Growth Marketing Agency & Marketing Automation Agency: What’s the Difference?

November 30, 2022 | Caroline Lane

If you’re in the market for a new marketing agency, you’ve probably noticed that there are a multitude of agency types and specializations out there. 

Two agency types that crop up a lot are growth marketing agencies and marketing automation agencies. If you’re confused about how they’re different from each other and which is better for your business, that’s okay!  

These terms can be tough to parse for anyone who isn’t immersed in the marketing world. That’s why we’re here to help you demystify this topic so that you know exactly what types of services are available to help grow your business. 

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The difference between a growth marketing agency and a marketing automation agency

One of the main differences between growth marketing and marketing automation agencies is in how they strategize. 

If you’re looking to hire a growth marketing agency, you can expect them to take a more data-driven, holistic approach. They’ll be able to analyze your current marketing campaigns and campaigns from other similar businesses, then use this data to create new strategies for your business that will work best to grow revenue. 

On the other hand, a marketing automation agency will focus on implementing specific technological solutions that allow you to automate your marketing campaigns and processes. Of course, this should be backed by a marketing automation strategy, but the technology itself is often the backbone of an automation agency’s efforts. 

The biggest difference here is that while both agencies aim at achieving the same result (driving more customers and, consequently, revenue), they go about it in different ways. A growth marketing agency will focus on big-picture changes in strategy, while a marketing automation agency will focus on using tools like email automation to achieve more specific goals. 

The data-driven approach of a growth marketing agency  

As mentioned, a growth marketing agency tends to take a more data-driven approach to marketing efforts. This is an objective way to make decisions about how to grow the company through multiple channels. 

A growth marketing agency will have access to a wide array of tools, which they utilize to back up their growth marketing strategy and help you grow your business. These automation tools, like email drips and lead scoring, for example, can be used to further their strategy, but an agency's engagement is not primarily based on automation tools. 

Growth marketing agencies also use data analysis to assess what marketing channels work best (and which don’t) to help determine your marketing strategy. Your agency won’t just implement all marketing channels and let them run indefinitely. They’ll tailor your strategies and channels based on your specific business goals, audience, and results. 

The tools and technology of a marketing automation agency  

A marketing automation agency tends to focus fully on the use of those tools and technology. For example, they may be responsible for setting up your email service provider (ESP) and setting up your drip email campaigns. They would also be responsible for tracking how effective these emails are at driving leads or sales and making improvements based on that data.  

A good marketing automation agency will do what a growth marketing agency does, which is to learn your company's direction and develop a strategy backed by SMART goals. The way they’ll achieve those goals is through a vast array of automation. 

The How and the Why of Marketing Agencies 

Where a growth agency looks to understand why something works, an automation agency looks at how something works. 

A growth marketing agency will look at your business as a whole and consider it in its entirety when developing campaigns. They’ll also likely tackle multiple channels at once.  

A typical marketing automation agency will focus on specific solutions instead of looking at how these solutions work together as part of a larger picture (although the best ones will pay attention to that big picture!). They might implement workflows and automatic lead hand-off to smooth out processes. 

Ultimately, these agencies aim to achieve the same result but with different approaches. A growth marketing agency focuses on strategy, and a marketing automation agency focuses on implementation. In other words, a growth marketer uses data to inform strategy; a marketing automation specialist uses it for implementation.  

How Do You Choose Your Marketing Agency? 

It boils down to results. With both types of agencies, you have a team looking at data and technology solutions in order to grow your business; they just take different approaches as to how to get there.  

A growth marketing agency will use a variety of digital marketing tactics—from SEO and paid ads to email marketing and content creation—to achieve the same result: more leads and sales. An agency that specializes in marketing automation may focus on one channel (like email) or tactic (like remarketing). 

The key is understanding what kind of growth your company is looking for and what kind of short- and long-term goals you’re looking to achieve. Asking yourself these questions will help you figure out what kind of agency you’re looking for.  

Conclusion  

The bottom line?  Growth marketing agencies and marketing automation agencies both want to help you grow your business. And while picking one should be based on your company’s specific needs, your best bet might be to find a growth marketing agency with automation expertise or an automation agency that values strategy and growth.  

Want to Know More? 

Want the best of both worlds? We’re a growth marketing agency that also specializes in marketing automation, and we’re committed to helping businesses drive growth and revenue. Get in touch! 

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