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Top Marketing Agencies for International Companies

  • Choosing the Right Marketing Approach
  • Boutique agencies vs Full-Service
  • Full-service agencies can be costly due to their large staff and resources
  • Local agencies have a deep understanding of their market but lack international experience and resources to scale
  • Boutique agencies provide a perfect balance of global reach and local expertise, ideal for SMBs with limited budgets seeking personal connections and tailored services.

Expanding into new markets presents exciting opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) aiming for international growth. Companies should not replicate marketing strategies that have worked in their home country but adapt to each target market’s unique cultural, competitive, and logistical landscapes.

There are many options considering digital agencies’ size, price, and expertise. By partnering with full-service international digital marketing, SMBs can overcome common challenges when expanding globally, such as positioning against local competition, navigation of regulatory landscapes, and creating sustainable campaigns, which can be maintained and adapted over time. Is that perfect?

Yes, so here is the long-awaited: “but”

The most pressing downside in hiring a full-service agency is the cost since these agencies have a lot of staff and resources to maintain. The service might also be less personalised since larger agencies can often have a more procedural way of doing marketing since they have a lot of clients to uphold. Other potential downsides to mention: less flexibility, one-size-fits-all solutions, outsourcing, and red tape.

Large agencies can outsource part of their client needs to white-label companies. A white-label company produces a product or service that other companies then rebrand as their own. 

The name comes from the white label on the packaging that can be customised with the marketer’s branding. As a client, you may not even know which company does the services you have paid for.  

Agencies usually also have standard operating procedures (SOPs), protocols, and red tape set up to protect themselves from unhappy clients, contributing to the feeling of disconnect. Red tape refers to the bureaucratic processes, formalities, and administrative procedures that large agencies use to protect themselves from potential risks, legal issues, or client disputes.

As an SMB, hiring a local agency to branch out to a specific geographic area is possible. Local agency deeply understands their local market, including consumer preferences, cultural nuances, and the competitive landscape. 

By using the services of a local agency, you can utilise the connections and relationships the agency already possesses within a community. Partnering with a local agency can be more cost-effective than hiring an in-house marketing team or a large full-service marketing agency.

However, where the local agency does well in understanding the market and consumer base, its weaknesses arise from the lack of international experience and resources to scale; as the SMB grows, the needs and requirements for digital marketing may outpace the capabilities of a local agency.

Other issues might concern the limited variety of services the agency can provide, causing the need to get multiple providers for different marketing needs. Inconsistency in quality and conflicts of interest can also be problems when partnering with local agencies. 

The quality of work can differ among agencies because they may have a different level of standardisation and quality control processes than larger, more established agencies. Conflicts of interest can occur when the agency has existing relationships with competitors or other businesses that could influence the objectivity and recommendations of said agency.

Local agencies presumably have intimate know-how of a specific market but need more international experiences and resources to support global expansion. On the other hand, large full-service agencies can provide global reach but often lack the personalised attention and flexibility that an SMB wants.

Boutique agencies?

A hybrid solution combining aspects of both levels of digital agencies are called boutique agencies.  A boutique agency with a global footprint but local specialisation can help develop sustainable campaigns tailored to each market, position the business effectively against local competitors, and scale marketing efforts efficiently.

More on boutique agencies

As an SMB, you might have a small budget for your digital marketing efforts. You may also be interested in developing a personal connection with the firm you hire, appreciating their flexibility and tailored services.

Small companies also often have overlapping goals when it comes to growth; this helps to create a relationship. Communication flow will be efficient because both companies are genuinely invested in each other.
If these descriptions piqued your interest, the right marketing agency for your needs could be one of the many specialised boutique digital marketing agencies.

Different approaches to digital marketing

Below, we’ve listed a few potentially interesting agencies for an SMB company, each with a unique focus within the digital marketing landscape.

Boutique Agencies

Agency focused on advertising: Mediacharge 

Mediacharge operates all performance marketing channels, including search engine and display advertising, for various clients in the DACH region. DACH stands for German-speaking countries of Germany ( Deutschland), Austria and Switzerland ( Confœderatio Helvetica).

Agency focused on social media marketing: Social Chameleion

Social Chameleion is a social media marketing agency based in London, United Kingdom. It provides services like social media marketing, SEO and market research.

Agency focused on influencer marketing: Amore Influence

Amore Influence is an influencer management agency, which specialises in connecting brands with the right influencers and creators.

Agency focused on search engine optimisation: Paper Box SEO

Paper Box SEO is an agency focused on enhanced search engine visibility, specialising exclusively in boosting organic search traffic to sites. For example, they offer services such as content writing, keyword research, link building on-page, and technical SEO.

Agency focused on performance marketing: S360

S360 is a performance marketing agency that emphasises data-driven strategies to help clients achieve their marketing goals. With services spanning across SEO, PPC, social media marketing, and more, S360 is equipped to handle various aspects of digital marketing for SMBs. They operate in 6 countries in Europe and have 9 offices.

Agency focused on growth marketing: Gaasly

Gaasly is a Growth as a Service (GaaS) company with an international team of growth marketing experts assisting clients, especially SMB companies. The main focus is growing online presence and reaching new markets. Gaasly’s services include search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), web analytics, email marketing, conversion rate optimization, native ads, and affiliate and influencer marketing.

Full-Service Agency: UP THERE, EVERYWHERE

While not specifically a boutique agency, this global, cloud-based firm deserves an honourable mention. Founded in Sweden, they offer comprehensive branding, marketing, and digital services, encompassing everything from market research and brand strategy to digital marketing execution, website design, and social media management

In summary, small and medium-sized businesses looking to expand internationally need to consider their digital marketing agency options carefully. While large full-service agencies offer global reach, they can be costly and impersonal. 

Local agencies deeply understand their markets but lack resources for scaling. Boutique agencies strike a nice balance – providing local expertise combined with international capabilities and the personalised service SMBs value. 

Whether focusing on performance advertising, social media, influencers, SEO, or overall growth marketing, specialised boutique agencies allow SMBs to cost-effectively tap into tailored digital strategies adapted for each new market they enter. With their flexible, client-focused approach, boutique marketing firms could be the ideal partner for SMBs pursuing global growth ambitions on a reasonable budget.