Pros and cons of working with independent vs network agencies for digital marketers

digital marketing jobsThe importance of digital marketing is being realized immensely and there is a burning market for digital marketers. More and more retail and even B2B companies are moving towards e-commerce and are looking for skilled digital marketers to direct and manage their online marketing channel. Amidst such a demanding market condition, a key question that many digital marketers face is whether they should work with an independent marketing agency or should they join a bigger network marketing agency.

Jobs in marketing can be challenging and exciting at the same time. Sphere Digital Recruitment provides a good perspective of job at independent marketing agency as well as a network agency. The detailed article can be read at

Being a part of a digital marketing agency is a matter of pride, not to forget the perks it brings along. But both independent as well as network marketing agencies have their own pros and cons which need to be understood while deciding to choose a job in marketing agencies.


Independent marketing agencies:

Independent marketing agencies are small-scale agencies that operate in a specific area providing their services to clients mostly around their area, though they can have a geographically spread client base who are catered through internet. These agencies usually have a single office and have a staff size within 200 employees.

Pros of working with independent marketing agency:

There are many advantages of working with independent agencies as they have a lot to offer to their employees.

  1. Flat organizational structure – Due to lesser number of employees the independent agencies follow a very flat org structure making it easy for employees at all levels to connect with each other. This provides opportunities for individuals to learn from the senior management team.
  2. Rapid growth opportunities – It is purely work that speaks in independent agencies. Since such agencies are generally in growth phase, there are ample opportunities for one to be able to climb up the corporate ladder quickly and gain senior positions.
  3. Wide exposure – With fewer resources, there is a lot that needs to be done amongst them. This provides a digital marketer a wide exposure to different kinds of clients, types of solutions being offered etc.
  4. Friendly work culture – The employee base of an independent marketing agency are very closely knit and this creates a very friendly working environment. Employees build good personal bonds with peers and the communication is much informal amongst colleagues.
  5. Employee focused – Employees are the key strength of independent marketing agencies. They are the hub of all the knowledge of different client needs and activities. Hence they know how to fulfil client needs even before the client asks for it. Owing to this, these agencies value their employees tremendously and work hard towards retaining them.


  1. High work pressure – There is lot of pressure to deliver work in short timelines. Since the employee base is small, every employee has to work on multiple things and hence multi-tasking becomes very important.
  2. Lack of tools and resources – Independent agencies have limited tools and other resources with them to facilitate marketing. Hence employees have to learn to share and use resources. Sometimes they have to make do with basic tools since access to advanced ones is unavailable.
  3. Poor or no back up during vacations – Since every employee handles a lot of work, there is not enough capacity to create back-up plans for every individual. This poses bigger problems when digital marketers have to take vacations.
  4. Poor process documentation – Not all, but many independent agencies do not follow good documentation which can lead to confusions while transferring work.
  5. Lower pay – Pay can sometimes be a challenge. Since independent agencies deal with local and small clients, sometimes they are unable to pay as well as network agencies.

Network agencies:

Network agencies are parts of bigger companies and have much bigger employee base. They have multiple offices and are even multi-national. Their clients are big brands and the magnitude of work is also huge.

Pros of working at network agency:

  1. Big brands as clients – The client base of network agencies are big brands and the marketing budgets are also huge giving the digital marketer opportunity to experiment.
  2. Access to best technology – Due to their higher budgets and revenues, network agencies have access to a lot of advanced tools and techniques for their digital marketer
  3. Opportunity to specialize – Given the large client base, one can also choose to specialize at certain aspects of digital marketing and gain expert level knowledge at it.
  4. Good Pay – Network agencies offer very good pay to their digital marketers as compared to independent agencies.



  1. Tall Org structure – Network agencies have multiple layers or org structure which delays the career progression of a marketer.
  2. Can make one feel lost – The big teams can and professional work environment can make one feel unimportant or lost.

The differences between an independent marketing agency and a network marketing agency are very similar to those between a small company versus a large MNC. It is entirely the choice, aspirations and expectations of a digital marketer that should decide what works for him better. What might seem as a pro to one might seem a con to another. A good perspective of this can be found at

There is also a lot that is discussed about whether a marketer should join a marketing agency or join the client side. A good read about how an agency can be a better choice is found at

Finding the right job is essential for a marketer to make the most of his skills. Be it with an independent agency or a network agency, the job in marketing should be satisfying and rewarding. For budding digital marketers who have recently graduated as well as expert marketers who have spent good time in the industry, Sphere Digital recruitment offers excellent job opportunities in marketing. More about their services can be found at