The Strategic Advantage of Full Agency Engagement

By Chris Arnold
Full a la carte

We see it all too often: a vendor for this, a vendor for that, a friend of a friend handling one thing, and a grandfathered deal in another corner. Quick decisions on marketing "strategies" are made simply because leaders get pressure from all sides.

Should a multifamily company opt for a holistic, full-service engagement with a creative agency, or is a more selective, a la carte approach the better path?

This decision is critical and can significantly impact the effectiveness of a property's marketing efforts, the coherence of its brand message, and, ultimately, its success in a market.

Let's jump into a few considerations.

The Case for Full Engagement

Full engagement with a creative agency presents a myriad of benefits. First and foremost, this approach ensures that a go-to-market strategy is cohesive from the outset.

By entrusting a single agency with the entirety of a project, from naming and brand strategy to web design to digital marketing, developers, owners, and operators can foster a sense of consistency and continuity that is often lost when tasks end up divided among multiple providers.

When there is division in tasks, there comes with it a certainty that the work will feel disjointed, critical items can be missed, and cohesion will be lacking. Plus, it's a lot of work for everyone involved! Who's doing what is a common theme when multiple teams are on duty.

One of the primary advantages of the all-in approach is the project knowledge gained right from day zero.

An integrated agency team, fully acquainted with the brand's vision and goals – if not the team that developed them in the first place – can create momentum and deliver results more efficiently.

This seamless collaboration allows for an overlap of ideas and strategies, avoiding the disjointed handovers that can occur between separate teams.

The A La Carte Temptation

Despite the clear benefits of full engagement, the allure of a la carte services remains for many groups.

Developers and owners often hope to pick and choose specific services based on immediate needs or budget constraints. Oftentimes, a literal menu of offerings is requested.

For property groups with competent in-house teams that are merely overwhelmed or lacking in certain specialties, piecemeal engagements can offer a temporary solution, providing relief and support where needed most.

However, this strategy often leads to a fragmented marketing effort.

Without a unified strategy and a single leadership source, the risk of disjointed messaging and a diluted brand identity increases.

Moreover, this approach can result in a slower, less effective market penetration, ultimately affecting the bottom line through slow absorption, less-than-ideal demand, and poor performance overall.

The Role of Strategy

Regardless of the chosen path, any successful marketing endeavor needs a well-defined strategic foundation.

Whether a company opts for full-service agency engagement or selects services a la carte for their property, an overarching strategy is imperative.

When groups find themselves with a collection of random tactics and ideas, hoping they co-mingle, that's where minor problems can expand into major problems.

A strategic backbone ensures any additional services or external contributions amplify rather than detract from the marketing objectives.

Which to choose?

When choosing between a holistic engagement and an a la carte approach, think about the outcomes you have in mind. It's more than just a financial decision; it's a strategic one.

Like choosing the most direct flight to a destination, a full-service agency engagement can offer properties a smoother, more cohesive journey to their marketing goals.

However, understanding the nuances of each project and recognizing when a la carte services might complement an existing strategy can also be valuable.

Ultimately, the focus of the multifamily marketer should always remain on crafting a marketing approach that is coherent, strategic, and aligned with the property's overarching goals, ensuring the brand's message resonates clearly and effectively with its intended audience.

This strategic clarity, whether achieved through full engagement or a strategic combination of services, is what sets successful marketing efforts apart.

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