why you should always be forward-planning, to anticipate what you’re going to need in the future marketing wise.


Obviously, no matter which agency style you choose, you should heavily research the agencies you’re considering. Their past work, communication style, creative strategy, and analytics are all very important things to look into. You’re going to be entrusting them with your business information and potentially working together for a long period of time. At Expert Media Design, we provide both full-service and per-project marketing options, as well as a number of other services. No matter which service you choose, we’ve got your needs covered.

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