Most marketing firms are either a consultancy firm or an agency. If you want to know how to start a business online in the marketing field then you first need to know whether you want an agency or consultancy. There is a lot of confusion between consultancies and agencies – agencies often get called consultancies and vice versa. What is the difference between the two and which is better?

Well, if you are a victim of the same confusion then don’t worry because today we will tell all you need to know about these two types of organizations.

Let us take a look at the main differences between an agency and a consultancy:

Agency and Consultancy – The Differences

  • Purpose

A lot of people often wonder what do consultants do. Well, the purpose of a consulting firm is to deliver guidance and expertise to the clients and help them make informed business decisions. A consultancy works with CEOs and business owners or managers to create strategies and help them implement those strategies. In short, consultancies work on the strategic level such as commoditizing the execution of a plan. 

On the other hand, an agency works on a pre-determined project basis while it still delivers expertise and services. An agency services the client by planning and executing a particular project such as planning a corporate event, designing a marketing campaign, etc. So, in short, an agency’s main purpose is to produce a brief for the project and implement it once approved by the client. A common example of an agency is a digital marketing agency that implements the digital or media plan for a client.

  • Scope

A consultancy usually is a group of professional experts from the same discipline working under the same roof. All the professionals within a consultancy firm deliver advisory services to clients about a particular field such as business, marketing, law, audit, etc. Whereas, an agency is a group of different individuals of multi-disciplinary to handle various tasks required to finish a project.

  • Skillset

In marketing management consulting, the skillset required usually comprises research and analysis, content coordination, SEO knowledge, brand management, marketing strategizing, etc. When it comes to a marketing agency, the skillset becomes more practical and technical; it includes strategy planning, creativity, and design, SEO management, Content creation and strategy, web development, software development, web design, etc.

  • Level of Influence

Both consultancy and agency play a great role in the internet marketing business. Their level of influence, however, varies because of their services for an organization. Consultancies usually hold a trustworthy position with the senior level management of the client firm. Moreover, they have years of experience in the relevant field which makes them expert advisors. Consultants have a greater influence on the long term progress of a business, as they create strategies to face business challenges and solve the problems. Thus, they hold a position of power and operate at the senior level with the executives. 

While an agency usually sticks to its field of work and does a job for the client, whether it’s a small business or a giant corporation. Agencies do not have the authority to comment on the internal matters of an organization. Thus, the level of influence of an agency on a business is comparatively low. Moreover, agencies do not impact the long-term existence of a business, instead, they focus on immediate projects.

  • Organizational Model

Consultancy usually operates under a bureaucratic and inflexible organizational structure where seniority and level of experience determine the hierarchy. On the flip side, an agency has to be flexible and diverse in every aspect – environment, talent or job roles. A modern-day agency comprises dynamic individuals working together to drive efficiency and meet the varying needs of multiple clients. This means agencies follow a rigorous and more collaborative organizational model.

Now that we discussed the main differences between an agency and a consultant, let us dive into a common debate about which is a better option?

Agency and Consultancy – Which is Better?

The continuously marketing world and complex business landscape today require the services of both a consultancy and an agency.

The first allows you to help businesses at a strategic level and deliver special expert services. You bring together a team of talented and expert field individuals and put them together to resolve your client’s business issues. A consultancy can drive you to meet your business goals and grow in the future. 

The latter is a great service provider that makes your business tasks easier and simpler. The marketing complexity in today’s world makes it impossible for a business to run a whole team of diverse marketers. Thus agencies create a convenient and cost-effective space for businesses to meet their marketing needs. 

The final verdict is: Both consultancy and agency can work side by side today because of the dynamic needs of different businesses. It comes down to what the client wants and how you can serve him. 

So, if you want to know how to be a consultant or an agent, first you need to choose your niche market, study your skill set and determine what services you can deliver.


Now you know the importance of both consultancies and agencies and what services they provide. After reading this post, we hope you can see the key differences between a digital marketing consultancy and an agency. Whether you want to start a social media marketing agency or a digital consulting firm, we wish you the best of luck!


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